What else is a home than a blank canvas—a tabula rasa to be filled and molded, capturing the life of its inhabitants? Modern design can bring these stylistic quirks and tastes out in abundance, as white walls and pared-down structures beg to be filled and humanized, the still, cerulean pools holding open arms up toward a cannonball splash. The architecture of Guy Peterson can be clearly identified around town, with his signature white and Bauhausian simplicity lending an aura of excited mystery about the people inside. Of his work, passers-by may wonder, “What do those ivory towers contain? What is underneath the minimalist exterior?”

PHOTO BY RYAN GAMMA.

In the case of Peterson’s Robinson House, the answer is: pop art. And lots of it. At first glance, the outside of the home is startling in its lack of landscaping—a sea of white shells surrounds the planar house, with only a few tall palms and low-lying fronds letting slip the Technicolor palette within. “The whole idea of no landscaping was something the owner was very interested in,” says Peterson. “People just define parking by the palm trees. We kept it very minimal and natural.” Standing at the helm of the property, the eye rests first on the midline, the glass on either side of the entry breezeway showing the courtyard beyond, the placid lap pool glittering while white loungers look on to an elevated Buddha perched atop a serene fountain. To the left, an almost dusty rose nude square rises up from the initial height. To the right, a low concrete wall sits a few feet away from the house proper, connected by an eggshell blue mini wall, signaling an open-air nook concealed from the uninvited.

PHOTO BY RYAN GAMMA.

Constructed in the shape of a squared-off horseshoe with the diving pool in the middle, the interior was left monolithic, light and airy, leaving ample blank space for the owner to display his extensive collection of post-modern art. “For the whole project, we had to keep in mind the owner wanted a place where he could feature his artwork,” says Peterson. When standing in either leg of the home, the floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow for a direct view through the courtyard to the other leg, in turn showcasing the prints hanging on the opposite walls. Just as the owner wanted it, all you see is art.

PHOTO BY RYAN GAMMA.

Upon entering the home, a four-foot tall painting of Jim Morrison’s mug shot stares enigmatically out at you from one end of the hallway that connects the U legs. At the other end, an oversized red-and-purple take on Lichtenstein’s In the Car; instead of the iconic text bubble, Chinese artist Wang Ziwei inserts the figure of Communist icon Mao Zedong. Warhol’s women and Keith Haring’s multicolored stick people line the walls throughout the house, alongside a gun-wielding baby enshrined in indigo glitter, Santa Muerte-esque skulls and a globular Mickey Mouse.

PHOTO BY RYAN GAMMA.

After extensive planning and sketching, Peterson took the existing bones of the house and built upon them. “The idea came to reinvent this house and make it more modern and livable,” he says. “It was always a U-shaped house around the pool. But, there was no sense of entry, only a one-car garage and the bedroom side was very odd and constructed as a rail road.” As a non-conforming house, the renovation had to be done in phases, in this case two—the right hand leg of the home, holding the master bed and bath, office/second master bed and guest bedroom and bath borrowed space from the pool deck, creating a hallway by which to glide along the expanse of the rooms without each being exposed. On the left hand leg, the kitchen was doubled in size within and a barbecue pit and spa were added on the exterior.

One of the most substantial changes to the overall structure came in the form of the existing A-line, pitched ceiling over the living room—reminiscent more of a beachy cottage than manicured modern, the pecky cypress was laid in by the owner himself during his first remodel years ago. “The living room has the gabled ceilings and you could see it from the outside like a pyramid,” says Peterson. “It kind of dated the structure. So we sliced all the overhangs off and built a volume around that pyramid.” Now, from the outside of the house, a block form surrounds the peaked ceiling, hiding the interior shape, now painted bright white to match the rest of the surrounds. That outside block inspired the other mirror images, one behind it over the now two-car garage and one on the opposite side of the U, each exactly proportionate to the house’s walls, playing off each other at different heights and lengths. “Now the house is a horizontal piece with these gauged volumes that penetrate through,” says Peterson.

One of the largest lots in Lido Shores, previously unused space has been allocated and transformed into small patios, some for dwelling, others for enhancing aesthetics. At the foot of the dining room, a rectangle has been cut out a few feet above the floor—at night, a changing color LED light shines over a short waterfall outside; light drifts through into the house from the ground-level window and ripples up from the reflecting pond onto the side of the house. The little quad seen jutting out from the front of the house in actuality serves as a quiet reading nook off of the master bedroom, with a two-seat set and an orange tea table popping out against the raw concrete wall. With landscaping that will eventually grow tall enough to shade the corner of the alcove, the only opening lies in the form of a narrow slit in the concrete towards the right edge, adding a sculptural (and aerodynamic) aspect to the space, a design element found dispersed around the house in other areas—a low-lying reveal here to let LED light shine through at night; a tall and skinny cranny window there looking toward the street over the shell drive. “These are just interesting view pieces,” says Peterson. “There are little surprises all over the house—if you didn’t do it no one would ever miss it, but if you do it, no one will ever forget it.”