Photography by Kim Sargent
When a husband and wife work together professionally, it can be both satisfying and challenging. For interior designer Eloise Kubli and her husband, Arthur, a general contractor, the roles are clearly defined. “When it’s a design project, Eloise is the conductor,” Arthur says. “She is in charge. She tells us what to do, and my team and I do it.”
The homeowners, a businessman in the mortgage industry and his wife, are avid boaters and love the beach. They also enjoy golfing, so the oceanfront property in a community with a Jack Nicklaus course was a perfect fit. With four kids in college and friends who visit, the couple’s 10,000-square-foot home with three bedrooms and five baths, plus a separate guest house, has become a gathering spot.
A bold graphic painting adds a splash of color to the living room’s muted color palette. Gray panels with white embroidery frame the windows, and a gray and blue wool area rug is soft underfoot. A baby grand piano near one of the glass doors creates a focal point, and a tête-à-tête takes the place of a typical sofa. “The living room is long and narrow, so I felt it was important to have a sofa that’s open from both back and front to create a more approachable look,” Kubli says. Seats of two side chairs with gracefully curved maple frames are upholstered in tufted gray cotton with silver striations, while ice blue chenille on two wing chairs adds texture. Smokey stone crowns a cocktail table with a brass and stainless base.
In the dining room, walls gleam with blue LusterStone. “I used a different color to help define the dining room,” Kubli says. “I also wanted to give it more depth and shine.” A painting in the same style as the one in the living room, as well as similar embroidered window panels, create continuity. The maple table has pyramid corner detailing; suspended above is a chandelier of pillow-shaped fused glass, hand laid in a cobblestone effect. Curved chair backs upholstered in white leather contrast with dark lacquered legs.
A stunning backsplash and countertops of blue and green quartzite slabs recall colors of the sea in the kitchen, while pure white cabinets create a clean, fresh look. Illuminating the island are pendants made with horizontal layers of Murano glass. “They’re not perfectly shaped, so they have an organic look, and they work together with the chandelier in the dining room,” Kubli says.
In the home’s former layout, the TV sat against the windows because it was the only location free from glare. To solve the problem of the screen interrupting the magnificent ocean view, motorized shades and furnishings were arranged in a more stylish configuration. A wall unit with a gray metallic finish adjacent to the windows now holds the TV and also provides storage. The unit, which floats above the floor and is illuminated from underneath, complements the rift-cut oak and iron cocktail table and gray leather sofas. Two side chairs upholstered in blue and gray chenille also have rift-cut oak frames. Between the chairs is a brass-based table with a quartzite top. A platinum and gray shag rug with textured variations grounds the furnishings.
A 36-foot-high oculus with a circle of windows visible to the outside is a dramatic entry to the master suite. LED rope illumination around the perimeter of the existing wood-paneled ceiling adds further drama, and suspended from the center is a spiral-shaped chandelier finished with silver leaf and a cylinder of crystals sparkling within. “It’s very simple and contemporary but still dramatic,” Kubli says.
Changing the shape of a wall with awkward angles in the master bedroom simplified the floor plan and opened the stunning ocean views.
Shimmering white stacked quartzite clads a feature wall that houses a ribbon fireplace and a TV screen; the rest of the walls in the master suite are finished with white LusterStone. The designer removed the coffered ceiling, creating detail instead with rectangles of wood molding that surround a large circular crystal chandelier. A richly textured white, blue, and gray rug softens high-gloss walnut flooring.
The bed’s head and footboards, curved to replicate the shape of ocean waves, have gray maple frames with eggshell leather insets. A white linen duvet and shams with gray embroidery dress the bed. Swivel chairs upholstered in blue chenille with silver threads and a gold leaf table with a mirrored top and bottom form a seating area.
The master suite is complete with two separate baths. The husband prefers to have his clothes displayed openly, so Kubli designed a closet with no doors. A gray maple storage island is topped with dark gray Caesarstone; above it hangs a chandelier with a matte black finish and rough-cut crystals. In the wife’s bath, Kubli opened the views by replacing mullioned windows with sheets of clear glass. Floors in both areas are white marble; countertops are white Caesarstone.
The designer paneled the loggia’s plain cement ceiling, as well as a cement bar, with cypress, but kept the bar’s shell stone top. In front of the pool, she replaced glass blocks with clear glass; bar stool cushions match the color of the water.
“The owners love the changes,” Kubli says. “Their family and friends love them too, and that makes me happy. We brought today’s styling to a home that makes you feel like part of the sea.”