Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Extraordinary Ability

   You might be familiar with Bob the Builder, but in our family Bob has been eclipsed by my humble brother-in-law. This brother-in-law is a man who can take sand and mortar, steel, glass, and wood and turn these ordinary materials into something magnificent. I recently toured a home that he had completed in the Panhandle of Florida. It stretched my imagination and fueled my own desire to explore any possible untapped fields of creativity that might be lurking within (not that I could EVER build a house). I don't know how he does it. I don't know where he learned to do it. I only know he does.
   There are houses peppered all over the Panhandle (in Watercolor, Watersound, Sandestin, and Seaside to name a few), that bear this man's stamp along with countless commercial buildings, as well. And thank the Good Lord, all are sold and occupied. In case you have been asleep the past five years, the Gulf Coast of Florida has gone belly up with real estate development. It just ain't happening any more. But there is always a place for a man who does an honest day's work at a fair price. And that's my brother-in-law. He has trimmed back, scaled back, and chooses his projects with care. He no longer has five building superintendents working around the clock or 25 projects underway at a time; he no longer builds "spec" houses, but he still builds from scratch and remodels and refurbishes and can take it down to the studs and then back up if you want him to. A long time ago he learned the secret of being happy in times of plenty as well as times of want, and it has served him in good stead.
   This recently completed home has totally captured my imagination. It is not a house the likes of which I will ever call home. It's on the Gulf, for one, and secondly, I would probably build more of a cottage than this elegant soaring space, if ever given the unlikely chance. Yet this house still stirs my soul and intrigues me. Primarily because it has so much possibility. So much ingenuity. I guess that's why I like it so much. I hope you will enjoy the glimpse of this special place that someone who dared to dream will soon be calling home.
   Oh, and if you want an-honest-as-the-day-is-long man who can make your very own dream come to life, then email me. I'll be happy to pass along the name of my brother-in-law's company along with the highest of references. I am absolutely 100% certain his wife, my sister, would vouch for him, as will the rest of us.
Windows that soar to let in the light
Curved wall of windows
The priceless view
Looking out from the adjacent terrace
Third story great room with dining room
 light fixture in foreground
Exquisitely beautiful ceilings with uplighting 
I don't normally think ceilings are gorgeous,
 but these left me with my mouth hanging open
Top two floors are hardwood; lowest level is
stained natural concrete
Kitchen with stainless steel backsplash tiles, stone counters,
and matte finish stainless island
Fireplace with matte finish stainless steel ledge
There are 26 paint colors in this house, and
this is the fun combo for the office and the elevator
Detail of stacked and layered molding (entry to office closet)

Laundry room gray and taupe stone floor
Guest bath on third level
Second floor landing with door to streetside porch
Second floor den with built ins and floating shelves
Staircase ledge on second story

Stair detail from ground floor;
wooden cubbies on background wall;
stained natural concrete floors on ground level
All wood in house has limed green wash
Ground floor wet bar with Thermador refrigerator
Tile detail for lowest level bath
Pool and spa on lowest level of house;
outdoor kitchen to the left under covered porch.

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