Lady of leisure

Mediterranean architecture has influenced the design of this airy, resort-style home

View of the dining room which features chandeliers, ceiling, dining room, function hall, home, interior design, restaurant, room, table, brown
View of the dining room which features chandeliers, lighting, curtains, doors and windows, dining furnishings, rug.

Often situated close to water or among attractive natural surroundings, resort areas call for a certain style of residence. Houses are frequently large and set on sprawling grounds, but there is a sense of relaxation reflected in the architecture.

Influences from Spanish, Moroccan and Italian architecture help to capture an atmosphere of leisure in this house, which is located in a private resort area off the coast of Georgia, says architect William Harrison of Harrison Design Associates.

"The vernacular of the house is appropriate, as the Spanish were the first Europeans to live in the area. For the entry, we created a loggia with spiral columns and a terrace above, which opens from a bedroom. The stair hall inside has a double-height window, visible from outside. This adds to the light, open look."

The patterned ceiling and terra cotta floor in the entry hall is directly influenced by Moorish architecture, where geometric shapes are used to create visual texture. The entry hall features curved corners and arched doorways that lead into the library, main stairwell, and ahead to the formal living room.

"The level of detail in the foyer is very intricate. The archways are tiled in terra cotta, with a wood frame that matches the ceiling. All the materials, furniture and fixtures in this house were sourced or designed by a local company, Island Design & Architectural Center, which uses the house as a show home," says project architect Bulent Baydar.

The open archways are echoed in the living room, where a series of arches gives a visual connection to a sunroom beyond, which in turn links to the outdoor area, again via arched doors.

Exterior view of house where the architecture was courtyard, estate, hacienda, home, house, mansion, official residence, property, real estate, residential area, resort, villa, white
Exterior view of house where the architecture was influenced by a Mediterranean look which features Stucco sidings, clay tiled roof, paints, landscaping.

Next door, and linked through an open fireplace surround, is the family room. This space has a double-height vaulted ceiling, and features balconies that look out from upper-floor rooms, says Baydar.

"The larger of the balconies opens from the games room upstairs. This allows light to flood into the vaulted space, and also creates a connection between two social areas of the house. The other balcony opens from partway up the stairs."

Wood elements connect the rooms. Exposed beams give the living room a warm and intimate ambiance, while a timber ledge indicates the level of the second floor in the vaulted family room space. Wood paneling on the walls and ceiling gives a rich, traditional feel to the library. This is accentuated by the leather furnishings and chandelier lighting. Wood is also used for detailing on doorways throughout the house.

In the kitchen, which is accessed from the family room, a combination of wood and stone floors relates to the exposed beams on the ceilings, says Harrison.

"Cabinetry and fittings in the kitchen are chosen to appear like furniture. The range hood is mahogany, with a tiled backsplash. The island and cabinets around the cooktop have antique-style handles and turned legs. Again, this was all supplied by IDAC for the project."

The rear sunroom connects with the family room, living room and kitchen. The design features a series of arched doors, with Corinthian-style columns, that open to the outside. This again relates to a Spanish style of architecture, which is pleasant in a hot climate.

Image of Harrison agreement area, black and white, document, font, line, paper, text, white
Image of Harrison agreement

"However, there are some American aspects to the design. The ceiling in the sunroom is planed pecky cypress wood, which is native to the Southern and Eastern states," says Baydar.

Above the sunroom is a large terrace that overlooks the outdoor area. This can be approached from both the games room and a guest bedroom. Windows on the terrace gaze into the vaulted family room.

"Visual connections and shared light are a large part of the design. The direct line and visual link between the front and rear doors also emphasize the airiness of the home," says Harrison.

Across the lawn and connected to the house by a breezeway is a garage with guest quarters above. These quarters are completely self contained and look out toward the garden and pool.

"On the pool terrace, a cabana contains a bathroom and equipment storage area, as well as a small outdoor living space. Here, a fireplace allows the terrace to be used year round," says Baydar.

A spa is positioned beyond the pool. Facing back towards the rear of the house, this completes the resort-style atmosphere of the residence.

Credit list

Interior designer
Lisa Torbett Interiors, ASID
Kitchen manufacturer
Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry
Live Oaks Development
Stucco with integral color and texture;
Doors and windows
Sipo Mahogany by Tischler
Unico high velocity air handler with Trane compressor
Ardley Hall; House of Troy; Chelsea House; Arte de Mexico; Alexander John; Ashore; Visual Comfort; Richard Ray Design
Blind Ambitions
Kitchen cabinetry
Wycombe Court door in cherry wood with Dijon paint finish and brown antiquing for perimeter cabinets; Wycombe Court door in cherry wood finished in thinned Keylime paint with brown antiquing on island cabinets; mahogany wood finished in butterscotch stain with brown glaze on refrigerator door, from Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry
Etruscan gold hand-made tiles in antiqued hammered copper
Best by Broan
Kitchen designer
Maureen Hodor, Island Design & Architectural Center, AKBD, NKBA
Product source and supply
Island Design & Architectural Center
Structural engineer
Bill Train
Ludowici clay roof tile
Paints and varnishes
Asia Minor Rugs; Asmara Rugs; Old Savannah Flooring; Old World terra cotta tile
Baker; Alfonzo Marina; Artitalia; Palecek; Woodland; Hancock & Moore; Pavilion; Hickory Chair
Empire Drapery
Honed Bamboo green granite on island; Noce Travertine with laminated edge on others

Story by: Camille Butler

Photography by: John Umberger

08 Aug, 2008

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