Prime Caribbean beachfront provides the setting for a new and highly private compound combining centuries-old architectural styles.
A Pretty Site
This recently completed oceanfront estate sits on a 4-acre lot bracketed by rocky points, which create a cove-like setting that furthers the feeling of seclusion. The homeowners enlisted the Philadelphia-based interior designer Marguerite “Meg” Rodgers to create a multibuilding villa on what initially was an undeveloped double lot. Rodgers then designated Ernesto Buch as the project’s lead architect to help realize the highly private compound that blends Georgian and Palladian architecture with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. The sprawling estate includes a 6,600-square-foot main home, a guest cottage, and a poolhouse and spa, all of which are connected by a series of courtyards, terraces, and gardens.
“We wanted this [property] to look very classic from the outside, and then on the inside, the goal was to honor a British colonial look but with a modern twist and an exotic feel,” says Rodgers, who worked closely with the lighting designer Sean O’Connor and the landscape architect Charles Hess. The pool loggia anchors the property’s beachfront position, with the guest cottage in the background. Royal Botania chaises and Janus et Cie leaf-shaped loungers were selected for their “sculptural yet functional” appeal, Rodgers says. She and Hess designed the courtyard’s dramatic floor pattern: “The swirl is an unexpected touch,” says Rodgers. The courtyard area leads to the pool loggia and the home’s hot tub with its dramatic shell-encrusted wall. Cold water cascades from the arched area into a trough behind the spa.
A private courtyard nestled between the main house and the guest cottage brings indoor comforts outside: Custom pillows made from Stark fabric grace McGuire seating, while a white marble 19th-century Chinese table from Liao Collection Asian Antiques in Philadelphia anchors the space. The poolhouse building includes the loggia, an indoor changing suite, and a kitchen, which leads to an intimate poolside dining area where the columns and flooring are made from coralina marine stone sourced from the Dominican Republic. All windows and doors in the poolhouse are made from hand-carved camphor and nan woods, which Rodgers imported from China through David Salkin Antiques. “We used antique carved doors and windows,” she says. “When we couldn’t get the right size, we had them made in China to match the older versions.” A “relaxation loggia”, on the other side of the poolhouse, pairs Janus et Cie furnishings with custom-designed sconces made in Morocco. One door leads to a bathroom with shell-covered walls, while another opens to the steam room.
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Something Old, Something New
In the main house’s kitchen, Rodgers paired classic colonial design motifs with high-tech touches. “The clients travel with their chef, so it was important to have state-of-the-art equipment without it looking too sleek or contemporary,” says Rodgers, who worked with Buch to create an island influenced by the designs of the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. An antique secretary from Anglo-Raj conceals cutting boards, kitchen towels, and other essentials, while a trio of pendant lights designed by London-based Charles Edwards illuminates the central work space. Twenty-foot ceilings in the great room make for a dramatic dining area. “We had Paul Ferrante create the lighting piece, which we based on a birdcage,” says Rodgers. “We knew it needed to be huge to suit the space, and it’s 5 feet tall!” The octagonal dining table from McGuire has a bamboo base and a glass top and is surrounded by McGuire woven leather chairs. On the wall behind the dining table, Hervé Van der Straeten sconces flank a gold- and silver-gilded Spanish mirror purchased through the online antiques and art marketplace Center44.
The guest room is the main house’s only non-ocean-facing bedroom, so Buch created strategically positioned windows to take advantage of the courtyard views and let in plenty of light. Matching De La Espada beds face a Chinese stacking armoire from Liao Collection Asian Antiques. Rodgers added pocket doors to the armoire to conceal the television. A painting by the Philadelphia-based artist Sandra Hoffman hangs on the wall between the beds.
Rodgers weaved a diversity of influences throughout the private areas of the main home to “give the sense that the people who live here have traveled and appreciate many styles,” she says. “I don’t like things to feel rigid, so we wove that exotic feel into every area, including the guest bathroom.” The space incorporates a sunken tub, porcelain floors, and a teak ceiling that is hand-stenciled with a Moroccan pattern. A pair of lanterns designed by José Solís Betancourt for Holly Hunt completes the room.
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The Right Tones
“When you mix texture and color and materials, you get interest and depth without things looking busy or cluttered,” says Rodgers of this master bedroom—one of two identical suites in the home—with its distinctive blend of styles and shades. With so much light flooding into every room of the house, Rodgers decided to paint the suite a warm brown to make it a “cozy spot in the home.” A Paul Ferrante lighting fixture hangs above the McGuire bed, which boasts bright pops of raspberry-colored bedding, while an antique Chinese desk keeps company with a Moroccan mirror. Rodgers designed the cabinet, which has woven bamboo doors, to conceal the television. In this master bath, a deceptively deep Kohler infinity-edge tub was sunk directly into the home’s concrete foundation. Water spills over into a trough and constantly recirculates so that it never cools. The antique Venetian glass chandelier and the coralina stone in the arch and the ledge above the tub are among the space’s classic touches.
Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design, 215.634.7888, margueriterodgers.com; Ernesto Buch Architect, 203.469.8799, ernestobuch.com; Sean O’Connor Lighting, 310.659.5900, seanoconnorlighting.com; Hess Landscape Architects, 215.855.5530, hessla.com