A Contemporary Jupiter Retreat with Tropical Southern Charm


Traditional White Front Elevation with Plantation-Style Design

Winding in and around a 3⁄4-acre pond, the road curves to the entrance of a sprawling retreat that welcomes you with the warmth and character of a bygone era. Accented with shutters and louvered doors, it hints of a West Indies island plantation.

Transitional White Foyer

A Gregorius | Pineo fixture from Holly Hunt casts soft light on an antique Sultanabad rug belonging to the owners in the foyer.

White Transitional Family Room

Interior designer Marlene Murrah custom-designed the ottoman-cocktail table in the family room using a rug from The Carpet Boutique; it was fabricated by Casa Dio. The gray swivel Verellen chairs are from Michael Dawkins Home.

Neutral Transitional Dining Room

Phillip Jeffries wallcovering wraps the walls of the dining room. The owners’ chairs wear Holly Hunt hemp and rest on a Stephanie Odegard Collection rug. Above the buffet hangs Room #8 by Ilit Azoulay. To the left hangs a painting by 19th-century French artist Brunel de Neuville, and to the right, a piece by Jean Feinberg.

White Traditional Kitchen with Painted-White Oak Cabinetry

Bar chairs by Richard Wrightman Design pull up to a marble-topped hickory island in the kitchen, where Murrah paid special attention. Glazed grove bricks from Waterworks give the backsplash a rustic yet timeless look. Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele selections from Bell’s Appliances nestle into painted-white oak cabinetry fabricated by builder Marc Angles.

White Transitional Veranda

This veranda beckons with a John Himmel Decorative Arts sofa, ottomans and chairs from David Sutherland. Made of palm rope, they suit the tropical plantation style and lush foliage beyond. The owners love live oaks, royal palms and Bismarckia palms, so they’re planted throughout the property.

White Transitional Hallway

Absolute Hardwood Flooring’s European white oak flows upstairs to the landing on the second floor. Wall lamps from The Urban Electric Co. illuminate cabinetry filled with books waiting to be read. Guest rooms, a bar area and a home gym are also located on this level.

Wood Paneled Transitional Library

Book-matched rift oak panels the walls and ceiling and creates cabinetry in the husband’s office. Murrah custom-designed the sofa in a nubby gray linen from Loro Piana. Above it, Hugo Consuegra’s October is flanked by Vaughan wall lamps from Nessen Group.

Neutral Transitional Living Room

An oil-on-canvas by Gary Komarin colors one wall of the living room, while an etching by David Drew Bruner finds a home above the fireplace. A custom vegetable-dyed area rug from Stephanie Odegard Collection is like art itself. Reconfigured sofas from the homeowners’ collection were reupholstered in Holly Hunt fabric by Casa Dio.

Eclectic White Sitting Area

An 18th-century French painted screen hangs above an exotic Indonesian console in this vignette of the formal living room. Fit for a queen, the antique porter’s chair is one of many of the owners’ pieces on view throughout the home. The stools are from Idlewild Furnishings.

Plantation Style Pool Pavilion

Lanterns by Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights signal the entrance to the open-air pool pavilion that houses an outdoor kitchen and cabana bath. Dominican coral stone surrounds the classically styled pool colored in blue granite. On one end of the pool is the future site of a vegetable garden and fruit orchard.

White Traditional Master Bedroom with Four-Poster Bed

A rug and draperies form a neutral backdrop for the owners’ collected furnishings in the master bedroom. Antiques from England, France and America meld with new pieces, such as Murrah’s custom louvered cabinet made by Nosta that conceals a television at the foot of their American four-poster bed.

Traditional Neutral Bedroom Sitting Area

The sitting area of the master bedroom brings together an antique French chair, a tufted leather cocktail table and the owners’ sofa dressed in an earthy hemp from Fabrics & Walls. French doors open to the front of the home. Aluminum-framed for durability and easy maintenance, the French doors take on the appearance of mahogany.

As one pulls up to the entry of this 20-acre estate, an air of mystery prevails with live oaks and royal palms filtering the view. Privacy is key in this natural environment, where wildlife roam freely. Once inside the gates, the property’s pièce de résistance begins its reveal. Winding in and around a 3⁄4-acre pond, the road curves to the entrance of a sprawling retreat that welcomes you with the warmth and character of a bygone era. Accented with shutters and louvered doors, it hints of a West Indies island plantation.

But there’s no sugarcane here. Rather, this plantation resides in Jupiter’s Ranch Colony, an exclusive community that caters to lovers of airplanes, golf and the equestrian life. The property provides a foster farm for the owners’ rescue horses, with six paddocks, a full working barn and two running sheds. “It’s our way of giving back to these animals that can’t take care of themselves,” the wife says.

When deciding on the home’s style, the owners credit a house they saw in the first issue of Luxe Interiors + Design as inspiration. So it was only natural they hire the same design team, Marlene Murrah and Cesar A. Molina, to bring to life their version of tropical plantation living. “They wanted a comfortable home without formality—clean and transitional,” Murrah says.

To carry out their plan, builder Marc Angles took a hands-on approach, showcasing his passion for the project in every detail. To start, he removed an existing barn where the house would reside and repurposed the wood to create the horse stables now on property. He also refurbished a second existing barn to become fully functioning. “It was a great marriage, where we all brought our strongest abilities to the table,” Angles says. “We all spoke the same language.”

That explains why the home communicates so well, from the entry gazebo, through the main house, to the pool pavilion and terraces. “It’s a rare opportunity to have all of the different components work so well together,” Molina says. And with 10 outdoor sitting areas, the home seamlessly merges the interior and exterior. A mirror-image front and back, the main home spreads out in an I-shape with French doors that open onto the picturesque landscape. Taking into account the vantage point from nearly every room, landscape designer Jorge A. Sanchez and project manager Carolyn M. Pendelton-Parker created viewsheds with foliage that lead the eye to scenic points of interest, and paired plantings with undulating ground planes. “Properties like this evolve over time,” says Sanchez. “We kept what was best to keep, removed certain trees and planted others, but always kept in mind how the owners were going to use the property.”

While the great room fills the right wing, the master bedroom and bath make up the left. In the center, the public areas line the first floor, and three guest rooms rest on the second floor. Together, they create the perfect space for cooking and entertaining. Nearby, a separate guesthouse above a three-car garage offers visitors privacy for extended stays.

From the Dominican coral-stone columns and flooring and custom finish on the rafter tails to the cypress-wood ceilings, the home’s architectural details sing. Inside, Murrah’s broad design can be seen in the space planning and interior finishes and detailing, right down to the doors. “I chose 8-foot-high solid oak doors that won’t slam because they’re so heavy,” she says. “There’s depth and substance to every aspect of the home.”

French oak flooring lays the foundation for a soothing monochromatic palette of taupe, gray and linen warmed by touches of vanilla and cognac throughout. Aside from a few custom-designed sofas, chairs and area rugs, Murrah used a majority of the owners’ pieces that she either reupholstered in linen or hemp or refinished for a more updated look. Oak was also the wood of choice for most of the cabinetry and built-ins.

For the finishing touches, the couple accessorized with their existing art and antiques, such as a Regency amboyna table, an 18th-century Italian bench and the porter’s chair in the formal living room. “We always like to bring things from the past and include them in our homes,” the wife says.

After a long day on the farm, the owners retire outside to the palm rope sofa and chairs on the veranda. With a mint julep or plantation punch in hand, they enjoy a little Southern comfort in the tropics.

—Heather L. Schreckengast