Stunning Captiva House

An Outdoor Modern Marvel Created by K2 Design

When Jenny Provost, principal at K2 Design in Bonita Springs, FL, and her team were approached about creating and designing Captiva House it was because of their stellar reputation for designing incredible homes, especially one that would work within the context of the Gulf Coast of Florida.

“Our client had seen our work published and so called us and we immediately spoke about the theory of design and whether having a house with Balinese or Polynesian flavor made sense here because he spends a lot of time in Bali,” Ms. Provost said.

That conversation was four years ago and the Captiva House, as K2 refers to it, is a design marvel in that it has everything anyone could hope for in an American home.

“It’s got a home control system, is really well built and is very energy efficient,” she said.

That the project took nearly four years to complete is not unusual since homeowners who aren’t rushed to finish a home can take a year designing, then the year of permitting and two years of building. Barrier Islands also create a lot of travel time which also adds to the length of the project.

Simply dealing with the Department of Environmental Protection can take a year for permitting and during the year of construction one the Barrier Island’s main causeway was down so there was a lot of barge delivery and even a makeshift concrete plant was created.

The original house was destroyed by Hurricane Charley (the main house) and the guest house was then destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. Because of this, the current house can withstand just about anything, it’s all hardened against storms including missile impact glass.

The entire home is a dream house but the outdoor spaces are real showstoppers and the FEMA restrictions K2’s design team were up against and having to design the house about 15 feet up were not detractors.

“The whole idea is that the ground level of the house is supposed to stay open for the possibility of a big storm surge. So the water would go under the house between the columns and not push the house over,” Provost said.

Deciding that at 5,000 square feet under the house was too much space to waste they began strategizing and discussing different approaches on what to do. They settled on dividing up the space and finishing it as though it were the first floor of the house so it would have the same feel and finishes.

“The ceilings are done in either wood or two different types of stone we used. Pecky Cypress wood is on the ceilings on the ground floor,” she said.

Another challenge they faced was making the very big, open space look homey. To achieve this they incorporated cypress because it’s indigenous to the area and can withstand the Florida weather’s elements. And because it takes a stain so well they used a special stain that protects the wood against the elements. They used both a penetrating stain and sealer.

“I also used a little metal because we can powder coat aluminum and it will hold up pretty well,” she said.

They incorporated seating areas for eating and entertaining and also a covered gaming area to protect from the sun.

The flooring in the rear outdoor area is Mexican Shellstone and the other flooring is quartz. Quartz looks very similar to slate but is much harder.

And by incorporating planters around the bottom floor and it eliminated them needing to use concrete then in the main area underneath the house that acts as the pool cabana is the ideal spot to admire the pool and sunset. A really good quality outdoor fan was installed to make it comfortable to sit there even during the summer.

In the winter however, there are fierce winds that hit the area so there is another rear seating area that has wind block on it. The accessories on the table are from the beach and the vases in this area are from Bali.

In the balcony area they wanted the homeowners feel like they were connected to the pool so they used the shellstone everywhere there that they used around the pool. The material stays very cool and you see the fossils so it’s very apropos.

Daring to use rugs and art outside is something they pride themselves on at K2 and actually strongly encourage. The rugs ground the furniture grouping and in the case of Captiva House, they used Sisal which is a triple threat—it is inexpensive, looks great and can be easily switched out.

They also used rugs that are made of textiles and won’t get harmed by Ultraviolet rays and resists mold or mildew. And artwork also adds an element of interest to outdoor spaces and the works throughout in this home came from Bali. All were shipped in a container, along with the many accessories, from Bali.

The exterior steel columns were all clad in Pecky cypress and other types of cypress around the entire exterior to create an element of warmth and provide a break from the brightness. The lounge, cocktail and dining chairs are from Monde Casa which may be sold in the Design District and the dining table was custom built in Bali.

There are even outdoor spaces nestled within the body of the house. One patio areas features multi-hued gray stones and a striking statue displayed in a way that captures the natural light filtering through the space.

“Given that it’s a very symmetrical house you have to be careful because sometimes the house gets very square so we solve the problem of no natural light by creating these openings,” she said. “This is a concept that these clients really wanted and one we’ve pitched before and clients have loved.”

With this particular client, if he had been geographically closer to the site he would have been much more involved but given that he’s based in England and this is his third home the firm did everything. “With people that live on foreign soil, they really need a firm that can do everything from dirt to drapes. You must have someone that’s looking after the project,” she said. K2 did the architecture, interior design, site development and all the project management.

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