How A House On Jupiter Island Became The Dream Home Its Owners Always Wanted
To rebuild or not to rebuild? The owners of a prime piece of property on Jupiter Island contemplated that question for 10 years. Meanwhile, they lived tentatively in a dated home whose boxy lines, contemporary looks and sharp glass juxtaposed a welcoming waterfront filled with waving boaters. They dreamed of a residence with Addison Mizner-inspired architecture and Mediterranean-meets-Palm Beach flair.
Then, they met Dan Reedy, of Onshore Construction & Development in Jupiter.
“To me, it's one of the best lots on Jupiter Island because it has over 500 feet of waterfront,” Reedy says. “The vision was to try to capture as much of the water view as possible.”
He calculated a cost analysis of remodeling versus rebuilding, and therein laid the rub.
“I wanted them to make an educated decision,” Reedy says. “We brought in a team of architects and interior designers and looked at it as a design-build-type project to accomplish the goals, and the aesthetics, of the intent of the owners.”
The owners thought it nobler to tear down the structure and start from scratch.
“They took a purist approach,” Reedy says. “They wanted a real exterior in a real Mediterranean style. They didn't want to have to compromise on details.”
The exterior of the home reflects Mediterranean-style architecture.
A two-year project ensued that, at times, took on a life of its own. Walk-throughs of the 2.75-acre parcel parlayed into visions of a villa in Spain influenced by both the ideas of the Italian Renaissance and the warmth of the European countryside. The list of materials grew to include barrel tile for the roofs, textured stucco for the walls and coquina stone for the entryway, as well as red terracotta bricks washed with white mortar to form the stately turret, concrete molds poured into curved corbel beams to support the cantilever overhangs and a slab of cypress for the speakeasy front door.
The square-shaped configuration of the previous house turned into an L-shaped one for the new house, emphasizing the exposure to the north, south and west, and taking advantage of the 200-degree Intracoastal Waterway view. To complement the panorama, a geometric swimming pool graces the lushly landscaped backyard, as does a deep-water dock with a boat lift. A large loggia provides the perfect place to sit and soak it all in underneath the breeze of a fan. Other touches such as wood soffits with copper gutters, the use of parapets and a towering Moorish chimney set off a striking silhouette.
Reedy, whose resume includes superstar singer Celine Dion's $60 million home, as well as the homes of professional golfers Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Greg Norman and Jesper Parnevik, estimates the cost of the project at $6 million. The 10,000-square-foot main house boasts five bedrooms, seven full baths, two half baths and a two-car garage. The 3,000-square-foot guest house has two bedrooms and two full baths, with a four-car garage and a pool-changing area and gym.
“I hear from people who go by on boats a lot that it's one of the most well-done, at least the exterior, project on Jupiter Island,” Reedy says. “Due to the fact that we didn't try to create with the compromises of using the existing structure, we were able to accomplish their dream home in a place they want to live for a long time.”
Bringing the outside in
Roger Janssen, of Dailey Janssen Architects in West Palm Beach, says the physical characteristics of the home helped develop an “architectural vocabulary” that defined the interior space. Appointments range from colorfully hand-painted risers that decorate a walnut-tread staircase, to a series of chandeliers, hanging lamps and lanterns that create an Old World ambience. The master bath has a solid stone peninsular tub—a special request.
“Trying to get the ergonomics right when you're engineering a tub from scratch is kind of challenging,” Janssen says. “We spent a lot of time on the details, and everything worked out very, very well.”
Mahogany frames surround all the windows. The foyer delights with diagonal black-and-white tile reclaimed from a chateau in France. The carved Macedonia-stone columns lining the hallway along the living room buttress a gleaming double barrel vault. In the living room, stenciled ceiling beams pay homage to the past—circa 1930—when intricacy popularized the interior-design work of the day.
The ceiling beam theme continues in the kitchen, a masterpiece of a room equipped with a dual oven and stove, a paneled refrigerator, granite countertops and chicken-wire cabinet doors that show off the collectibles behind them. The expansive island looks like a piece of furniture amid appliances, cupboards and faucets. Its front, adorned with tropically whimsical artwork, brightens the breakfast nook.
In the more traditional dining room, marble and timber flooring, a carved fireplace and an elegant yet understated eight-top table add a touch of formality to the family meal.
For as much as the exterior informed the interior of the home, the opposite rang true, too, Janssen says.
“We took a lot more time in the beginning to design the interior before we started the house construction, which I think helped the owners a lot to envision what the completed project would look like,” he says.
For example, the tree canopy-covered driveway that comes in off South Beach Road can be considered a room all in its own, as can the circular motor court centered around a streaming fountain.
“I think it's part of the spatial experience that there is this whole series of rooms before you get to the front door,” Janssen says.
“We saw it as an opportunity, as an interesting process of discovery, to create an entry that was evocative of some of the rural farm complexes and agrarian-type structures you would find in the countryside.”
His favorite feature: the Juliet balconies encircling the second story, from which one can picture Shakespeare's star-crossed lover exclaiming Romeo's name.
“They are unique, little jewels hanging on the wall,” Janssen says, noting their concrete fretwork and wrought-iron railings.
‘A great project'
The fact that the owners have remained friends with the team of designers since the move-in date at the end of 2014 stands as a testament to the project's success. Reedy and his family regularly have dinner with the owners and their family, and Janssen also makes a point of catching up every so often. Such a long and drawn-out process, and one that requires constant communication between all parties involved, often tries the virtue of patience.
“There are so many variables that go into creating these new homes,” Janssen says. “It's an ongoing schedule of designing, meeting and just repeat, repeat, repeat. But everybody's happy at the end of the day and still friends, so we were all very pleased. The owners—they love it. They're very happy. It was just a lot of fun. A great project.”
Jeff Strasser, of Marc-Michaels Interior Design in Boca Raton, an integral part of the team, says the project ‘exceeded our clients' expectation.” Strasser's objective of designing a home with modern amenities that preserved the charm of a bygone era was achieved in large part by aesthetics.
“As we joined the team, we delivered the interior details that the owners were looking for,” he says. “…With many years of collecting fine antiques, we incorporated many of their own personal treasures throughout the home, which made them feel they still had part of their own history in place.”