THE MARGUERITE - NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

4832.3 sq. ft., Exterior Perimeter
4569.2 sq. ft., Living Area
2016.0 sq. ft., Optional Basement

Greek Revival Victorian - - - What’s that?  Well, it certainly isn’t a late 19th Century gentleman’s “day after” recuperative process created by an over indulgence of sipping Ouzos while contemplating the Parthenon, in Athens.   Greek Revival Victorian is a sub-genre of American Victorian architecture styling that had its nexus in the Southeastern and Gulf Coast states.  Several years ago, a client, on vacation in Key West, FL, took photos of a house that he came across while driving around the city.  One of those photographs became the vignette from which I developed the design for the Marguerite.

The classic proportioning of the Marguerite becomes a frame for hanging a slightly ostentatious Victorian exterior architectural fenestration of corbels, cased columns, brackets, frieze mouldings and dental blocks.  The off-set, two-and-a-half story turret creates a quirky asymmetry that is a signature of many Victorian designs.

Walking onto a broad, wrap-around verandah, you enter the Marguerite through two, 8-foot high entry doors.  Immediately, you are greeted with the spaciousness of a two-story Foyer, anchored in the rear with a circular staircase that takes you to a second floor bridge connecting the two bedroom wings.  An oval, back-lighted, coffered ceiling features a pastel, rococo floral-painted plenum flanked by two gas-light replica chandeliers.

To your right is a formal Parlor, featuring a cast-stone, Charles IV fireplace façade and mantel, with a tiled surround and elevated hearth.  The ceiling is coffered and back-lighted, with pressed tin panels.  There is an adjacent colonnaded, private seating nook created by the front turret.

Two arched, cased openings lead to dual hallways, one with access to a tuck-away Powder Room, that direct you to the Great Room.  

Centered in the Great Room are a handsomely carved oak fireplace façade, mantel and over mantel with a glazed sgraffito tile surround. Complimenting the fireplace wall is a network of oak-veneered, box-beams in the ceiling with pine bead board paneling in between.  The fireplace woodwork and beamed ceiling is finished with a warm, sienna-tinted patina stain, and the bead board ceiling is finished in a semi-transparent sienna/titanium white glaze.  At the opposite end of the Great Room is a boxed, 4-unit window wall with 6-foot high windows allowing natural lighting to create an airy ambiance.

A walkway connecting the Great Room to the Eating Nook has a commodious Pantry with an up-right freezer niche and a conveniently placed Wet Bar.

Standing in the foyer, to the left is a formal Dining Room with two, 3-unit, boxed window walls.  The faceted wall corners and lighted artifact niches add visual interest to the room.   An architectural detailed ceiling coffer creates a formal envelope for a crystal pendant chandelier.  The room is designed for 10 seated guests.

Two arched doorways take you into a professional grade Kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, raised panel cherry cabinetry, two work peninsulas and spacious, granite countertop work areas, a windowed bay, a 4-person eating  bar, under-counter and ceiling task lighting,  and a computer work station.  Adjacent to the Kitchen is an Eating Nook that will seat eight, with a wrap-around window wall that becomes wide eyes to the world.

As you ascend the circular stairs to the second floor bridge, you are greeted with light pouring through triptych, leaded and stained glass windows, reflecting colors complimentary to the ceiling mural over you head.

You enter an elegantly designed Master Bedroom suite to the right.  The Master Bedroom is a private world of light and space.  Boxed, multi-unit windows create a canvas for draping dramatic window treatments, and 7-foot high double French doors opening onto a covered viewing balcony.  Overhead is a back-lighted, vaulted ceiling and anchoring the rear of the room is a double-sided fireplace featuring a painted Louis XV fireplace façade with a Travertine marble surround, and a mantel and full-height over-mantel.  The room is designed to accommodate a king-sized bed.

The Master Bath is a study in compartmentalization, with all components visually joined by a Travertine marble floor.  A windowed bay creates an intimate area for a reclining chaise, and a free-standing, French design spa tub is recessed into its own curved niche.  The spa tub faces a faux-stone fireplace shared with the Master Bedroom.  An adjacent lavatory alcove features painted, raised bowl sinks set onto matching bombe chests.  A closeted commode and a tuck-away steam shower complete the master bath amenities.

The Master Closet has over 70 linear feet of double tiered hang bar space, and provides floor-to-ceiling pigeon-hole compartments for shirts, sweaters and shoes.  A windowed dressing bench allows for natural light to stream into the closet area for accurate coloring matching.

As you walk left from the second floor bridge, you traverse an accent-lighted hall way
that forms the ideal picture wall gallery.   To the right is a classically paneled Library/Office with over 200 linear feet of book shelf space, cabinet storage units and a storage closet.  The ceiling is accented with a coffered grid.  An adjacent Nook, created by the second floor space of the turret, provides an alcove for private, get-away reading or intimate conversation.
Bedroom 2 features a walk-in closet, a well-lighted seating alcove and planned space for a queen-sized bed. 

The shared Bath emulates an up scaled 19th Century bathroom with an elevated water tank over the commode, a free standing ball-and-claw tub with a 360 degree privacy curtain.  The sink is a painted, porcelain basin set into a Carrara marble vanity top.  The walls are wainscoted in painted bead board, the ceiling is pressed tin, with a matching cove and frieze, the upper walls are papered in a soft damask print, and the floor is tiled with a black on white mosaic pattern.  All fixtures are white porcelain with bright brass, period accoutrements. 

A large, windowed Laundry Room with upper and lower cabinets, laundry sink and an open hanging closet for washed clothing is conveniently located as you go up the stairs to the Attic.  A spacious Storage Room compliments the Laundry.

Bedrooms 3 and 4 are located on the attic floor level and are given character with clipped, sloping ceilings.  Both share a large Bath, and are lighted with standing rim, ridged sky lights as well as gable-end windows.

Bill Garnett © 2004

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