Ringed by Banyan trees and birdsong, the private enclave of Village of Golf unspools like a bolt of green velvet. Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac in this South Florida town stands a house of a peaceful nature. With its stucco façade and allée of welcoming palms, it plays well with its neighbors. But a closer look reveals curiosities: a modern-inflected Cape Dutch silhouette, a monolithic white roof and soaring steel-framed windows affording views straight through its heart to the backyard beyond. “UPS calls it the glass house,” says designer Christie Cade. “People think it’s an atrium.”
Clarity—of vision and of physical sight lines—is exactly what Cade intended when she teamed up with architect Rustem Kupi on designs for the new-build residence. The owners, Floridians via Northern California, wanted a cohesive indoor-outdoor dialogue, the informality of single-story living and a warm, modern ethos. A modified H-shape Cape Dutch layout would strike that perfect balance of East and West Coast tradition, comfort and contemporary appeal.
To bring in the outside in a heroic way, Cade made the decision early on to fabricate steel-framed impact windows, a local rarity. In addition to making a bold statement, “you can create larger expanses, because steel is stronger than standard aluminum,” she explains. “It allows so much light in.” In total, the great room features six 11-foot-tall openings framing verdant views. She also employed the same shellstone flooring indoors and outdoors to establish a focal alfresco connection.
Consistency in materials is a signature move of the designer, and for this home, she didn’t stop at flooring. The kitchen’s matte-finish cerused-oak cabinetry, unlacquered brass fittings and Belgian bluestone counters extend to the bathrooms. The same sisal rugs occupy every room. And while common room windows are left bare to best enjoy the views, the bedroom and bathroom windows wear the same sheer linen fabric.
Cade also relied on scale and symmetry for sparkle—especially in the great room. There, general contractor Alexander L. King aligned every last air-conditioning duct and light fixture between the ceiling beams, creating a visceral sense of peace and order. “If you stand in that room looking south, everything centers: the windows, the cabinetry, everything,” he says. “It’s a beautiful, crisp, clean look.” A pair of deep kitchen islands, a gracious library table that doubles for dining and the living area’s enormous Scott Kerr painting turn a would- be cavern into a cozy cathedral.
To drive home her “California Casual” interiors concept, Cade riffed off the cool steel windows with a rich cocktail of organic textures. “I’m all for texture wherever you can get it,” she says. “If you’re designing contemporary and you’re not using color or print, texture is what makes it happen.” Rattan and raffia accents, such as the kitchen stools and living area’s easy chairs, add hits of texture that feel right at home amidst the tropical environs, while touches of plaster and patina-prone metals hint at West Coast cool. Notably, the designer also limited built-ins throughout, favoring Japanese Tansu chests instead. Amid the predominately off-white, camel-and-black palette, surprises abound: A peak inside the kitchen pantry reveals a jolt of red lacquer, an oversize artwork of an amaryllis holds court between twin beds in the guest bedroom and, in the serene blue-toned main bedroom, a set of plastered rattan nightstands sport drawer pulls of little brass feet. “I always say I could be a minimalist, but there are too many great things in the world,” Cade muses.
Finish line in sight, the designer called upon landscape architect Chris Vance to lend his own similarly tailored aesthetic to the exteriors. Taking cues from Kupi’s structure, Vance imagined a central axis of palm trees joined by oversize planters teaming with elephant ears, bromeliads and Japanese blueberry trees. “It’s not about putting on a big show; it’s about feeling comfortable,” he says. “The trick to doing that is: Elements need to be bold and powerful, to become architectural features.” In another transformative stroke, he flipped the proposed pool siting on the horizontal. “I wanted to treat it like an old- school estate and make the pool a destination,” he explains. The grounds echo the alluring ease of the home’s interior, projecting Cade’s fondness for cohesion inside and out. “Consistency soothes the eye,” she shares. “It suits the pattern of nature and keeps things understated.”