Fri | Oct 7, 2022
DREAM HOUSE

Dream House | Waterfront St Mary cottage in perfect balance with nature

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2022 | 12:07 AM

A dream cottage built from concrete and softened by appealing woodwork.
A dream cottage built from concrete and softened by appealing woodwork.
What a bedroom to fall asleep in!
What a bedroom to fall asleep in!
An infinity-edge spa plunge pool fills the backyard.
An infinity-edge spa plunge pool fills the backyard.
Architecture and the natural environment wedded to each other and living happily ever after.
Architecture and the natural environment wedded to each other and living happily ever after.
What lies behind these gates – is lost in deep woods.
What lies behind these gates – is lost in deep woods.
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We humans are an intrinsically curious species. Yes, some of us are more inquisitive than others, but that yearning to know is a cardinal homo sapien characteristic.

What manner of dream house lies behind these gates? Dare we enter unannounced, seeking to satisfy our innate exploratory urge? No!

Fortunately, though, the house is caught up in all the 60th-anniversary independence celebrations, and the mood behoves us to share with one another our dynamic residential architectural landscape.

So enter and experience this one-off adventure in a heavily forested, waterfront property in St Mary, shaded until now, from eyesight. It is a well-conceived, two-storey concrete cottage built in 2014, emphasised and softened visually by appealing external woodwork. The conspicuous roof design that seeks and receives your attention is known in architectural jargon as a Dutch gable. The relaxation and sea-viewing, timber floor balcony upstairs, and verandah below, both wrap around the building, hugging it ever so tightly with all the love they can bestow.

Our inquiring minds compel us without further ado to venture inside and probe the innermost offerings of this delightful cottage. We observe two timber floor bedrooms with two bathrooms. The primary room depicts with pride, a luxurious, circular outdoor shower, with multicovered decorative coloured glass openings. The other bedroom accommodates a sizable soaking tub, overseeing the impossible-to-resist Caribbean Sea.

Returning to the outside, we are politely interrupted by the amazing infinity edge, cut-stone surround, spa plunge pool – literally at the waters cliff edge. What a sight, sound, and euphoric feeling!

Now that our thirst for knowledge has been quenched, we sadly bid farewell to this hidden gem that has made us feel appreciative to be alive. For the last 60 years, Jamaica’s dream house architecture and interior design have evolved from terrazzo tile and wall to wall carpeting, to ceramic and porcelain tiles. From cast iron bathtubs to jetted spa tubs. From crittall and redwood cedar louvre windows to French style and glass sliding windows. From mahogany dining table tops to bevel edge glass table tops. From postform (plastic laminate) kitchen countertops to granite and quartz countertops, and from avocado green and harvest gold kitchen appliances to stainless steel appliances, and the list goes on and on .

The surprising thing, though, is that many of the abandoned dream house features of the past are now very much in style. The more things change – the more they remain the same.

- Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email feedback to barry-rattray@hotmail.com and lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.