Well of Inspiration – Space Coast Living Magazine

Bordered by the Banana River and Indian River, every room in real estate agent Kirk Kessel’s dream home on South Tropical Trail offers plenty of water views. ALEX SERRAO PHOTOS

Homeowner leverages his wealth of knowledge as a real estate agent to create his dream home

Kirk Kessel of Carpenter/Kessel Compass Real Estate

Kirk Kessel of Carpenter/Kessel Compass Real Estate in Indian Harbor Beach drew on his extensive knowledge when building his home.

Too bad the real estate agent who specializes in high end properties. These poor souls regularly explore some of the latest and greatest home trends. On a daily basis, they bravely encounter drooling kitchens and face mile-long spa bathrooms that no mortal would ever want to leave. They are acutely aware of a cornucopia of creature comforts.

How can they come to work every morning to deal with such hard work, such opportunities for raging domestic envy?

In the case of Kirk Kessel, the problem is solved by building your own piece of paradise; and for well north of $3 million, this paradise is truly heavenly.

Kessel, with Carpenter/Kessel Compass Real Estate in Indian Harbor Beach, is a seasoned realtor and one of the Space Coast’s top producers. Its featured properties include homes in exclusive Adelaide, Viera’s most elite and gated community, where estates benefit from a pedigree of the area’s top builders. Landscape upgrades alone cost homeowners a quarter of a million dollars.

When Kessel set out to build his dream abode in 2020, he was able to tap into the endless source of inspiration he had accumulated over the years by showing off some of his best residences along the Space Coast. At just over 3,000 square feet, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom, three-car garage home Kessel created isn’t huge by luxury home standards, but it’s packed with plenty of amenities. in the space.

House by the river

Susan Hall, Space Coast’s first lady of landscape architecture, has put her elegant touch on the plantings that surround the house.


Heeding the real estate mantra of location, location, location, Kessel chose a beautiful 90-foot-deep waterfront lot at the southern tip of Merritt Island, where the land thins out into a long, pretty ribbon flanked by water. . The house is all about the water views.


The Kessel Residence has a deep water dock on the Banana River, as well as another on the Indian River.

A home that faces both the Indian and Banana Rivers is a treasure, and that 360-degree panorama sold Kessel on the lot. Architect Alex Metz designed the home built by Bayswater Construction to take full advantage of the enviable location.

“The goal was to have lots of windows and great views” Kessel said.

Dining room

The chandelier that interior stylist Kara Parks chose for the dining room balances the clean masculine look of the home with warmth.

There is certainly an abundance of windows in the house. In fact, every room enjoys splendid views, except for one special space which we will discuss later.

It must have been very tempting for interior stylist Kara Parks to go to the coast, given the house’s idyllic site, but Parks had worked with Kessel on several of his previous homes and knew it wasn’t. the look he wanted.

“He likes a very clean, clean, masculine look, but he also wants it to be warm and inviting,” Parks said.

It’s a tall order, but Parks delivered on his promise, drawing on his experiences during a magical time at a luxury spa in Costa Rica.

She chose Benjamin Moore’s Soft Chamois White as the main interior color for the house, with a few accent wall splashes like the use of polo blue in the room. Walnut wooden floors and exposed ceiling beams provide contrast and add warmth.


For most of the furniture, Parks relied on custom parts from Restoration Hardware.

“They have the timeless chic that we were looking for,” she said.

The oversized chairs and large sofa feature performance fabrics that will make upkeep easy even if Kessel’s dog, Scooter, should get muddy dog ​​paws on it.

Parks approached the bar which takes up prominent space in the open floor plan as a centerpiece with tile accents and a wine rack that is both functional and a work of art.

“Why not make it pretty?” she asked.

The dining room

White sofas and oversized chairs throughout the home are hardworking, thanks to performance fabrics that are low-maintenance.

Although the kitchen is reliant on a white palette, the look isn’t overwhelming, thanks to the pop of color provided by the Tuscan oak island. Above, teardrop pendants from Restoration Hardware add a touch of glamour.

No small appliance will ever create a jumble in the expansive kitchen, as Parks designed a special shelf in the walk-in pantry as a command center where these kitchen helpers can find a permanent home with plenty of sources power supply.

“Kirk doesn’t like clutter,” she said.

Tuscan oak island

Although the kitchen is reliant on a white palette, the look isn’t overwhelming, thanks to the pop of color provided by the Tuscan oak island.

However, Kessel loves to entertain and the 36-inch Thermador dual-flame range, along with the 30-inch Thermador refrigerator with custom panels and the 24-inch stainless steel microwave drawer, should provide everything he needs to let the celebrations continue.

master bedroom

Through the wall of windows in her master bedroom, Kessel has a view of the water as soon as she wakes up.

Main bathroom

The master bathroom has both a massive shower area and a soaking tub. A door leads to a private outdoor shower.


Never a friend of window treatments, Kessel opted for an array of motorized blinds of sorts that perfectly disappear when not in use, yet provide complete privacy at all times.

From the wall of windows in the master bedroom, he enjoys a look at the water outside as soon as he gets up.

The main bathroom is also flooded with light, and even the shower includes a large window. It’s not the only shower in the space, as an outdoor shower with sitting area is also accessible via the main bathroom. Again, Parks drew on her Costa Rican resort experience for the space, which boasts plenty of privacy thanks to a beautiful stone wall.

While the majority of rooms at Residence Kessel embrace the outdoors, there is one special place that looks inwards. A 10 x 10 bedroom, accessible only by a ladder, sports a sofa, coffee table and TV for teenage daughter, Sophia.

“That’s where she hides from me,” Kessel quipped.



The lanai overlooks all the major playthings: pool, spa, dock and putting green.

The busy Kessel wanted a house that would work as hard as he did, so the house has a network of technology that can be operated from Kessel’s smartphone. Garage doors, air conditioners, generator, alarm, swimming pool, security cameras with remote speakers and oven are all operated at the touch of a cell phone keypad.

“This home was created to be controlled from my cell phone with ease of living in mind,” Kessel said.

For Kessel’s precious free time, the house offers plenty of fun magnets, such as not one, but two docks and a three-hole putting green next to the pool that has a built-in hot tub.

“For the pool, we wanted a clean infinity pool look without the infinity pool prices and infinity pool issues,” Parks said.

Susan Hall, Space Coast’s first lady of landscape architecture, has put her elegant touch on the plantings that surround the house. For nearly four decades, Susan Hall Landscape Architecture, combining a deep understanding of architecture, engineering, urban planning and horticulture, has created visually pleasing and environmentally friendly designs for projects ranging from the Florida Keys to Jacksonville. The Kessel house carries its discreet but masterful touch with classic and perfect plantings.

Guest room

Marine art throughout the home adds a coastal touch.

Swimming pool

In designing the pool and spa, stylist Kara Parks aimed for the clean lines of an infinity pool, but without the costs and maintenance that come with it.

A home that’s a luxurious resort without the hassle of living on an island – provides an oasis from Kessel’s demanding profession. The only problem is that the world of real estate offers ever-changing attractions that can be too hard to ignore.

“Kirk is already talking about new projects,” Parks said with a laugh.

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