Home Design: Urban Oasis – Tampa Magazine

Home Design: Urban Oasis – Tampa MagazineInterior Designers: Debra Ackerbloom, of Debra Ackerbloom Interiors
Architect: Tommy Lamb
Builder: Neo Homes
Landscaping: LeBel Landscaping

A quick jaunt from downtown and Armature Works, Rob Akins and Tony Tarosky moved to Tampa Heights in 2019 to fulfill their walkable urban lifestyle. However, their custom-built home became a destination in itself with its pool-centric layout and modern, eclectic design.

“It’s definitely a showstopper the way people stop and gawk at it,” Tarosky says, noting the teal front door that sets the energetic mood.

The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom urban oasis maximizes its footprint of 3,030 square feet. A long, rectangular pool cuts through the middle of the U-shaped floor plan, a mid-century modern feature that gives every room a view of the water.

The great room emphasizes natural light, offering a straight-on view of the pool upon entry. The curved, blush Donghia sofa and unique, shiny chandelier by Tom Dixon are special statement pieces. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“It’s a great party house because you can open up all the doors onto the pool and lanai and people can go in and out,” Akins says. “It has a lovely flow to it.”

Interior designer Debra Ackerbloom, of Debra Ackerbloom Interiors, worked closely with the couple to bring the space to life, noting their priority to make it conducive to entertaining, whether for small gatherings or large parties.

Louis Ghost Chairs by Kartell help avoid crowding the dining space. The bold gold light is another statement piece. Glass-paneled walls give a view of the garden. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“Within the open-space plan we created intimate vignettes that are really interesting and inviting,” Ackerbloom shares.

The fan favorite, the great room provides a breathtaking space just inside the front door that showcases the house’s signature piece of art, a chandelier made up of reflective chrome pendants by English designer Tom Dixon. It hangs from an 18-foot ceiling, where windows at the top flood the room with natural light, as do the glass walls and doors straight ahead looking onto the pool. The blush, curved couch by Donghia creates a cozy, yet luxurious seating area, paired with a hand-molded sculptural side chair.

An open concept forgoes hallways to maximize space for entertaining. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“The sofa and chandelier are statement pieces that provide an immediate pop upon entry,” Ackerbloom says. “Part of my job was to find collectors’ pieces. Really, everything that we chose was a bit unusual.”

The teal door pops against the house and hints at the fun, energetic interior. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

Other examples include abstract paintings and mirrors with thick, textured gold borders.

As for the home’s color scheme, Ackerbloom started with natural, neutral colors, such as the calacatta gold-patterned porcelain floors and contrasting silver wave marble counters.

This view from the great room shows the dining area and wine bar in the background. The owners recently added a Boston baby grand piano by Steinway & Sons. (Photography by Gabriel Burgos)

“All of the tones being rooted in natural colors really lent for an open, organic feeling within the home,” she says.

Ackerbloom had all of the interior walls painted a quiet, neutral white so as not to compete with the materials, art and accessories.

Every room in the house looks out onto the long, rectangular pool, which the house was designed around. The deck and lanai are porcelain with marble coping tile around the pool. These pool chairs are by Ledge Lounger. (Photography by Gabriel Burgos)

Akins describes the finished product as mid-century modern Renaissance with contemporary furnishings and gold fixtures, inspired in part by their European travels.

Outdoor furniture by Harbour gives a clean, modern feel. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“We went for a bolder look and wanted to have fun with it,” Akins says. “It’s an extremely happy, lively house that’s full of good energy and up for anything.”

When they’re not home hosting gatherings or relaxing with their cats, Derrick and Dragon, Akins and Tarosky love strolling to the Tampa Riverwalk, Straz Center for the Performing Arts and Armature Works. Akins works in data analytics and is president of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, while Tarosky is retired from Citigroup, where he was a sourcing manager.

Check out other breathtaking homes featured in TAMPA Magazines here.