This tropical-modern home in Kiva Dunes has a split personality—in more ways than one. To begin with, it’s two homes in one. On one side, the homeowners enjoy a large, light-filled space with three bedrooms and a study and a large, open kitchen, dining, and living area that takes full advantage of amazing Gulf views out the expansive casement windows. On the other side of the lanai, guest quarters shares the views, with pool and porch access and even a kitchen pass-through window for convenient “walk-up” poolside service—which is perfect for the family’s six grandchildren.

The owners’ home also changes in personality as you climb the stairs to an elegant top-level master suite that sparkles with a French influence.

“The homeowners, Dale and Terri Smith, were great fun to work with,” said designer Patti Simmons of Malouf Furniture and Design. “Terri is a bubbly, fun person who loves glitz and glamour. Her taste is very classic with a contemporary take.”
Bill Hinson, owner of CDC Woodworking in Pensacola, which crafted all the cabinetry and other wood features in the house, says the home’s use of beachwood-stained bamboo for the kitchen cabinets and paneling also reflects the home’s fun split personality. “Bamboo is a modern/contemporary material, but the beachwood stain creates a more casual beachfront look,” he said. “It’s contemporary and sophisticated, with a casual Southern feel.

The master suite shows off the homeowners’ personality as well, with an elegant color scheme of teal, off-white, and silver gray. The bed has a 1940s Hollywood look, with white tufted head and footboard. Faux-crocodile leather on the nightstand, shiny gold nail-head trim, solid brass hardware and a sparkling drum-shaped gold and brass chandelier add to the glamour. In the bath, there are custom, his-and-hers vanities of ebony, and a stand-alone tub with floor-mounted faucet and a rooftop view of the dunes. A small white-fur covered table nearby keeps necessities close at hand while providing another touch of old-Hollywood glamour.

“The use of ebony for the vanities in the master bath is another elegant, sophisticated choice, and it is complemented by the teal paint color that adds that touch of beachfront casual,” Hinson said.

There is an Asian influence throughout the house as well: timeless Chinese geometric patterns on fabrics and light fixtures, bright koi-patterned chairs at the dining table, and a bamboo-look in the gold metal frame of a small desk in the master. A burled wood chest in the guest room has a classic mother-of-pearl inlay design and there is a subdued koi wallpaper with Zen-like lighting in the upstairs bath, which also has a Buddha recessed in a shower wall. “It’s a very spa-like bath with a wonderful feel, great feng shui,” Simmons said.

Much attention to detail went into the home’s design and construction, including small details that might even go unnoticed at first glance, Hinson said. “For example, in the kitchen, we designed the divisions in the cabinets and panels to be consistent around the room. When you look, you see that the top of the large interior doors align perfectly with the breakpoint between the lower and upper cabinets on the kitchen wall. The refrigerator door panels were extended to go well above the fridge so the doors would fully conceal, and the top of the fridge doors stay in line with the interior bamboo doors. Then bamboo paneling was installed behind the extended refrigerator doors, so that even when open, the bamboo carries to the top of the space. The bamboo banquet seating also matches the cabinetry and has bamboo legs. No detail was left unattended to.”

The beachwood-stained bamboo carries into the living room. “We custom designed the fireplace surround and TV box to carry the bamboo and ship lap pattern horizontally so that no seams are visible even though many sheets of material were required to complete the paneling.”

The home was under construction and homeowner Terri Smith had selected the colors, counters, and flooring when she brought Patti Simmons into the process. “Teal blue is her favorite color, and you see it in various shades in this house, accented with orange, off-white and cream, and shades of gray and silver.”

In the family friendly guest quarters, bright teal (a fun color called “cloudburst”) dominates in the living area and small kitchen with pale teal in the bedroom. Concrete Peacock Pavers throughout are forgiving to sand and water yet provide the timeless look of ancient Travertine.

The Smiths love to entertain and the spacious pool, deck, and covered porches—as well as the wide sand beaches and the rest that Mother Nature and Kiva Dunes provides—are all welcoming to family and friends alike.

The home was designed by Sted McCullough of McCullough Architecture and built by Blume Construction. Marble and stone counters are by Willie Palacio of Stone Interiors in Loxley. Master carpenter Jeff Tolle crafted the living room fireplace and all custom molding. Lighting is by Ferguson in Daphne, indoor and outdoor appliances by Mobile Appliance, and landscaping by Tree of Life in Gulf Shores.

All cabinetry and other wood features are by CDC Woodworking of Pensacola. For more information, visit CDC prides itself in finding highly decorative solutions for interior spaces, drawing on their vast knowledge and a lifetime of high-end woodworking to create whatever their clients can envision. Furniture and accessories are from Malouf Furniture and Design. Designer Patti Simmons can be reached at Malouf at 251-955-5151. The 70,000-square-foot showroom is located at 7745 Gulf Shores Parkway in Foley, Alabama. For more information visit

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