A Fortified Fairhope Cottage
In a quiet corner of suburban Fairhope sits a rather quaint home, rendered in architectural details that suit both contemporary and traditional styles. This is the “Fairhope Cottage” style which lends a very distinctive appeal to a few homes in the area. Having generously large windows and such a slim profile, you might not expect that the home is hurricane proof! In fact, the owners have taken several measures to ensure that the home is as safe, comfortable, and efficient as possible.
For starters, the entire home is a styrofoam block and concrete structure, which makes for an extremely resilient defense against all sorts of dangerous weather. The home is certified by the IBHS as “Fortified”, meaning 185mph winds won’t cause any damage to the structure. As a bonus, there’s no need for any form of insulation due to concrete’s thermal mass. Again though, such impressive structural characteristics aren’t necessarily evident in the home’s design, which is as warm and welcoming as Southern homes can be
The kitchen is wrapped in white beadboard, in accordance with the walls of the entire first floor. This sets the stage for some strong contrasts, which the variety of materials used in the kitchen’s design utilize. The granite used for the countertops is named Terra Brizillie. Being predominantly brown with swirling strokes of black, the granite resembles something like a wood grain or a beach’s sand. It’s highly energetic and pairs nicely with the tile backsplash. The black subway tiles were in fact installed by the owner!
The kitchen is, on the whole, darker in color than the areas surrounding it. Except for the white grout in the backsplash, not much in the kitchen is entirely white. That includes the cabinet hardware, the cooktop, and everything in between. So, despite having a very open floorplan, the kitchen does feel like its own distinct space.
As the kitchen transitions into the dining room, the color palette reverts back to bright and airy lightness. The Terra Brizillie extends up and over the kitchen sink and into a bar, supported by a few corbels, made out of wood from trees from the same property. Some 40 pecan and pine trees were transformed into the corbels, door frame moldings, the fireplace mantel, and several other details throughout the home. This aspect is another contributing factor to the efficiency of the home’s construction
All in all this home represents a hallmark of both safety and style! We’re proud to have been a part of its construction. One last thing... the cat door has been adorned with Alabama White marble. We felt that was worth mentioning.