Maximizing the Waterfront View from an Odd-Shaped Lot
Bob Chatham is a second-generation custom home designer who specializes in waterfront homes and timeless architectural styles.
Susan and Danny Grant of Orange Beach decided it was time to tear down their Bayou Saint John home and build a home that more closely fit their needs. They turned to highly regarded architectural designer Bob Chatham from Bob Chatham Custom Home Design. Chatham is a second-generation custom home designer who specializes in waterfront homes and timeless architectural styles. Chatham arranged a consultation in which the Grants talked, and he listened. He reviewed the site survey, considered the unique lot shape, and worked to maximize the views from all areas of the home. Susan Grant noted, “The lot is an odd, pie-shaped property, and Bob did a wonderful job designing the home to fit. We wanted the living area to have a view of the infinity edge of the pool and the water beyond without the boathouse obstructing the line of sight.”
As the Grants described their vision, Chatham sketched. The plan evolved into an open-concept home on a single level with twelve-foot ceilings throughout the living area and gorgeous water views from every vantage point. Chatham’s sketch featured an expansive porch off the living area that flows seamlessly to the raised deck, the infinity pool, and beyond to Bayou Saint John. The pool design, which is above ground but level with the deck, takes into consideration the flood zone while enhancing the dramatic view of the home from the water. After finalizing the basic floor plan, Chatham turned his focus to the exterior of the home and sketched an elevation incorporating the Grants’ style and materials preferences. Chatham called upon his senior designer, Kathy Heard, to create full architectural drawings – the plans from which the house would be built – from his sketches. Heard worked closely with Susan Grant, who is a real estate agent with an excellent sense of what she wanted as well as what would work in that particular setting.
The Grants selected JP Martin as their general contractor. Cox Pools designed and built the infinity pool, and Island Granite, Taylormade Trim, and G & J Tile and Floor Covering contributed to this project. “We wanted the back porch and pool surround to flow seamlessly. We were able to find a Travertine product that could sit on a base called Silca that provides excellent drainage. It is everything we envisioned and more. Another great feature is the half bath that is accessible from the pool area as well as from the house, eliminating wet bathing suits inside. We wanted gas firebowls and a waterfall incorporated into the pool design, but we were concerned about corrosion due to the salt air. Cox Pools suggested using firebowls with LED lights that look just like flames. When the water flows from the bowls into the pool, it looks amazing!” Young’s Cabinet Shop provided all the cabinetry, created the pecky cypress range hood surround, and incorporated antique tiger maple pineapple bedposts into the design of the enormous kitchen island.
“This is our forever home, and we want it comfortable and accessible as we age,” Susan explained. “We spend time outdoors year-round, so we incorporated an outdoor kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace with a television over the mantel, and a gas fire pit. We enjoy our small vegetable and herb garden, and we never get tired of the view!” The entry has a cozy courtyard feel, and there is a tropical shade garden under towering oak trees. “I had a picture that I carried around for years,” says Susan. “I showed it to Sexton Landscaping, and they simply made it happen.”
The Grants are so happy with the new home that they never plan on leaving. “But if we do,” says Susan, “we will surely work with Bob Chatham. He is so talented and creative, and he was able to take my ideas, add his knowledge, and turn it all into reality.”