Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Dream House | Nautical Portland home a one-of-a-kind escape

Published:Sunday | November 20, 2022 | 12:10 AM
The greater part of this house is not on land, but astonishingly in seawater.
The greater part of this house is not on land, but astonishingly in seawater.
Bedrooms float magically on water.
Bedrooms float magically on water.

The relaxing living room opens out to the seascape balcony.
The relaxing living room opens out to the seascape balcony.
Outdoor relaxation beyond your wildest dreams.
Outdoor relaxation beyond your wildest dreams.

The first Dream House article was published 30 years ago on Sunday, October 18, 1992. Today’s article features a home with a storied past.

This buoyant domestic architecture pays homage to the magical form, transparency, reflectivity, colour, movement and sound of its seventh-heaven marine habitat.

What will hit you, like a bolt from the blue, is that the greater part of the building is not on land but in the actual sea!

The cold- and hot-water springs emanating from the nearby river also flow from the verdant hillside backdrop, navigating straight under the very house and thence out to the deep blue sea.

A part of the 1988 romance/drama motion picture, Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise, was filmed right here. Also, in the most recent James Bond flick, No Time To Die, with a cast headed by Daniel Craig, these premises were occupied by the film crew and were their favourite hang-out spot.

The white, two-storey floating house (pervading two lots), advantageously sits in proximity to the Blue Lagoon and Monkey Island in Port Antonio, Portland. It was purchased from a Canadian family in 1999 by the family of Jamaican Emma Dibbs. It’s Emma Dibbs’ creative outburst that has infused a refreshing, artistic expression to the recent refurbishing exercise.

Why was Portland chosen for this family get-together home? Well, it’s where the occupants’ hearts are, the parish they originated from. A family that plays a very prominent role in the island’s private security apparatus.


The building blocks of excitement are quite evident here, as the water-cooled house sails you into an oasis of relaxation, what with: five somniferous (tray ceiling) bedrooms, with four (glass shower) bathrooms – most of them directly on the water, by way of wood plank floored balconies.

The dining and sitting areas, leading through French doors to floating decks and an outdoor patio, also command an amazing connectivity to the irresistible seascape as it invigorates our bond with nature.

The granite countertop kitchen, with its stainless steel appliances, rounds out the spatial interior arrangement.

We cannot deny the meditative calm of the internal nautical theme, with its pastel hues of blue and white colours throughout, producing the effects attributable to wellness and emotional well-being.

This villa sits right on top of the matrix of life – a stunning interpretation of a romantic, intriguing and peaceful place to call home.

- Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email feedback to and