Our newest St. Petersburg custom home project was recently covered in Florida Design magazine’s Summer 2021 issue, Volume 31 No 2. While we cater to a global audience, Phil Kean Design Group team loves to celebrate local recognition!
After being selected for the architecture and interior detailing responsibilities for the St. Petersburg custom home, our team immediately started working with the homeowners on the the exciting schematic design process to get the project under way. Since the lot featured beautiful waterfront views, we designed the home with statement floor-to-ceiling windows (17-feet high!) and an expansive indoor-outdoor design complete with wet bar, outdoor kitchen, and waterfront dining, living and entertaining spaces!
See the full feature below, and be sure to check out their other impressive articles featuring luxury homes across Florida!
Story by Judy Martel
AFTER TWO YEARS OF HOUSE HUNTING, a wrong turn ultimately led George and Jamie Lutich to their dream home in St. Petersburg’s Snell Ilse.
The couple moved from the Tampa area to a townhome in downtown St. Petersburg after marrying five years ago. They often spent their free time driving down random streets in surrounding neighborhoods to get a feel for the “vibe”, explains Jamie. “One day, we took a wrong turn a block away from where we always drove and halfway down the street we saw a For Sale sign,” she recalls. One look was all it took to convince them of the potential.
“The lot was beautiful and we always knew that whatever we found, the home was going to be a tear-down, because we had our own vision,” Jamie says. So after removing the existing home, the couple commissioned a 4,000-square-foot modified mid-century modern design, satisfying their desire for clean, open spaces that exude warmth and seamless indoor-outdoor living. Given Snell Isle’s location in Tampa Bay, it was also important that nearly every room have a view of the water.
An internet search led them to architect Phil Kean, president of Phil Kean Design Group in Winter Park. After meeting in person, the relationship was quickly cemented. “Within 20 minutes, we were ready to write him a check,” Jamie says.
Kean was responsible for the architecture as well as the interior detailing. The result is an uninterrupted design that flows from exterior to interior. Updated local code required that the new home be elevated five feet, but in place of steep steps to the entrance, visitors are greeted by a gradual series of risers leading to a peaceful courtyard with a calming water feature – before they even get to the front door. “This is a house you experience as you enter,” he explains.
The practical aspects of the home are cleverly placed. For auto enthusiast George (who recently retired from the company he founded, Paragon Water Systems), Kean designed a pair of two-car garages at the end of the one-story home. Positioned with side entrances and hidden from the street, the garages feature lifts that accommodate two additional cars, for a total of eight.
Jamie’s favorite space is her 480-sqaure-foot closet, with a 10-foot ceiling that includes a lounge area with a sofa and wet bar. “Sometimes my girlfriends come over and we sit and visit in the closet,” she laughs.
When it came to furnishing the rooms, Jamie turned to the firm that designed her townhome, Michelle Miller Design in Madeira Beach. Armed with a clean slate for a new design, Miller sourced all new furniture in predominantly cream and brown colors
Upholstered in plush, spill-proof fabrics. She describes the new design as “soft contemporary-glam,” and says that although the Lutiches are empty-nesters, they often entertain friends and family (all three of their grown children live within a mile) and want people to feel welcome and comfortable.
“There are no hard corners and nothing is stark white; it’s all soft, creamy colors with lots of texture and warm wood,” Miller says. Jamie specified furniture that could be lived on, so Miller installed durable performance fabric. “You could spill red wine and it won’t stain,” she says. Adds Jamie: “I’m not one to have works of art as furniture. I want everything to feel comfortable.”
With an eye for what’s new and different, Jamie doesn’t believe in a forever home. But for now, this is as close as it comes. “St. Petersburg is like a hidden gem,” she says, adding that although this home ticks all the boxes for entertaining, it also fits their intimate lifestyle as a couple. “Ultimately, we built this home for ourselves,” she says.