ABOUT THE HOUSE
Address: Smokehouse Bay, Marco Island
Architect: Frank LoPonte
Builder: Irv Povlow
Interior designer: Jackie Chappell
Outside designer: Squares
Date of completion: 2008
Square feet: 4,800
Irv and Beth Povlow’s spacious, multileveled home echoes the majesty of its cathedral ceiling: their foyer/great room rises to an impressive height of 24 feet, with tall columns mirroring those at the entryway. The entire house is similarly grand in scale, and customized carefully to its owners’ needs.
The couple bought the house on Smokehouse Bay years ago, but waited to raze it until the Esplanade was complete. “We love the view across the water,” explains Beth, “and we were willing to wait.”
In Pennsylvania, before relocating to Marco, Beth compiled a six-page wish list, outlining her ideal home, and presented it to architect Frank LoPonte before construction began. It was an effort LoPonte said he appreciated and wishes all his clients would make.
The home’s exterior is finished in golden beige, setting the tone for the interior color palette. Graceful columns rise above marble steps at the entry and in the foyer, given more grandeur by a large chandelier. Tile flooring encompasses a dramatic, inlaid medallion in more beige and cream tones. To one side is a wide, stone-topped credenza and mirror.
To the right is the spacious dining area, with burgundy-and-gold upholstered parson’s chairs that will, after the final chairs arrive, seat 12 in comfort. The furniture is dark mahogany and the crystal chandelier above the table completes the elegant look of the room.
Straight ahead, in the great room, oversized, gold-toned sofas, accented with red pillows, face Smokehouse Bay. A large cocktail table sits on a deep rose-and-blue Oriental rug.
“We picked the table from a catalog,” explains Beth. “Then, we were in Estero at the International (now Miromar) Design Center with our designer, Jackie Chappell, from Philadelphia, and saw the table. Irv immediately said he wanted it in the living room, and the two of us burst out laughing, because we had already ordered it.”
The cocktail table is round and low, framed in dark carved wood and topped with glass.
Across the room sit two medieval-style chairs, with tapestry seats and crossed legs. Because the chairs are backless, the view across to the Esplanade is unimpeded. The house is totally oriented to the water — almost every room was designed to take advantage of the breathtaking views. A large media room with comfortable, reclining seats that provide an unobstructed view of the 100-inch screen on which the Povlows watch television or movies. Recessed spotlights overhead can be dimmed to the desired degree of intimacy.
Artwork is displayed throughout the home. Near the media room entrance is Irv’s favorite, a large welded sculpture, “Guitar Girl.” Artists J.J. Stinchcomb and Stephen Muldoon were engaged to enhance the interiors, covering almost every wall with faux effects in gold. The Pavlows also own several canvases by Muldoon, ranging from lush tropical abstracts to larger, more realistic scenes.
Chappell’s family furnished the window treatments in the home, including translucent shades that let in light but maintain privacy and swags across wide expanses of glass, tailored to center on each pane. Fanlights over many windows admit even more light.
Beyond the media room and facing the bay is the master suite, in muted, faux-painted olive walls. Beige carpeting sets off a brown bedspread, accented with pillows in olive, red and gold. The wood here is cherry, with a dresser and highboy purchased when the couple first married. Opposite the bed is a large mirror that turns into a television screen at the touch of a switch.
The master bath features an antique footed tub, but also modern “his and hers” showers, with body sprays. Granite vanities face each other on opposite walls so each has a private space.
“I’m neat, and Irv isn’t,” Beth claims, laughing.
The couple designed the etched glass shower door, which was executed by a local glassmaker. There’s also a small pool bath and counters in onyx, which is repeated in shower and floor details.
An elaborate mahogany bar anchors the left side of the great room, and at the opposite end is the 21st-century kitchen, with a gas range, built-in steamer, two ovens and two dishwashers — a chef’s dream. The cherry cabinetry with marble tops includes an efficient island for storage and informal meals.
“The pantry lost a few square feet when we added the elevator,” admits Irv, “but it’s still quite adequate.”
The elevator was an afterthought, added after Irv had to undergo knee surgery. After years of tennis that earned him a large collection of trophies, his knee finally gave out, he says. Ask him what he does in retirement, and the answer is surprising.
“I’m not retired,” he states. “I’ve been in real estate for years — investments, acquisitions, rehab work of all kinds — industrial, commercial, domestic. I was the contractor for this house. I also work for Rotary and have served on committees for the city, and will soon be president of the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island.”
Take the elevator up to the second level and you’ll find an office/guest room where Irv can do all his work. It has space for two desks, so both the Povlows use it, and not surprisingly, it offers one of the more spectacular bay views. Cross what Beth calls the mezzanine at the rear overlooking the living room, with its comfortable chairs for watching boats, and you arrive at the guest room. It is decorated with a faux painted fleur-de-lis, and again, features ample windows facing the water.
“We really built this home to take advantage of the peaceful bay views,” says Beth, “and we couldn’t be happier with it. It was worth the wait.”