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Rustic Contemporary

A Masterful Developer’s “Home with a Soul” in Pelican Bay

Wonderful things happen when talented people join together in a creative process. When Leslie Sherman of Calusa Bay Development began work on this 5,700 square foot home in Pelican Bay, she assembled a team comprised of top professionals who all share a common vision –

to design and build exceptional, functional, unique living spaces. From an architect renowned for his impeccable design sense, to a general contractor with an eye for unique millwork design and incredible attention to detail, this team worked together to create a home that encompasses the best of modern living with classic design elements.

“Each project starts with an exceptional location, and in this case, a huge lot in the heart of Pelican Bay, walking distance to the beach, with a beautiful view and the ability to provide an extremely private and well landscaped outdoor living space," says Sherman. “From there the team worked to create a home that would maximize this lot’s many strengths, that of a home with a soul of its own, inspired by great design and artful craftsmanship, filled with natural light, beautiful finishes, and thoughtful attention to detail.”


The detail-oriented team’s commitment to thoughtful design and natural finishes is clearly evident. Natural shell stone, stained cypress wood accents, and artful lighting choices create a unique exterior. In fact, creating that exterior was one of the challenges that John Cooney of Stofft Cooney Architects faced while designing the home. “While the market is leaning toward a more transitional contemporary look, Pelican Bay is still a very traditional community. We had to infuse elements of transitional and West Indies style into a home that fit the community,” says Cooney. The result is a striking stucco, stone, and wood exterior, with a rustic contemporary entry that features an open gable design crafted from exposed heavy timber trusses. The heavy timbers pair beautifully with artful stone columns and a 12’ mahogany and glass double entry door to create stunning exterior visual impact, as well as the perfect prelude to the home’s casual yet sophisticated interior. Kevin Schafer of Kevin Schafer Landscape created the perfect backdrop for the home, using classic landscape choices that add a timeless look to the exterior and enhance the unique vibe of the home. The home is exceptional, with a timeless rustic contemporary feel… a project of which Sherman and business partner Richard Counts are obviously very proud. “This is the first in a series of fresh, new inspiring homes that we have planned for Pelican Bay, and judging by the response, we hit a big home run here,” notes Counts. “The response to this home started to build even before completion,” adds Taber Tagliasacchi, listing agent for the home and Broker for Calusa Bay Properties. “Prospective buyers in Pelican Bay were very taken with this home’s distinctive style and fabulous outdoor living space.”


Matt Knauf, general contractor from Knauf-Koenig Group, led the team’s execution of Cooney’s breathtaking project design. Knauf-Koenig Group has worked with Calusa Bay Development and Stofft Cooney Architects on numerous previous projects. “I’ve been a carpenter all my life, and I enjoy adding unique elements in my projects. Knauf-Koenig Group worked with Leslie to design most of the interior woodwork, from the moldings to casings to ceiling details found in every room,” says Knauf. “Matt and his team are truly talented professionals. They supplied a wealth of great ideas for this project, all flawlessly executed, resulting in the finishes and detail that make this home world class,” says Sherman. Some examples include vaulted tongue-and-groove ceilings with painted box beam detail that also hide air conditioning ducts so ceiling details remain uninterrupted; mitered corners on all stone work; and perfectly matched exterior stain colors on different wood species.

To furnish this dream home, Calusa Bay Development teamed up with local designer Michael Hayes. “Quiet sophistication was something we kept at the forefront as Leslie and I made design choices intended to infuse the home with livability,” says Hayes, designer at Clive Daniel Home. In the den, mixed elements create a transitional feel in this cozy space. Twin sofas by Isenhour Furniture frame the Tera Sur live edge wood and metal cocktail table, while the hardscape beyond the large window draws the eye to the spectacular view of the pool and golf course beyond. A handmade rug from the Mirage collection by Loloi completes the furniture grouping. The 12’ weathered wood cathedral floor mirror from the Century Archive collection leans casually against the wall, beautifully accenting this inviting room with a view.




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In the great room, mixed metals and natural elements come together to create a comfortable space. A neutral palette of soft grays and blues is carried throughout the room, and the home. The main indoor seating area is flanked with a pair of unique platinum finished mirrors by John Richard, resting above custom finished Century console chests that introduce a hint of the current trend of gold inspired finishes, while staying true to the overall relaxed design. Atop a handmade Loloi rug sits an inviting grouping of furniture by Century, Baker, Charleston Forge and Burton James, all positioned overlooking the home’s stunning 50’ pool, 8’ infinity spa and long inviting views of the Pelican Bay club course.

At the opposite end of the great room sits a stunning Century live-edge walnut slab dining table, flanked by Century skirted linen side chairs and finished with a pair of Stanford Cumberland captain’s chairs. The dining chandelier by John Richard, courtesy of Wilson Lighting, has both glamorous and classic elements, while an original oil painting by Kay Hurley, courtesy of the private art collection of Sherman’s business partners Richard & Meggie Counts, hangs above a custom finished Habersham sideboard. “The live-edge dining room table adds the natural element to this room,” observes Hayes. “It’s a little rustic which really goes along with the theme of livability and warmth in this home.” The room is flooded with natural light on three sides, courtesy of John Cooney’s penchant for as much natural light as possible throughout his homes. “The use of natural light is a critical, often overlooked component to be integrated into the design process of every great home,” says Cooney. “Natural light, if used properly will create a serene, organic feeling that cannot be replicated through any other means.”

A stroll through the great room ends in the music room, where the home’s antique Steinway baby grand piano, shown here bathed in afternoon sunlight, is the focal point. A perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and read a book, or take a nap with your favorite friend, the music room also hosts a glass enclosed 350 bottle wine room (not pictured) and a gorgeous custom designed dry bar. The bar, a statement piece in its own right, was designed by Ruffino Cabinetry and boasts a four tiered glass enclosed upper bar cabinet with Subzero refrigerator/freezer drawer combo and additional storage below.


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The spacious kitchen was designed with entertaining in mind. Ample counter space, Wolf, Subzero, and Miele appliances, and abundant storage make it a true chef’s kitchen. The pair of floor-to-ceiling windows that flank the kitchen’s range wall inspired Sherman and Knauf Koenig Group’s Edgar Florian to collaborate on the 12’ high floor to ceiling cabinetry design, which incorporates classic style and clean crisp lines with old world charm. The marble topped antique sideboard juxtaposes nicely with the flush inset rift cut white oak island in a natural finish, topped with sleek Cristallo quartzite. Throughout the rest of the kitchen and Butler’s pantry, classic linen white cabinets are married with the natural oak finish to create a chic updated look. “The different finishes and styles play well together, and offer surprise design details like the turquoise painted cabinet interiors in the Butler’s pantry,” says Sherman. “Ruffino Cabinetry provided beautiful finish options and brought the design to life.”

The custom 10” wide washed oak flooring by Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring was manufactured at the company’s factories in Europe and is found throughout the home. “Our partnership with Leslie was born when she encountered Legno Bastone’s intricately detailed finishes at our design studio in Naples. Her team was excited by our artisan’s ability to provide the look and feel they were seeking,” says Arturo Guido, the 4th generation of the Bastone family creating unique home flooring options.

The master bedroom - in fact, every room - is flooded with light through a wall of floor-to-ceiling vertical transom windows artfully framing the woodsy, deep green long golf course views which continue endlessly in all directions. Another handmade rug from the Mirage collection by Loloi accents the sleek rugged Mesa bedroom furniture grouping by Century. Original art, rustic aged metal lamps, luxurious silk bedding from the Ann Gish collection and a graceful Kentia palm complete the master bedroom decor. The room’s vaulted tongue and groove wood painted ceiling with box beam detail adds character, and another layer of the finish detail that is seen throughout this spacious, well designed, beautifully furnished home.

Perhaps the most glamorous room in the home is the master bathroom. Behind a solid glass wall sits the room’s centerpiece, a 12’ high marble shower with soaking tub which steals the show. Clad with solid slabs of Calcutta Borghini Extra marble, the shower installation by Classic Stone and Mirek Rutz of Knauf Koenig Group is a true work of art. Rift cut white oak cabinetry by Ruffino Cabinetry ties back into the kitchen finishes, and the shell stone on the floors and walls echoes the stone found on the home’s exterior. Art from Clive Daniel Home flanks the rain shower, and a stunning Bella Luna chandelier by Currey & Company from Wilson Lighting completes the look. “The master bath was a definite selling feature of this home,” notes Tagliasacchi.


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The inviting outdoor great room features a bleached teak and metal deep seating furniture group from Century Outdoor, casually arranged around a whitewashed wood cocktail table. The outdoor TV and outdoor fireplace are both beautifully built into a 12’ quartz ledge stone wall that complements the natural quartz backsplash in the outdoor kitchen. To complete the outdoor living experience, a fully-equipped kitchen and 12’ stained cypress bar with ample seating provide a great spot to relax, grill or enjoy a Sunday afternoon game. A 10’ high x 35’ glass wall by Solar Innovations separates the indoor and outdoor great rooms, and can be easily opened and neatly stacked to create an expansive 35-foot opening, seamlessly integrating the indoor and outdoor living areas. These unique doors are a design element in their own right, providing both beauty and function while eliminating the wide tracks that would typically accompany sliding glass doors in such a large space.


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The centerpiece of the outdoor living space is the 50’ resort style pool with infinity spa designed by Koby Kirwin. Flanked on three sides by stunning 18’ Sylvester palms and clad with deep blue Sonoma Vihara 1”x 4” glass tiles, the pool provides a relaxing private oasis overlooking the tranquil setting of large shady oak trees, rolling green fairways and blue sky that provide the perfect backdrop for this stunning, well designed, artfully built home. This talented team’s initial vision has clearly materialized into an exceptional “Home with a Soul.”

Written by Channing Spano

Photography by Phillip Ennis Photography

Calusa Bay Development, LLP

1004 Collier Center Way, Suite 200

Naples, FL 34110




Calusa Bay Properties

1004 Collier Center Way, Suite 200

Naples, FL 34110




Clive Daniel Home

2777 Tamiami Trail North

Naples, FL 34103




Knauf-Koenig Group

5640 Taylor Road, Suite 3

Naples, FL 34109




Legno Bastone

2684 South Horseshoe Drive

Naples, FL 34104



Ruffino Cabinetry

7947 Drew Circle

Fort Myers, FL 33967




Stofft Cooney Architects

633 Tamiami Trail North

Naples, FL 34102




Wilson Lighting

2465 Trade Center Way

Naples, FL 34109





1)     Light from inside the vaulted front entry highlights the stunning entrance of this West Indies inspired home, becoming even more beautiful as the sun sets.

2)     In the den, twin Isenhour sofas are positioned to draw the eye through the room to the magnificent vista that is this home’s rear view. The live edge coffee table by Tera Sur is a warm and transitional addition to the room. Throw pillows provide a pop of rich color and bring in a very current design trend. Furnishings courtesy of Clive Daniel Home.

3)     The live edge dining table by Century carries the home’s rustic contemporary exterior design through to the interior. The spectacular John Richard chandelier is courtesy of Wilson Lighting, while the Kay Hurley original painting is on loan from Richard and Meggie Counts’ private collection.

4)     The antique Steinway baby grand piano bathed in afternoon sunlight is the focal point of the music room, which offers a quiet spot to relax with a glass of wine and Maggie, Sherman’s faithful friend and the company’s mascot. The glass front custom bar with mirrored back panel, designed by Ruffino Cabinetry, sits opposite a glass encased wine room (not pictured). Piano courtesy of Euro Piano Naples. Liquor and glassware courtesy of the Koester/Tagliasacchi private collection.

5)     The chef’s kitchen, designed by Leslie Sherman and Edgar Florian and built by Ruffino Cabinetry, is surprisingly spacious. Featuring classic style and clean crisp lines married with an antique sideboard for an eclectic updated look, the kitchen makes an ideal gathering place for family or guests.

6)     The master bedroom is sleek yet rugged, with furnishings from the Mesa collection by Century Furniture that reinforce the homes rustic contemporary style. Neutral bedding from Suite Luxury in Naples keeps with the theme of natural finishes while giving the room a pop of interesting and sophisticated textures.

7)     Bella Luna chandelier by Currey & Company from Wilson Lighting and soaking tub by Kohler enhance the relaxing feel of the stunning master bath.

8)     Overlooking a gorgeous 50’ resort style pool and infinity spa with spacious back yard and fairways beyond, the whitewashed teak and metal furniture group from Century Outdoor creates a tranquil and inviting refuge.



















Contact Us

  •   5640 Taylor Road, Suite 3
    Naples, Florida 34109 USA
  • (239) 592-9900
  • (239) 592-9904
  • info@kkgbuild.com


...noting the consistency in craftsmanship and intricate details, I decided to utilize their talent at my personal home in the Moorings. The experience was nothing short of outstanding... In a ...
Tammy Turner Kipp
I recently moved to Naples and acquired a nice property that needed some renovations... After meeting a few builders in the area I chose the Knauf Koenig Group to make the changes I needed... it was ...
Tyler Moody
…When we decided to locate to Naples our number one issue was finding a new home built by the best company… Our decision came down to the people who own and operate the company…, after we ...
Michael and Denice Dan
My wife and I were very fortunate to have gotten Knauf-Koenig Group to do the major remodeling and addition at our home in Naples. I am in the design build business and have dealt with scores of ...
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Three Palms Design Build, LLC main objective is to develop a creative and liveable space for a new home buyer. In selecting Knauf Koenig Group to execute our plan we have now been able to complete ...
Christina Mona
I would like to take a moment to offer a note of appreciation for your crew's efforts on the Capital Grille Project located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. Please accept our thanks for a job well done, ...
John Mikesell
We love the new house. You have an outstanding team and you should all be proud of the results you deliver. Edgar, our superintendent, is an outstanding person, and it’s been such a pleasure to ...
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