Interior design should speak to how clients live in their home and who they are,” said Romanza Interior Design’s Melissa Allen, who created the award-winning indoor and outdoor spaces for Mark Gudelski and J.P. Mulholland’s new custom residence in Talis Park.
Throughout its 8,000 square feet, the home mirrors the couple’s passions and lifestyle – from casual entertaining on a grand scale and hosting family for extended visits to enhancing everyday routines like dinner cooked on the alfresco EVO flattop grill. The décor is sophisticated but relaxed with natural stone floors in the home’s spacious main gathering areas and wide-planked wood flooring in bedrooms, a game room and second-floor loft providing backdrops for a palette of vibrant cobalt, denim, white and shades of smokey grays.
“Melissa and the Romanza team brought us great ideas and were interested in how we use our home,” said Gudelski. “They were focused on details we weren’t tuned into and paid more attention than we would ever have anticipated. Our home reflects our style – not overly formal but more causal, open and inviting.”
Built by London Bay, the residence emphasizes entertaining with a spacious entry and great room area flowing from the foyer’s windowed gallery to a bar and lounge reminiscent of a posh nightclub. The home continues with an expansive kitchen and a nearby game room, which evolved into a showpiece. Doors and windows extending to the floor replace traditional sliding glass and enhance the indoor-outdoor connection.
Allen used rift-sawn oak for warmth and scale, and to visually define transitions into adjoining rooms. Furniture groupings in the great room create smaller conversation areas with four armchairs in brushstroke upholstery of cobalt and indigo blues and grays and a separate sofa and armchairs posed to a TV on a multi-level rift-sawn wall.
“The wood adds depth and keeps the large rooms from feeling cavernous,” said the designer. “Different seating areas also make it a more intimate space.”
Custom ceilings, the owners’ art collection of Clyde Butcher and Doug Thompson Florida landscape photography, and paintings featuring vibrant tropical hues add personality to rooms where furniture finishes include ash, medium-gloss gray, metallic bronze, champagne, and antiqued white, silver and leather chosen for a vintage lived-in look.
The adjoining lounge and bar – a client must – features a custom blue velvet banquette suspended above the floor and a full bar with an espresso finish, Cambria quartz countertops chosen for its cobalt blue veining, up-lit stepped translucent natural stone detail housing the liquor bottles and a frosted glass backsplash. Four stools with glazed antique blue leather cozy up to the bar, which also has an undermounted bar sink featuring molten swirls of metallic cobalt and black, a full-size wine refrigerator and a quick-chill bottle cooler inserted in the counter, the latter a new-to-market innovation suggested by Allen.
“Our old house had a wet bar which we quickly found out was too small during our first party,” said Mulholland. “Everyone hangs out at the bar and the kitchen.”
The open floor plan flows easily from bar to kitchen and a casual dining area where cobalt in upholstery and the veins of the quartz countertops achieve continuity. Light gray custom cabinetry integrates Wolf ovens and display areas while concealing refrigerator, freezer and refrigerated drawers. The oversized island boasts a cantilevered countertop and a white farmhouse sink. Allen enhances openness by opting for recessed lighting in the paneled ceiling instead of traditional pendants.
The kitchen also features a butler’s pantry with a catering kitchen and a walk-in appliance closet. Custom cabinetry with darker gray and light wood finishes accommodates Bosch appliances, refrigerated drawers and a display designed by Allen to showcase family china and crystal.
“The butler’s pantry gave us another set of everything for entertaining,” said Gudelski. “It’s nice to have when we have a caterer assisting us.”
Originally conceived as a billiards room, the nearby game room took on a life of its own, said Mulholland. “Mark had the idea for a pool table and shuffleboard,” he said. “Then we thought we might as well have a card room, then a pinball game. The concept just grew.”
The room imparts the feeling of a modern-day clubroom with its custom cabinetry, layers of millwork and deep coffered ceiling. Sage green-gray woodwork and vinyl silk wallcovering lend a light and bright ambience to a prime destination for entertaining. The room has a full-size arcade machine offering vintage and modern games, billiards and poker tables, a wall-spanning drink ledge and rustic pub table.
Grand-scale entertaining is also elevated in distinct outdoor spaces overlooking a lake and the 18th hole of Talis Park’s golf course. The outdoor space offers an alfresco kitchen replete with an Evo grill, a full bar and a pizza oven built into a brick chimney. An outdoor living room with a fireplace can accommodate seating for a dozen guests. Additional outdoor features include an open-air firepit lounge, bocce lawn, infinity-edge pool and an intimate spa patio.
The home balances spacious rooms with private retreats, including the master suite with Gudelski’s study, a freestanding cabana for VIP guests, and a second floor with guestrooms and a loft.
The master suite occupies an entire wing and features a softer palette of blue, cobalt, gray, white and light neutrals. Recesses, soft gray walls paired with white crown molding and millwork, ambient lighting and inlays in the wood floor add architectural interest to the long hallway from bedroom to bath and study.
An outdoor shower is set under a pergola integrated with lighting, a rain-head shower and jasmine-laced privacy walls.
The study has a custom-designed hutch, a streamlined desk, beamed ceiling and window seat.
Overnight guests enjoy elegant accommodations. The cabana delivers a VIP experience, its design recalling a beach cottage with aqua-painted shiplap walls in the bedroom and bathroom, lantern-inspired sconce lighting, aqua-framed glass barn doors and a porthole window. Additional guestrooms on the second floor share a balcony and a loft, with each en suite bathroom tailored to the individual bedroom.
Gudelski and Mulholland credited the collaboration with Allen, the Romanza Interior Design and London Bay teams for creating a home exceeding their goals and expectations. Allen was always informed of the newest product introductions and innovations, including the bar’s ultra-convenient instant bottle chiller and the durable wood-look surface used throughout the exterior of the home, they said.
“There were a lot of choices to consider, but the process was pretty easy because of the cohesiveness and communication between Romanza and London Bay,” said Gudelski. “We got everything we wanted.”
The home won top 2022 Sand Dollar Awards from the Collier Building Industry Association for home design, interior design and best outdoor living area in the $9 million to $11 million category.
Romanza Interior Design is a full-service, boutique firm with an award-winning team of interior design experts who use innovative ideas and the latest trends in design to capture the spirit of each homeowner. Whether creating a new dream home, updating or customizing an existing residence or simply adding finishing touches, Romanza Interior Design can bring creative visions to life today.