A home’s personality and charm evolves over time, its character cultivated, refined and redefined. Detail by detail, it transforms into a reflection of the people who live there. Debby and Glenn Angelino hope to do just that with their vacation home and rental property, Aquabella. Nestled among the mangroves at the end of a canal on Anna Maria Island’s Holmes Beach, idyllic island life meets mid-century modern.

PHOTOS BY GENE POLLUX.

Built in 1957, the home was designed by architect Tim Seibert, who helped found the Sarasota School of Architecture, a modern movement that blurred the distinction between the indoors and outdoors and accommodated the lifestyle and subtropical climate of Southwest Florida. Hoping to find a cozy beach cottage, the Angelinos looked at several homes, but became less hopeful when none were quite right. 

However, destiny caught up with the Des Moines, Iowa couple when they first toured Aquabella. “It was nothing like we had envisioned ourselves,” Debby says. “But we walked in the door and knew it was the house we wanted the minute we stepped inside.” The home was named one of the Idea Homes of the Year in a 1958 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, which is published by the Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. “It just felt like the stars were aligning,” Debby says. Glenn, a golf enthusiast, was also excited to learn the home’s previous owner was professional golfer and analyst Paul Azinger. 

The minimalist and serene structure evokes mid-century elements with its floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed beams, open floor plan and strong horizontal geometry. The living space wraps around a 700-square-foot lanai, opening up to a breathtaking view of the canal framed by black, red and white mangroves with the occasional yellow-crowned night or blue heron perched on the deck. Surrounded by bamboo trees and other lush vegetation, the home feels secluded while resonating quiet simplicity. Debby and Glenn have plans to make more changes to the home, including redesigning the kitchen and lanai and adding an outdoor shower. While the couple owns other rental properties, the Angelinos consider Aquabella a second home, and hope others staying there feel the same. “The comments from everyone who stayed there have been so positive and they’ve all kind of fallen in love with it too,” Debby remarks.