Empty nesters create the perfect place to entertain on Lake Lotawana

Photography by Matthew Anderson

When Roger and Katie Accurso decided it was time to downsize, they didn’t think they would find the perfect spot to build their new home just a few doors down from their old place. But they did.

“It’s literally four doors down,” Katie says of their Lake Lotawana home. The Accursos knew they wanted their new home to be a complete design and style departure from their old residence, especially since they were so close. “We were ready for something completely different, not just a smaller version of our old home,” Katie says. Although their kids are out of the house, there is still lots of activity with grandkids, family and friends.

The Accursos’ former home used dark woods and had a more Italian-esque feel, Katie says. “Almost a little cabin-y.” To make the transition from old to new, the Accursos enlisted the help of interior designer Kendra Miner of Evolve Interiors and builder Starr Homes.

Their new home sticks to a color palette of primarily white and black with splashes of gold. “We went bold,” Katie says. “It is definitely more of a stretch, more out of our comfort zone. We made very bold choices and I love it. We like the modern look.” 

On a bluff
Photography by Matthew Anderson

Everything about the Accursos’ house is built with ease in mind. It sits on top of a bluff facing west, overlooking the lake. The main living areas and kitchen, including the primary suite, are on the first level, opening to a lanai and swimming pool—no need to trek downstairs to enjoy the amenities. The party is all on one level.

Photography by Matthew Anderson

The blazing-red double front doors are sure to let the neighborhood know where the party is. With the home’s color foundation of black and white, it seemed only fitting that bright-red statement-making doors welcome the world into their home, Katie says.

The doors’ chevron pattern was highlighted by covering the red paint with a black glaze, Miner says.

Bold and the beautiful
Photography by Matthew Anderson

Despite the dramatic use of black and white quartz and bold fixtures, this kitchen is actually quite functional, Miner says. It was designed to “easily entertain,” and there’s a place for everything. 

The bold choices in material create the perfect backdrop for an amazing party, and the kitchen’s functionality makes hosting a breeze. For example, the kitchen is right next to the outdoor grill for easy access, and the grill leads directly to the pool overlooking the lake. Inside, hidden from view, is a pantry and a prep space with a dishwasher where lots of messy meal prep work can occur. 

A large piece of black and white quartz was chosen to create the kitchen island, and Minor duplicated those colors throughout the space, using pops of gold as accents. “They really designed this house for family and friends,” Miner says.

Go bold or go home
Photography by Matthew Anderson

The powder room looks as if it belongs in a boutique hipster hotel, with its towering wall of classic black and white tiles set in a modern pattern. Miner decided to float a floor-to-ceiling mirror and backlight in front of the tile wall and behind the vanity to create a stunning focal point.

Walk-in bar
Photography by Matthew Anderson

A room with a wall of glass serves as a walk-in bar and is visible to folks entering the Accursos’ home. It’s close in proximity to the kitchen but separate at the same time.

“I wanted it separate from the kitchen,” Katie says. “I had it as part of the kitchen before, and everyone would hang in that one spot.”Katie wants people to mingle a bit more, to walk away from the kitchen. She says it’s working.

Miner used mirrored tiles in the bar as a backsplash, adding to the glitz.

A room with a view 
Photography by Matthew Anderson

The primary bedroom is a study in neutrality, a slight departure from the bolder choices in the rest of the house. It seamlessly blends with the main rooms but feels more like a private retreat. 

A softer teak wood floor was used along with textured wallpaper. The masculine fabric headboard looks like a piece of contemporary art and is from Bernhardt. A swivel chair was placed by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Layered living
Photography by Matthew Anderson

With a long fireplace hearth perfect for sitting by the fire and a custom-made “cracked” cement coffee table, the main living area has plenty of conversation pieces and places to have them.

“We really were looking for a space that was comfortable, inviting and a great place to be with our family and friends,” Katie says. “I saw several pictures of coffee tables similar to this on Pinterest, and I wanted something similar.” She showed the inspirational images to Seth Taylor of Concrete Designs, and he went to work. The tables can be pushed together and pulled apart.  

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