Tue | May 26, 2020

Dream House | ‘The woman of the house’ holds true

Published:Sunday | October 6, 2019 | 12:00 AM
There is a hidden secret inside this house.
Outdoor balcony on the third floor overlooking unbelievable sea views.
The most distinguishing feature of the architecture is the outdoor swimming pool - inside the house.
Master bedroom with separate sitting room area.
Breakfast dining area

Her name is Daisy. Born in Darliston, Westmoreland, she does not know the month of her birth. Circumstances did not allow early registration, and time, in the end, erased memory for it to be done. This 62-year-old lady lived years ago with her three kids in Montego Bay with all the trappings of a good life … a big house, full-time helper, successful poultry business, and the purchasing power to have whatever she desired.

But Daisy had a problem! Infidelity had become her husband’s best friend. When she found out, she calmly continued her customary loyal, dutiful, loving obligations to the once-sacred marriage. But unknown to her husband, she quietly started plotting … and then, one day in 1986, he came home, only to find that she had mysteriously vanished to England – never to return to him again! Her children would join her in the fullness of time.

In the United Kingdom, she worked as a chef and also did nursing. She joined an online dating site and met David Hemmings, a teacher, with whom she had two sons. She wanted to travel, but poor David did not. He loved staying home. He bought her the engagement ring, but this was just not the right man! They remain good friends even now.

She would, again, interface with the same dating site, with three stipulations: The man must have ambition, must work, and not be short. Luck and good fortune would smile on her with the entry of a new man in her life, later to become her husband (and has been for 20 solid years now). His name is Bernard. He shares that she rescued him from his ex, who was having a torrid affair with his daughter’s college principal.

Bernard, now 77 years old, was managing director of Europe’s largest mobile engine tuning franchise.

A beautiful home

The home was in a posh part of Surrey; a beautiful home, if ever there was one. Daisy loved every aspect of English life and had no intention whatsoever of ever returning to Jamaica to live. Her husband subsequently came to the island on a first visit, a magical stay, where he and Jamaica became inseparable. He now wanted to build a dream house and live out the rest of his life here. No! She did not want to come back … unless he could provide her with an even better house and environment than what she currently enjoyed in Britain. He delivered on both!

Today, here they are, living in Jamaica eight years now, in an upscale enclave on a hill, known as Anchor Estate, in Whitehouse, Westmoreland. Situated on an acre of land, with surreal views of the Caribbean waters having an interplay of deep and light-blue colouration.

The half-finished house they purchased before major extension and remodelling was previously owned by an American who met a tragic ending in a car accident.

A 15-month-long construction process cost over J$92 million at the time. The tri-split-level design exhibits semi-circular rooms, roofs, and balconies. The outside is painted in a bright, unmistaken orange. There is no clutter and disorder, and that is paramount throughout the living quarters. There are eight bedrooms (some with sitting-room areas), with bathrooms. Two living rooms on separate floors; kitchen with Corian countertops; an office; viewing balconies and entrance porches. Another staircase leads down to a garage.

The most distinguishing feature of the architecture is the completely hidden ‘outdoor’ swimming pool – inside the house! Speechless, aren’t you! Surprisingly, the pool is located on the very top floor, surrounded by extensive terraces.

The furniture was brought in from England, showing off its sophisticated, highly finished, distinctive style.

The grounds display flowers of every fragrance, with palms, coconut, sweetsop, soursop, orange, and mango trees all planted by the mistress of the home.

People generally find the architectural merits of a house piques their interest even more when the lives behind its walls are revealed. Architecture does not breathe life into a building. It’s people who do.

- Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email: barry-rattray@hotmail.com/lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.