Choosing the right design for a house in a beautiful seaside setting can be tricky. One option is to consider the look of coastal homes popular in other countries.
The owners of this high-end seaside home had lived in an existing house on the same property for years and had considered building a modern home on the site. However, they fell in love with a Cape-Cod-look house on their travels. So when it came time to build afresh, they asked house designer Mark Wilson to create a warm, solid and quiet home in this style.
"Where a traditional Cape-Cod home would be constructed in timber, this house is built in solid, noise-proof concrete, then over clad in weatherboard," says Wilson.
The double-structure is not only quiet, it's also highly durable, creating a home that will look its best for generations.
As well as the classic weatherboards, the house also has all the other features of a Cape Cod home. These include eyebrow and round windows, dormers, and detailed frieze board mouldings; as well as sprocket eave extensions, small-paned windows, circular columns and the timber shingled roof. In addition, the copper downpipes are intended to verdigris over time for a sense of history a process that has been hastened by the salt-laden sea air.
Adding to its grandness, the house has a verandah running around most sides this is perhaps more of a Hamptons touch.
In another departure, a Cape Cod home might have a fairly square footprint. Here the constraints of the site, which doglegs around another property, means it only really opens up at the beachfront end.
"Naturally, the layout of the rooms responds to the elongated design, with the living spaces downstairs and master bedroom upstairs in prime end positions to soak in the sea views," says Wilson.
"However, while the living areas and master suite open out to the beach scenery, a conservatory room extends back to one side. This creates a semi-enclosed, rear shelter for a loggia a private al fresco living area perfect for when the seaward-side of the home is subject to onshore wind and rain or the gaze of beachgoers."
From these front ground floor spaces, the house ranges back to a central staircase void, a library and a guest room, with a large sports room behind and an annexed triple garage. Halfway between garage and loggia, stands the entry, enhanced by formal landscaping by Robin Shafer, and providing an apt approach. Upstairs, behind the master suite there is a retreat, the staircase void, and further bedrooms.
The interiors of the sprawling home are just as detailed as the exteriors. The grand staircase is one of the first things to greet the eye an excellent example of the artisanal workmanship seen throughout.
The stairway flairs outwards, requiring complex design calculations, and features turned balustrading and panelled newel posts, while the bullnose oak steps are shown to optimum effect extending out beyond the curve of the stairs. The 30m long hallway has ¾ height panelling.
"Standing at the heart of the home, the roomy kitchen is a faithful reflection of an upmarket American family kitchen," says Wilson. "For example, the cabinet drawer fronts are each made up of nine pieces of wood, while the substantial appliances do justice to the scale of the kitchen. Oak floors which run right through the ground floor anchor the classic powder blue and white colour scheme here."
Whether strolling past ornate circular columns on one of the verandahs, playing billiards in the panelled sportsroom or swimming in the seafront pool, this home exudes both craftsmanship and luxury. Traditional, rambling and quiet it provides the ideal upmarket retreat by the sea.