Our Favorite Ways To Incorporate Matte Black Finishes

Black home finishes are on trend, and not just for Halloween this year.  Blending black finishes with your current color palette may sound intimidating but this bold neutral goes with almost everything and makes a beautiful statement when done right. Most importantly, black finishes add character, contrast and depth to a space. Still skeptical? We scoured the internet to share with you how others are using black decor in their homes.

1.Light fixtures

When it comes to light fixtures, you can blend in or stand out depending on scale and finish. These over-sized shades in matte black add the perfect touch of sophistication and contrast to this bright white kitchen.  Sure, a chrome or champagne finish would work here too, but this is a bold statement that we love.

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2. Hardware

From cabinets to barn doors there’s something so chic about black hardware that seems to always works effortlessly with any palette. Whether you’re a fan of rustic stains, fifty shades of white, or bold hues, the combinations are endless when it comes to matte black hardware.

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3. Plumbing Fixtures

When we attended the builder show in Orlando last we were surprised to see so many bold sinks and faucets. Now matte black faucets aren’t as shocking but if you’re still weary, start small. Perhaps try a bold faucet in your outdoor kitchen or guest shower. One rule of thumb we like to stick to is, make sure to keep it consistent within the space. If you have more than one faucet in your kitchen for example, stick with the same finish. If you’re doing shower fixtures, carry the same finish to the vanity with a black faucet. The other finishes can contrast including light fixtures, hardware etc.

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Although black finishes are on trend now, they may not be years from now. We always recommend incorporating fun trends in a way where you can easily revise later. Committing to a black pendant for example isn’t forever  and if you decide next year you’re into chrome pendants it’s an easy swap. That’s the beauty of home design, trends are on a forever loop. Now we have to ask, if you were to incorporate matte black into your home, where would you use it?



How to Select a Freestanding Tub

From traditional claw foot to sleek and modern , freestanding tubs have become a master bath must-have. More than just a soothing bubble bath, freestanding tubs are a bathroom focal point, almost like a piece of art. Here’s what you need to know about freestanding tubs, along with three of our favorite styles.

Slipper Tub 

Sleek, simple and usually made of light weight acrylic, the slipper tub is a fan favorite. From rectangular, square and oval, a one piece slipper tub can compliment any design aesthetic. Depending on size, and accessories these tubs start at $1,000.


Claw foot Tub

Popular since the 19th century, the claw foot tub is a classic bathroom fixture that’s here to stay. This timeless tub can be incorporated in modern or traditional spaces. Go all white for a clean look, or opt for metallic feet for a glamours feel. This tub is traditionally made of cast iron, a heavy metal. Depending on size, and accessories these tubs start at $1,300.


Stone Tub

Polished marble, chiseled granite and smooth travertine are a few natural stones manufacturers are using to construct these magnificent tubs. With an average weight of around 2,000 lbs it’s almost 7x heavier than a standard cast iron tub, but dare we say it’s 7x more beautiful than a standard tub? Depending on size, and material stone tub price ranges vary greatly from $2,500-$12,000.


Choose a tub that best matches your design aesthetic and personality. Consider how you’ll use it. Do you prefer jets or a simple soaking tub? Do you like the look of a floor mounted, wall mounted or ceiling mounted tub filler? Are you traditional, transitional or modern? These are all things to consider when you’re shopping for a tub, but most importantly go with your gut.

Mix It Up: How To Use Mixed Metals In Your Home

When it comes to metal finishes there are lots of options. Who says you have to match? Incorporating different finishes to a space is unexpected and adds interest. The only rule we abide by is making sure our finishes either match or don’t. There can be no in between, otherwise it looks like you missed the mark. To help you get going, here are a few tips to keep in mind when mixing your metals.

  1. Find inspiration

Getting inspired has never been so easy.  Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest are our go-to search tools for home design inspiration. See what’s trending, and how designers, builders and homeowners alike are designing their new spaces.



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2. Balance is key

Mix no more than 2-3 metals per space. Showcase your dominant finish in a larger format area such as cabinet hardware. Use contrasting metals in smaller areas such as the faucets and or light fixtures.

Pro tip: group your finishes. For example all light fixtures should be one finish, all cabinet hardware should be one finish, and all faucets should be one finish.


3. Match or Contrast

There’s nothing worse than missing the finish mark when it comes to metals. No one wants to see hardware and fixtures that almost match. Stick to this rule: contrasting finishes or matching finishes, there’s no in between.

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Aqua Custom Homes

Top 5 Marco Island Restaurants

If we’re not talking real estate we’re probably talking food. However, we admit we’re quite picky when it comes to dining out and we definitely take note when restaurants go above and beyond to craft amazing dishes with quality ingredients. For many years, Marco Island had limited options in the food department so you had to make the trek to Naples if you wanted something other than a friend grouper sandwich. However, times are a changing and as our community continues to grow and evolve so does the demand for more high quality food. Here are a few of our favorites right now!

Quinn’s on the Beach

This place has been around forever, but Quinn’s recently got a menu face lift. If you’ve visited Marco Island recently, you’ve seen the complete overhaul happening at the new JW Marriott. Quinn’s on the Beach, a Marco Island staple known for it’s casual dining and island charm is still the place we know and love but with better food. They revamped their menu to include trendy dishes like watermelon arugula salad, rock shrimp ceviche, and grapefruit elder flower margaritas. YUM! If you’re like us, you’ll want to hang out here all day, plus the beachfront view isn’t half bad either!

Leebe Fish Inc 

Perfect for a quick lunch, this quaint little place is located in the colorful shops of Olde Marco. With their own fishing boats Leebe Fish Inc. is able to offer super fresh local fish daily to it’s customers. The best part is, you can completely customize your order. First choose your desired protein, then select how it’s prepared ( grilled, blackened or fried) and lastly the vessel it comes in (sandwich, taco or island platter). We simply love this local gem!

Davide Italian Cafe

This small restaurant located across from town center is the perfect spot to enjoy old fashion Italian comfort food. From lasagna and pizza to beef carpaccio and paninis, Davide’s has so many great options. Quick tip: if you have a gluten allergy or simply don’t do wheat flour, their gluten free thin crust pizza is to die for. And we’re from Chicago, we know thin crust!

Fin Bistro

We have always been fans of Fin Bistro, not only because the food is phenomenal, fresh, and creative but also for the people. Kathy the owner is so accommodating, and server Dean always takes good care of us during our meal. We can’t say enough good things about this place, we highly recommend it. Some of our favorite dishes are the almond crusted hog fish, panko herb crusted yellow tail snapper, and Caribbean spiny lobster. Is your mouth watering yet?

Sal e Pepe

This upscale restaurant is located in the Ocean Beach Resort, a stunning hotel right on Crescent beach. Sal e Pepe is situated on a large terrace where you can enjoy sunset views while listening to the relaxing waves as you dine on homemade pasta.


Photo by 10best.com

Let us know what you think of our Marco Island restaurant recommendations in the comments.



Marco Island Lot Buying

It’s fair to say that finding a desirable waterfront lot on Marco Island is more challenging today than it was 30 years ago. Less inventory paired with property owners that aren’t in a rush to sell make it hard for incoming buyers to invest. Perhaps you already own property in the area or you stumbled upon this blog post because you’re doing research. Either way, before you buy ask yourself a few simple questions.


  1. What is my desired exposure? This is a personal choice, howevermore often than not buyers prefer south, southwest, or western sun exposure. This means your lanai and pool will have sun most of the day. Western facing lots will also have the same sun exposure plus most importantly sunset views in the evenings which is the ultimate perk to living here on the gulf coast.
  2. Do I want direct or indirect access? If you’re a boater or you want to increase the value of your property you may want to consider a direct access lot to set your property apart. This also means you’re not restricted on the height of the vessel you keep behind your house because there are no bridges from your dock to the Gulf.
  3. How many feet on the water do I need? This depends on what size house you plan to build on your lot. On Marco Island, lot sizes are only so big unless you’re looking in the estates. In general we recommend finding a lot that’s a minimum of 100 feet deep x 110 feet wide to fit an appropriate size waterfront home.
  4. Where do I want to be located? Marco Island is only 6 miles long by 4 miles wide. Like any city there are areas that are more desirable than others, although almost all of Marco is pristine. Is it important for you to be able to walk to the beach, restaurants and bars? Do you care more about fishing and boating access? Do you want to be in a gated community? Do you want a larger plot of land? These are questions you’ll want to ask yourself to determine the best location for you.

Finding the right lot may take time, but with focus and local knowledge you’ll be more confident in your final decision.


Realtor Recommendations:

Lisa Bushnell, REMAX Affinity Plus                                    

239-250-7653, lisa@lisabushnell.com


Ashley Kime, Naples Pro Realty

239-682-9995, ashley@naplesprorealty.com 


Light Up Your Outdoor Space

Locals would agree that the lanai is where we spend most of our time. Whether you enjoy a good book, entertaining friends and family or simply admiring the view you’re probably doing it out back. As a builder we recognize both the functionality and design elements necessary when creating the ultimate outdoor space. Here’s a few outdoor fire features we can’t get enough of right now.

Outdoor Fireplace

We’re changing up the old standby fireplace by enlarging the opening and using different materials to create a more authentic look. As you can imagine a fireplace in Florida doesn’t get much use year round, but it makes for a fun accent wall for your guests to enjoy.



Fire and water bowls are the hottest way to light up your lanai! From hammered copper to sleek cement bowls there are a number of colors and finishes to pick from. One thing is certain, the right fire features can transform an average lanai into the ultimate entertaining space.

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Gas Lanterns

Gas lanterns are back in a big way! After seeing these handcrafted fixtures at the Builder Show in Orlando we couldn’t wait to use them in our next project. The amazing thing about these handmade lanterns is that you can incorporate them into any space such as a front entry, rear lanai, or even in your kitchen the options are endless. If you’re looking to add authentic charm to your home, this is it.

gas lanternsPhoto cred: Chipper Hatter Architect

Which fire features do you love to see in a home? Share your comments below!

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5 Woodwork Home Design Ideas

From hand milled staircases and 12′ tall solid mahogany doors to over sized cypress brackets and walnut beams, you’ll quickly notice we don’t skimp on quality here at Aqua Construction. With a focus on using quality materials and skillful craftsmanship we’re able to provide a quality and truly custom product to our customers. Here are five ways we’re incorporating woodwork at our projects under construction right now.

Shiplap Feature Wall

Traditionally used for cladding, shiplap can be re-purposed to add texture to bare walls for less cost than traditional paneling. Typically made of pine, shiplap can be painted or stained offering plenty of versatility. Being on Marco Island, most of our customers opt to paint shiplap white for a clean coastal look, while stain might give you a rich masculine feel.

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Cypress Corbels & Brackets

West Indies and coastal design are two influences you’ll often see in an Aqua Construction home. Incorporating cypress corbels and brackets add texture, warmth and dimension to the exterior of the home. Did you know exposed corbels and brackets use to serve a purpose larger than decorative? They actually held the structure together much like trusses do in construction today!

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Walnut Ceiling Beams

Kick it up a notch with walnut. This hardwood has a stunning richness about it that you can’t deny, ranging in color from light to deep dark brown depending on which part of the tree it comes from. Walnut is an extremely tough wood used often in furniture making, staircases, and cabinetry too. Although pricey, walnut is unique in color, resilient to humidity, and resistant to shrinking and swelling which make it a fantastic material to use in a humid climate like southwest Florida.

Oak Staircase

One thing we’re known for is our hand milled staircases. Before Aqua Construction came to be, we started out in the stair business. With years of building stairs under our belt, we are now able to offer our customers a truly custom, hand milled staircase. No matter what you style we can customize just about anything for you.

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Mahogany Entry Door

We believe first impressions last a lifetime, which is why selecting a front door for your home is so important. Our standard 12′ tall solid mahogany entry doors are Miami Dade rated but also designed with quality and aesthetics in mind. From louvered panels and chinchilla glass to eclipse arch details the customization’s are endless.

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