No reason why small vacation home can’t have first-class style
Second homes at the beach represent some of the most expensive of all vacation spots. Yet there is no shortage of devoted owners who count themselves blessed to be able to claim part of any limited shoreline as their own. Of course, in South Florida, most of those homes are actually condominium units.
Something about the seashore invites a blessed integration of indoor and outdoor living that is hard to surpass.
You feel that you are somehow at the edge of the world, watching changing light over the water all day and memorable sunsets when the day is winding down.
People want the doors and windows to disappear, and often, this is one of the core requests of architects who design residences on the beach.
It happens that this thought is also an anchor in space-saving techniques.
The first time I visited Hawaii, what most impressed me as an interior designer was the artful blending of the inside and the out-of-doors. It was an exquisite blending of breeze, salt air, wood and stone. Huge doors in restaurants and hotels would fold back, so you never had the sense that you were indoors.
On a visit to a much-smaller plantation home, vintage double doors and screens pocketed back so that the delicious breezes could flow right through the formal rooms. It was delightful!
Check into the amazing capability of NanaWall, the prince of the glass wall that folds away. Visit www.nanawall.com for examples of the flexible movable-wall concept and specific getaway situations where the balcony or patio becomes a part of the main room.
A second home must capture as much working space as possible, and at the shore, most people want to be outside on a deck or patio. I came across this stunning example of a seashore home by designer Jennifer Gilmer.
Gilmer crafted a multipurpose space elegantly composed of driftwood tones and texture.
She blended wood species and character that one might spy on a leisurely walk down the beach: bleached-plank flooring, honey-toned ceiling planks, etc.
Several other elements about this design “sing” as a result of the artful composition of the designer.
She used no color in the rooms and relied on the majesty of the sea and sky
White marble is used for the kitchen countertop. Off-white is repeated in the upholstery, in the magnificent coral atop the table, and again in the bleached floors. The crowning glory in this plan is the smashing walnut slab used as a dining table.
Bold and extra thick, this counter comes fromGrothouse Lumber, a manufacturer of custom-built wood surfaces located on a 50-acre farm in eastern Pennsylvania. Featured on This Old House recently, the company has a proprietary permanent finish known as Durata.
While you can use wood for working surfaces in a kitchen, you must know that there are quality issues of importance that will affect how pleased you will be with the performance of your wood
. countertops. Realize, too, that you will get superior stability with end-grain tops.
You will want a food-grade oil finish that protects the wood yet is safe for human consumption.
This is because “working” wood counters require frequent oil applications, and some people continue to have concerns about the sanitation issues of preparing food on wood. An easy solution: Use a smaller cutting board to cut cheese or slice meat.
The hardest species are also the most expensive woods, including plantation teak, genuine mahogany, wenge, cocobolo, Santos rosewood, Burmese teak and zebrawood.
Of course, being able to sand out any blemish caused by chopping and other food preparation is one of the endearing qualities to owning solidwood countertops.
Christine Brun is a Creators.com columnist.
Here, designer Jennifer Gilmer crafted a multipurpose space that is elegantly composed of driftwood tones and texture.