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Long Beach Magazine | Simonson / Manwaring Home
July 1, 2009

Comfy and Cozy

Sigrid Simonson and Bob Manwaring are trendsetters. The couple purchased their Naples home in 2000 and lived modestly in a 670 square-foot stucco cottage for four years. When the time came for a remodel, friends and neighbors assumed they would do what has become commonplace in Naples - a massive overhaul. They were wrong

The duo tore down the existing house to dirt and built a 1,200 square-foot one-story casual beach home. It includes two bathrooms, a master bedroom, a free-flowing kitchen and living room, along with a captain's berth that transforms from Bob's office into a guest room when company is in town. With grown children living out of the house and merely themselves and cats Dot and Tugboat to care for, the duo opted for simplicity to maintain a youthful energy.

"It's unfussy and very livable," Simonson says. "I've never had what i consider a grown-up house, the kind that has tapestry and is very ornate. That seems foreign to me. I've never felt that grown up."

To maximize space, the pair added a built-in pantry and nine-foot cupboards in the kitchen, with integrated pocket doors connecting the kitchen to the captain's berth.

It has an attached two car garage (the previous garage was detached). The ceilings are lifted to 14.5 feet to give the impression of more aerial space, with four incorporated skylights. A Dutch door was used for the entrance, with adjacent french doors to allow a free flow through the living room and front yard patio. The couple also raised the home's foundation 27 inches to add privacy to the living room and kitchen areas.

Although Simonson does not describe herself as a "beach person", the family's proximity to the water played a major role in the aesthetic of the house. Found throughout the home is a nautical motif, punctuated by fishing lures, glass jars containing sea shells, starfish, an antique life ring and vintage floats. The only thing missing from this design element is perhaps the most obvious of them all.

"It's been my goal to do a nautical beach feel without (the color) blue," Simonson says. "I don't know why, except that it's cliche. You always need navy and white for a nautical theme. I did more of a black and tan scheme with red accents."

Simonson spent more than three decades as an active sportswear designer and currently works as a creative director for a home furnishings company. Her affinity for artistic outlets not only helped with the remodel, but continues to influence the items that grace the walls of her home. The 56-year-old enjoys shopping at flea markets, but says one of the most important aspects she learned from her career as a designer was the editing process.

"If i see something I'm dying to by," Simonson says, "I have to take into account that i have to get rid of something to bring it home. I don't like clutter, and I transfer things in and out when I get tired of them, but I don't add more."

With two children in their early 30's, the possibility of needing more space for grandchildren has crossed the couple's mind. To remedy this potential situation, a second story addition above the garage is possible, if necessary. But until then, Simonson says she's more than happy with her humble abode.

"Everything has worked out amazingly well," Simonson says. "We entertain a lot, and we've got wonderful neighbors on both sides. We don't have privacy or noise issues at all. It's perfect for us."

design by Jeannette Architects

Complete Article / more pictures | PDF

See Project Dot Photos here

Article written by Ryan Ritchie for Long Beach Magazine, July 2009