A French-influenced, extravagant home in Pablo Creek Reserve that draws from hundreds of years of inspiration has just recently been placed on the market.
Currently owned by Nicholas Eklund, a real estate agent at First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty from Minnesota, and his partner Dr. Josep Genebriera, a local dermatologist from Barcelona, Spain, the 7,630-square-foot house is located at 5396 Bent Pine Cove Road. According to Eklund, who designed the house, what makes it special is the fact that it brings together the old with the new.
“Probably the most unique aspect of the house is the merging of everything from 17th century furniture up to a kitchen that was inspired by the most modern German kitchens,” he says.
Eklund and Genebriera, who live in the home with their four children, both enjoy traveling and have an affinity to France. The couple also loves modern design, while Eklund, in particular, has a passion for antiques. The house reflects those combined interests, resulting in what Eklund describes as a “baroque modern feel.”
Walking through the home, you see this blend with design elements such as the ornate crown moldings on the ceilings and squared off 12-foot baseboards. Other unique features include the white and gold bathroom that draws from the design work of Jonathan Adler, and the gold tile wall in the master bedroom. In addition, the house’s powder bath is progressive into the room with a sink, and upon opening a set of double doors, there’s a toilet that “floats” in the middle of the room.
“It’s supposed to be that conversation piece,” Eklund says. “Something fun and whimsical.”
Eklund has collected several antiques over the years that are found throughout the house. Next to the grand piano, which was built for Julie Andrews, sits a Russian Empire malachite table with a dore and ebonized bronze base. Most of the antique mirrors throughout the house are gilt French mirrors dating from the late 1700s to early 1800s. The oldest piece of art in the home is by Marco Basaiti and was painted somewhere between 1470 and 1535, says Eklund.
The office is currently home to a variety of Japanese and Chinese porcelains. According to Eklund, several of them are from a Japanese potter named Makuzu Kozan, who was the potter to the Japanese Imperial Court during the Meiji Period. Yet at the same time, modern art is seen with a Swarovski pointage set dragon sitting behind Eklund’s desk that is handset with over 63,000 crystals of varying shades.
Overall, the house features five bedrooms but was designed so there can be seven; the theater room and game room can both be converted into bedrooms. Every bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and closets, and the house also includes three additional bathrooms. A gym, office, dining room, great room, garage, pool and walk through closets are among the other features.
The house is listed for $3.5 million, and although Eklund is ready to move onto their next home and project, this one will always have a special place in his heart.
“A home like this is built to enjoy it,” he says. “You do it because every day you go into this room, you want to look on the art on the wall, look around you and smile.”