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When Fairhope-based home designer Bob Chatham was asked by a repeat client to design a beachfront home on a challenging lot, only about 24 feet in depth, he rose to the occasion. By orienting the structure parallel to the water, he produced a unique design that provides incredible waterfront views from every vantage point. The imposing structure is cantilevered to soar over the open but private deck and pool area, and the placement of the home provides Gulf views from every room.

The homeowners, who live in the Tuscaloosa area, have worked with Chatham on other projects and were able to have plenty of input in the design. The couple selected Jerry Smith of Green Leaf Construction LLC as the builder, with cabinets by Premier Cabinets LLC and draperies were created by Cheryl’s Designs Inc. The wife worked with Chatham and local interior designer Melanie Martin and her associate Sam Pierce on sourcing furnishings and decorative items while tackling the interior design herself. “I had fun doing this,” she says. “Melanie is a friend as well as a wonderful designer, and Sam was a great resource.”

The first level of the home includes an open living, dining, and kitchen area with panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. The kitchen contains ample storage and an efficient workspace without sacrificing connectivity to the living spaces. The long kitchen island provides comfortable bar seating. The homeowner designed the long dining table herself and had it fabricated to fit the narrow space. “I wanted to create a spacious feel and to seat a crowd comfortably, and I had fun doing it,” she says. Light-colored wood dining chairs with curved arms and woven seats provide a contrast to the angular white finishes of the kitchen and the table. An Oushak rug between the stove and the island in the kitchen adds color and texture to the area.

The living area is centered by a low white square cocktail table, surrounded on three sides by inviting upholstered couches and chairs in shades of blue, set off by a contemporary area rug. The room is completed by a recessed fireplace below a large wall-mounted television. Wraparound windows bring the outdoors in, and the pool and patio are just beyond the glass, with direct access. Full-length draperies can be closed to provide relief from the full sun.

The home, which was built to accommodate a big family or large groups, has six bedrooms and a bunk room, each with its own full bath. In addition, there is a powder room on the main floor. While the bedrooms are all primarily white, each room has its own personality, demonstrated by the variety of linens, lighting fixtures, artwork, and accessories. Every bedroom has a full view of the beach and the gulf, and even the hallway has expansive windows overlooking the street. 

Bob Chatham has been designing custom waterfront homes and southern cottage-style homes for over 35 years. His designs can be found all along the upper Gulf Coast, from Mississippi through Mobile and Baldwin Counties, and into the Florida panhandle. He is known for his abundance of windows, expansive porches, and natural design elements. His creative vision, along with his understanding of wetland areas, flood zones, easements, and other constraints has led to his ability to create a balance between practicality and luxury on even the most challenging sites. He is the winner of multiple design awards on the local and national level. 

Green Leaf Construction specializes in high-end custom homes. Jerry Smith, the principal builder enjoyed building such a unique home with the added challenges of a shallow lot and special regulations for beachfront construction. “We really loved how the house extends over the pool in a unique, eye-catching way, and the use of structural steel was a great experience. The modern design is embodied by minimal woodwork, modern finishes and materials, tile flooring throughout, and South American Ipe hardwood for the exterior deck.” Because of Chatham’s design and Smith’s execution, the house soars above the site and makes a bold statement.

78 South Section Street
Fairhope AL 36532

AL residential license #22804 
AL GC license #55718

FL license #CBC 1263370
Jerry Smith, Principal Builder
P.O. Box 1724
Daphne AL 36526

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