Four Bedroom Mediterranean House Plan - HOMEPW03704
Case Study in Home Building
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Jackson, Miss., is a progressive town, blending Southern tradition with modern technology. Home to more than 425,000 people who are proud of this metro city's colorful history and great quality of life, Jackson touts itself as the "Best of the New South."
Because some of the older neighborhoods in Jackson are undergoing recycling, certain properties are in high demand. Enter the Traxler family. When the Traxlers outgrew their home, they considered a new one in the exclusive Eastover community, a delightful treasure hidden in northeastern Jackson, complete with two lakes and lush Southern landscaping. Here the streets are wide and there are no curbs or sidewalks to break up the scenery.
On a cool fall afternoon, David Traxler dropped by an open house on a lush, nearly-one-acre lot. He didn't even make it inside. "I sat on the back porch and saw the ducks landing on the lake," David explains. He'd found the ideal location for his family's new home.
While the property was perfect, the existing house wasn't exactly what the Traxlers had in mind. "The original house would have cost more in the long run to renovate—it was old and didn't really fit our needs," says Dana. "It had character and someone had grown up in it, so we decided to move it instead." As the house was being moved, a call went in to designer Edsel Breland, President of Breland & Farmer Designers, Inc. The Traxlers described what they wanted to Breland: a somewhat showy, more-dressy-than-casual, fairly extravagant home that would be good for entertaining and would take advantage of the lake view. They requested high ceilings and large rooms. David and Dana also wanted a private master suite that could offer them a place to escape to. "With teenage children, sometimes you need a cozy retreat. Our master suite is the ideal place to sit by a cozy fire and look at the lake," Dana says.
Breland also had to consider the site's size, orientation, and the footprint left by the previous home's foundation. Breland designed Plan HOMEPW03704 with the Traxlers' wish list in mind—and they were ecstatic with the results.
To imbue the grand home with a cozy feel, Breland added three gas-log fireplaces, unobtrusive recessed lighting, and built-ins, which conceal televisions and other high-tech equipment. As the president of a computer systems integration company, David confesses that every room is wired for technology, TV and communications.
It took 18 months to complete the home. Along the way, an unexpected problem came up when the building crew discovered that the spiral staircase, which was built in Atlanta and shipped to Mississippi, was five inches too wide for the space where it was to be installed. The builder altered the upper landing to accommodate the piece, and it took 13 men to corkscrew it into place. The Traxler family thinks the additional width was an added bonus.
Today the Traxlers are pleased with their fabulous home. The kids' rooms upstairs each have a full bath and a large walk-in closet. A guest suite on the main floor also features its own bath and brilliant French doors opening to a rear veranda. The real jewel of this home, however, is the master suite.
"We wanted a pretty large master suite with a sitting area and a fireplace," says Dana. The sleeping area is separated from a large sitting area by tall columns, giving each room a private-but-open feel. Careful decorating touches keep the rooms warm and softly focused, despite high ceilings that might make the rooms feel too big or overwhelming.
The sitting area is large enough to comfortably accommodate an inviting leather sofa and chair set, accompanied by an eye-catching zebra-skin rug David bought from a big-game hunting friend. A unique tortoiseshell finish in deep golds and browns around the fireplace adds depth and character to the generous room. Both the sitting room and the sleeping area feature the same tasteful walnut-stained hardwood floors found throughout the home.
Tall windows offer stunning views of the lake and a French door makes it hard to resist stepping out and enjoying a breath of fresh air on the veranda, which wraps across the back of the home. When the evening is sultry, three ceiling fans help spread cool veranda breezes.
Not to be outdone, the stunning private bath is a study in absolute luxury. Three walk-in closets, plus cabinets to spare, provide plenty of room for linens and personal effects. The entire shower is finished in spectacular Italian tile that is also used throughout the master bath. An island wall with back-to-back dual vanities, each with tall, ornately framed mirrors, stands in the center of the room.
The room's main focal point, however, is the tub. Elegant pillars complement the tile pedestal surrounding the deep, soothing tub. Windows flanking the tub provide plenty of natural light for the entire room, and a striking chandelier hangs above, adding to the overall impression of luxuriant extravagance.
The marbling on the pillars, tortoiseshell effects around the sitting room fireplace and other interesting textures throughout the home were achieved with the help of creatively applied faux finishes and gilding. To set them off, Dana incorporated halogen lighting and dimmers to achieve the master suite's remarkable combination of opulence and ease. Dana says, "I call it snappy casual—it's elegant, yet it's homey."
Her description is appropriate. The home is a showpiece in a sense because the family entertains often, hosting charity events as well as school and church functions. In fact, David admits, "Some functions have so many people, you can hardly find a place to stand!"
When not entertaining, the family meets up in the kitchen, eating at a wide breakfast bar. "The only thing I would change about this design," Dana says, "is to maybe expand the breakfast area a little farther out." She notes that this is the most popular gathering place during parties. "The kitchen is where the hospitality is," she adds.
David notes that the backyard is wide open with hickory nut, live oak, and oak trees along the perimeter. The space is perfect for a pool, he says, but now that the house is finished, there isn't a practical way to get the equipment into the backyard to build one.
In the front yard, three maples are highlighted at dusk by strategically placed lighting. Lights in the eaves set off the home's finest features, creating an attention-grabbing view from the road. "I can't tell you the phone calls we get from people wanting to know about our outside lighting," says Dana.
What are the family's future plans for their snappy-casual dream home? David imagines that once the nest empties, the couple might downsize, still allowing for plenty of room for entertaining, of course—and maybe a pool, too!