Nautilus Homes Named Grand Aurora Award Winner at the Southeast Building Conference

The luxury home builder wins two coveted awards for “Old Grove,”  an antebellum-style estate built on the Manatee River.


(Sarasota, FL) Nautilus Homes, a Sarasota-based luxury builder, was recently honored by the Southeast Building Conference with two top awards, including the coveted Grand Aurora Award for the highest achievement in design. The event, which took place on August 2 in Orlando, honors the region’s most outstanding builders, planners, architects, developers, designers, interior merchandisers and other housing-related professionals. The Aurora Awards competition drew nearly 400 entries in 60 categories within the 12-state region stretching west to Texas and Louisiana, north to Virginia, and also including the eastern Caribbean.

Nautilus Homes won the Grand Aurora Award for Best Interior Detailing (for a home valued over $2 million) and a Silver Aurora for Best Custom Home (for a home sized 4,000 to 6,000 square feet). They received these awards for “Old Grove,” an antebellum-style estate the company built for a renowned musician on the Manatee River in Ellenton. The clients selected William B. Litchfield as the project architect, a Philip T. Shutze award-winning designer based in Atlanta. The design team was led William B. Litchfield and Heather Kurtzer of William B. Litchfield Designs while the owners coordinated the impeccable interior decoration.

Abbie Forrest III, Nautilus Homes’ VP, says “the project was a labor of love. To create a forever home for a young family to grow up in is extremely satisfying.” He explains that the family purchased “seven gorgeous acres of Spanish moss-draped, Florida riverfront” 15 years ago, and spent a decade envisioning their dream home. “They requested an antebellum-style estate, resembling the neoclassical style characteristic of Drayton Hall, the iconic 18th-century estate in the South Carolina Lowcountry—with the conveniences and bright, open feel of a new build.”

To prepare for construction, the Nautilus Homes’ team visited Drayton Hall. They studied the structure and came away with a deep understanding of the period’s building techniques. That knowledge would ensure the historic integrity of the new residence, which the family christened “Old Grove.”

“Old Grove was designed with a historic, handcrafted touch seldom seen today,” says Forrest, who adds that it’s filled with “playful touches,” including painted striped floors, a swinging diner door in the pantry with a porthole window, a rolling ladder in the laundry room, antique hardware throughout, gas lanterns, brick floors, reclaimed wood, and secret doors. The combined effect is a grand yet unpretentious space full of warm and welcoming details.

“We were thrilled to build this home, and deeply honored when we received these two prestigious Aurora Awards for our work,” says Ryan Perrone, owner and co-founder of Nautilus Homes. “Old Grove truly captures the owners’ personality and character. It will stand as a testament to their family and their passion for the classical arts for generations to come.”

“Nautilus is honored to be an integral part of Sarasota’s celebrated architectural legacy, and proud to see it recognized as a top achiever on a national level,” says Perrone.

For more information, visit or call 941-366-3650.


About Nautilus Homes

Founded by Sarasota native Ryan Perrone, Nautilus Homes is a boutique-style luxury property builder serving the full build-out and refurbishing needs of residential and commercial clients throughout Southwest Florida. The company’s mission is to create the finest properties — regardless of size — for discerning home and business owners who demand the best in craftsmanship, design and experience. To learn more about Nautilus Homes, call 941-366-3650 or visit