“They purchased it, opened it into the cabana property and reallocated some of the guest bedroom space in 310 to 300, relieving the cabana of extra bulk. We edited the exterior of 300 so it would recede into the background of the pool garden,” Ferguson explained.
The added guesthouse, along with guest rooms in the other two buildings, easily accommodate visitors, including the couple’s son and daughter, as well as five grandchildren.
“The compound — or whatever you want to call it — is perfect for us two. But when everyone is here, everyone has his privacy,” Peter said. “Even though (the main house is) a small home, you get a lot of space.”
The estate also complements the Mays’ other homes — a country French-style vacation house in Beaver Creek, Colo., a Colonial-style residence in Bridgewater, Conn., and their New York City apartment.
In all, the main house has 4,900 square feet, the pool cabana has 4,200 square feet and the renovated house on Dunbar road has 4,100 square feet.
But combining all three houses into a unified compound wasn’t quite as effortless as it might appear today. Complicating things was a neighbor’s long driveway that bisects the main house from the pool pavilion property. And that means that to get to the pool, one has exit the lakefront property, walk along the sidewalk, pass the neighbor’s driveway and enter the pool property through its own gate.
“The simple gesture of a low wall, a flower bed and a uniform paint color,” Ferguson said, visually links the three properties.
An indoor-outdoor house
Glass doors from the main residence’s courtyard open onto the kitchen and breakfast room on the north and a hallway that accesses the master suite’s bedroom and bathrooms on the south. The courtyard also is central to the living room, which faces the lawn, the Lake Trail and the Intracoastal Waterway beyond. On one side of the living room is the lakefront master bedroom and on the other, the sunroom with a dining area.
“The separation between inside and outside is almost non-existent when the folding doors are open,” Ferguson said. “The courtyard is a source of light, air and space, which expands the feeling of the house beyond its actual size.”
With an outdoor fireplace and barbecue grill, the courtyard is also the home’s main dining area. “I call that my ‘Renato’s courtyard,’” Peter May said, referencing the popular restaurant known for its alfresco seating in Via Mizner off Worth Avenue.
The house also has an unusual garage, which doesn’t act like a garage at all. Town codes required the freestanding house to have a garage, even though the Mays park their cars in the one next door.
Ferguson fitted the garage opening with a bank of folding French doors, so that it could accommodate cars if necessary. But Williams designed the space as a media room, with a rug, comfortable seating and a screen that drops down from the ceiling.
At the pool pavilion next door, an expansive living area faces the pool, which stretches nearly to Dunbar Road. A pergola is attached to the pavilion to provide shade for the
Peter and Leni May bought this 1960 Palm Beach Regency-style house at 300 Dunbar Road at the corner of Bradley Place, and remodeled it as part of their compound. The estate occupies the south side of Dunbar Road between Bradley Place and the lake.
The pool pavilion is fronted by a pergola that shelters its patio. The patio’s stone decking was continued into the pavilion to unify the spaces.
A pathway leads from the sidewalk gate into the separate property just east of the main house.