Biloxi Revival - Part I
In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the city of Biloxi, along with numerous other communities along the Gulf Coast, was devastated. A stretch of Highway 90 had collapsed, buildings were flooded, and neighborhoods were levelled. The magnitude of repairs needed to restore the beauty of the city and the morale of its people seemed insurmountable. After some time, as the city began to be rebuilt, a local couple decided to initiate the revival of their neighborhood by rebuilding their home, which had been completely destroyed in the storm. Now their home stands tall, within walking distance of the beach, as a hallmark of the enduring spirit of the South in the face of strife.
The home, pursuiant of both security and comfort, is a refreshing and luxurious display of quality materials and tasteful design. Upon entering the foyer, it becomes clear that the majority of the home’s flooring is composed of Tuscany Chateaux stone tiles. The beige tile has a handful of varying tones and sizes. The rhythmic arrangement brings movement and a subtle energy to each room into which it flows.
The main kitchen expands on the rhythmic motif of the tile flooring with a unique choice of granite for the countertops. Typhoon Bordeaux, as its name might suggest, has a pattern which resembles calm ocean waves gliding over the shoreline. The bullnose edge profile tapers the granite’s movement and distributes it into the light and open surrounding kitchen space. All of these details combine to give the kitchen a soft and serene character, a theme which emerges several times in the house.
Elsewhere on the first floor, a guest bathroom negotiates some light and airiness with the outdoors through two oval windows set near the ceiling. Below them, in keeping with the serenity brought by the tile floor, another smooth variety of granite, called Laguna, tops the vanity. Reflected in the mirror above is the grand tile shower, fully opened into the space without any sort of enclosure. It’s almost as though the Tuscany Chateaux floor tiles have danced up the walls of the bathroom to form the shower! This effect is accomplished in part by an installation technique called “vertical course” where rectangular tiles are installed lengthwise, perpendicular to the ground. The ceiling is punctuated by three exposed rafters which point to the exterior of the home.
These rafters pierce through to a comfortable patio space, once again, opened up to the outside without an enclosure. Fresh air and bright, natural light flow through the room. This room bravely embraces the beauty of the surrounding Biloxi landscape, not yielding to the devastation that brought about the restoration in the first place. It is a powerful statement on its own, brazenly expressing a welcoming intent and a comforting atmosphere.