Home Design: Urban Oasis – Tampa Magazine

Interior designers: Debra Akerblum, from Debra Akerblum Interiors
Architect: Tommy Lamb
Creator: New Homes
Landscaping: Landscaping LeBel

A short trip from downtown and Armature Works, Rob Akins and Tony Tarosky moved to Tampa Heights in 2019 to realize their urban, walkable lifestyle. However, their custom-built home has become a destination in itself with its pool-centric design and eclectic modern design.

“It’s definitely a great display of the way people stop and look at it,” says Tarowski, pointing to the green front door that sets the energetic mood.

The three-bedroom, two-bedroom, and one-and-a-half-bath urban oasis expands its space to 3,030 square feet. A long, rectangular pool intersects in the middle of the U-shaped floor plan, a mid-century modern feature that gives each room a view of the water.

The large room emphasizes natural light, and provides a direct view of the pool upon entry. The blush curved Donghia sofa and unique shiny Tom Dixon chandelier are standout pieces. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“It’s a great party house because you can open all the doors to the pool and the sun, and people can get in and out,” Akins says. “It has a beautiful flow to it.”

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

Louis Ghost chairs from Kartell help avoid cluttering the dining space. The bold golden highlight is another statement piece. Glass-panelled walls offer a view of the garden. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“Within the open space plan, we’ve created really interesting and engaging little articles,” Ackerbloom shares.

A fan favorite, the gorgeous room offers a picturesque space directly inside the front door that showcases the home’s signature piece, a chandelier made up of mirrored chrome pendants by English designer Tom Dixon. Suspended from an 18-foot ceiling, the windows at the top flood the room with natural light, as do the glass walls and doors right in front of it overlooking the pool. A lush curved sofa by Donghia creates a comfortable and luxurious seating area, paired with a hand-carved side chair.

The open concept ignores corridors to expand the entertainment space. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

“The sofa and chandelier are distinct pieces that instantly deliver on entry,” says Ackerbloom. Part of my job was finding collector pieces. Really, whatever we chose was a little unusual.”

The teal door pops up on the house and hints at the fun and liveliness of the interior. (Courtesy of William Horne Architectural Photography)

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

For the home’s color scheme, Ackerbloom started with natural, neutral hues, like calacatta gold-patterned porcelain floors and contrasting silver-wave marble counters.

This view from the large room shows the dining area and wine bar in the background. The owners recently added a children’s grand piano in Boston designed by Steinway & Sons. (Photo by Gabriel Burgos)

“All the tones rooted in the natural colors really bring an organic, open feel inside the home,” she says.

Ackerbloom had all of the interior walls painted a cool, neutral white so it wouldn’t compete with the materials, art, and accessories.

Each room in the house overlooks the long, rectangular pool around which the house is designed. Porcelain deck and lanai with marble tiles around the pool. These pool chairs are by Ledge Lounger. (Photo by Gabriel Burgos)

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

Harbor outdoor furniture exudes 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 a very happy, lively home full of good energy and suitable for anything.”

When they’re not at home hosting gatherings or relaxing with their cats, Derek, Dragon, Akins, and Taruski love to hike to the Tampa Riverwalk, Stras Center for the Performing Arts, and Rebar Works. Akins works in data analytics and is president of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Festival, while Taruski is retired from Citigroup, where he was director of resources.

cCheck out other breathtaking homes featured in TAMPA magazines here.