Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Dream House | Finding coziness, rustic charm

Published:Sunday | April 21, 2019 | 12:07 AM
Stone wall waterfall with fish pond below
House designed with different wings
Dining room with tray ceiling above
Part of living room
Part of living room leading to entrance foyer

St Luke’s Anglican Church in The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, is situated in Cross Roads. The rector there is Venerable Archdeacon Patrick Cunningham. His wife, Deaconess Elaine Cunningham, is the principal of St Hugh’s High School for Girls. Where they both live is the church rectory (residence of the rector) and the column, in furtherance of its mission to find and share Jamaica’s unique and diverse architecture, pays a visit to their home – an address being different from that of the church.

The provocative element of the architectural design is the various wings of the house spread out on the site, at differing angles. Another seldom-seen design element is the use of natural stone walls on the inside, adding texture, coziness, and rustic charm.

Yet another design element is space, and the design exudes space; with living room incorporating separate, colour-coordinated seating areas. Tray ceilings in living and dining areas, lift your eyes upwards. Wide-louvred bi-fold doors open to the back verandah, exposing a stone-walled waterfall, spilling into a stone pond of Koi fish below. A fountain in the pond completes the visual fixation, with the soothing sounds of flowing water … inviting relaxation.

Kitchen with wood cabinets lead, via a secured, covered walkway, to a separate staff quarters wing, which includes the laundry.

The sleep wing of the house includes four bedrooms with three bathrooms. There is refreshment room, study, and a room that welcomes … the entrance foyer. A double carport opening to a circular driveway completes the sanctuary. Paintings and ceramics coordinate with the interiors.

The property is well fruited with lime trees, ackee, breadfruit, star-apple, mangoes, June plum, etc. There is a greenhouse in the back, with orchids. In fact, orchids are everywhere, colouring the environs in the most beautiful way – thanks to the archdeacon’s passion for growing them. A refreshment to the spirit, a refreshment to the soul.

Major remodelling took place before the Cunninghams moved in 11 years ago, and I think myself blessed to have been chosen for its design and modification. It included extension to structure; new roof, retiling and much more.

We say thanks for the visit, and do appreciate the architectural merits this house has humbly shown us.

- Barry Rattray, dream designer and builder, Email: