Casey Key Project Featured in April Sarasota Magazine

Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. was happy to be included in the April 2013 issue of Sarasota Magazine for a project we designed and installed on Casey Key. The full text of the article follows in its entirety.

The project: An older ranch-style residence set between the road and bay on a Casey Key Gulf-to-bay property. “This is the winter home of a single retired woman who has a lot of cool art inside,” says Gilkey. “She’d done a lot of renovation inside, and now she wanted to bring the ‘cool’ outside, too.”

The concept: “The arrival is very important to us, so we recreated a dune system in the front yard with clean beach sand and sea oats to make it feel like you’re walking through the beach to enter the house,” says Gilkey. To further the beach resort feel, he added 20 cabbage palms to the nearly 50 already on-site.

Foliage choices: The key is working with what’s already there, says Gilkey. In this case, he kept the vivid poolside royal poinciana and mature screw pines, and—in a nod to the caustic Gulf of Mexico environment—added beach-friendly plants like dune sunflower, silver buttonwood, Indian hawthorn, carissa, crown of thorns, kalanchoe, and bromeliads in front and back “to add a sculptural quality.”

The focal point: Gilkey designed an art-glass sculpture to replace the maintenance-heavy fountain in the front yard. (It was fabricated by his sister-in-law, Sarah Hines of Somewhere Glassworks.) “It’s my interpretation of Gulf sunsets, with waves rolling across the sand picking up the sunset tones,” he says. “We used art glass to echo the reflective quality of water.” The sculpture is lit at night with fiber optics.

The reaction: “You’re only finished with a project if your client loves it,” says Gilkey. “The homeowner told me—what do the kids say these days?—‘it’s off the chain.’”