Fort Lauderdale Home Brings the Fun

Can creating a three-story, nearly 14,000-square-foot home—with complicated plans that call for a spa with a massage room, a theater, a rotating sportscar platform, and a separate guesthouse—end up being “unmitigated fun”? 

Ed Cannatelli of Cannatelli Builders says it can. His recent partnership with interior designer Michael Gray sparked a kind of “exuberant inspiration” for this spectacular Fort Lauderdale home set on a turn of the New River. “When the creators of a home are in sync, the whole project reflects that synergy,” Cannatelli says. 

“This was meant to be a drop-dead amazing house,” says Gray. “The owner’s vision was for it to be over-the-top—a celebrity house. And that became part of the fun.”

The house is filled with drool-worthy amenities. “On the top floor, we knew there would be a spa, but we said, ‘Why not turn it into a full wellness center,’” the designer says. Now, in addition to a domed skylight over an outdoor terrace, there’s a full gym, an infrared sauna, a steam room, a tanning booth, an 8-person jacuzzi, and a club room for post-work out relaxation.

This is a home of delights. From the wine display in the great room, to the bookmatched white marble of the wife’s bath, to the private study complete with a theater, the home is a buffet of pleasures from which to choose.

Say you’re feeling artistic. Immerse yourself in the art studio in the guest house. Or maybe you’re contemplative and simply want to regard something beautiful. One wall of the executive office is glass that looks onto a rotating platform where, in this case, your beloved McLaren sportscar is on full view.

Gray says that in any project, the owner’s personal passions give a home personality—in this case, right down to its soles. “I knew the owner had an extensive holding of collectible tennis shoes. We surely didn’t want them getting mixed up with everyday shoe wear,” Gray says. He created a special closet for the killer kicks collection. 

Downstairs, in the great room, a 30-foot marble-clad fireplace soars three floors high, illuminated by a wall of waterfront windows. With the focus directed upward, Gray wrapped the home’s towering support pillars and stair treads in walnut, and outlined its stacked ceilings with lighting. 

Beyond the home’s interiors, Gray also paid attention to exterior lighting, which can be programmed according to occasion or mood. Only steps from the downstairs gallery, the pool wraps around the home’s front and side, punctuated by the spa, a series of stepping stones, and shimmering fire bowls.

Canatelli and architect Stu Brenner say they have built “six or seven” homes together, and plan on doing other high-end residences. Gray, who often joins the team, agrees. “This is the third or fourth home for this couple, and there are two more in the works,” he says.

Because, it seems, when you’re having fun, you just don’t want it to stop.

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Michael Gray, Michael Gray Interiors, Dania Beach, FL

Architecture by Stuart Brenner, Brenner Architectural Group, Boca Raton, FL

Builder Edward Cannatelli, Cannatelli Builders Inc., Pompano Beach, FL

Landscape Architecture by PLA Design Studio, Boca Raton, FL

Text by Marina Brown

Photography by Jerry Rabinowitz, Greenacres, FL

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