A Beacon Home
A Jupiter couple design a dream home using the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and the area’s laid-back elegance for inspiration.
Anyone driving on U.S. Route 1 toward Jupiter will eventually come across one of the city’s most notable landmarks: The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. A historical emblem to a town once known as a small fishing village, the lighthouse was built on a rolling hill in the mid-1800s. It’s perched near the north side of the inlet, where, during certain days, its cerulean waters glitter like a blanket of diamonds. And while the towering beacon has a perfect view of the town and sea, there is one couple that has a perfect view of it.
Every morning when Scott and Shannon Smith wake up, the 105-foot lighthouse is the first thing they see.
“We designed our home around the lighthouse,” Shannon says. “The center of our bedroom aligns with the center of the lighthouse, and virtually every window was built to have a view of it.”
A Jupiter native, Shannon cherishes the location of her new home. It represents everything she loved about growing up in Jupiter: The turquoise waters, the palpable weather and an environment rich in nature. So when the time came for the Smiths to build their dream home, it made sense that they wound up where they did.
“We looked at about 200 houses for three years,” Shannon says. “We knew we wanted to be on the water, and I wanted our kids to have the same upbringing I did.”
So in 2010, they decided to build. They put three bids on three houses on Lighthouse Drive, and after patiently and faithfully holding out for the last one, they had a new home. At least, the start of one.
The Smiths planned to tear down the existing home on their newly acquired lot to rebuild what Shannon describes as a transitional-style home. But before they could break ground, it took almost a year to get all the necessary approvals from the Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. It took three months to remove nearly 30 Australian pines, and about seven months to approve the rebuilding of two docks amid lush mangroves that grew nearby.
But the approvals came through, and after the docks were revamped and an approximate 300-foot linear sea wall was built, the rest fell into place.
It took two years to build the 13,200-square-foot, two-story home with six bedrooms, nine full baths, two half baths, a private guest house in the front of the lot and a four-car garage. And in March 2014, the Smiths moved into a home equipped with a media room, full bar, wine cellar, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, pool, loggia, fireplace, fire pit and tiki hut.
Even though it was a collaborative effort among Randall Stofft Architects, Onshore Construction and Development, Rogers Design Group, Blue Water Landscaping and Krent Wieland Design, it was Shannon who truly spearheaded the project.
“From the beginning I had a vision of exactly what I wanted,” she says. “I’m super decisive, I know what I like and I know what I don’t.”
Shannon spent hours perusing websites and magazines. She would cut out pictures of dining rooms, staircases, kitchens, and she would give them to her team to draw and then build. She even took a trip to North Carolina, where she shopped at a Furnitureland South, a company that has more than a million square feet of space filled with furniture. In three days she completely furnished her home.
“I give her a lot of the credit for the interior and exterior materials. … She would bounce ideas off of the designer and architect, but she would really procure the materials,” says Daniel Reedy, owner of Onshore Construction.
In the end, they did create a transitional home, which according to Reedy, means that it’s an architectural approach that has qualities of contemporary and traditional styles. Contemporary architecture uses a lot of expansive windows, as is used in the Smith’s home. But unlike a contemporary home that can elicit a frigid feeling, this home emits warmth.
“Yes, walking up to the front door it’s more formal, but as you walk in all the way to the water you get a Jimmy Buffet feel,” Shannon says, laughing. “You could walk in [wearing] a tux, but by the end of the day you’re in flip flops having a drink by the water.”
Turning into the driveway of the Smith’s home, a stately feeling does settle in. Sure, there’s a basketball court indicating young boys live there, but the manicured parallel palm trees towering over the immaculate white limestone motor court area evoke an undeniable elegance.
Walking through the mahogany front doors, the opulence continues to unfold. The cypress ceilings with coffered boxed beams are adorned with the occasional crystal chandeliers hanging hither and yon. There’s a self-playing piano on the left, and on the right, separated by two columns, is a formal dining room atop a French limestone flooring, and a mahogany walk-in wine room behind the dining room table.
And although the décor is heavily steeped in a sophisticated taste, the beautiful contrast in the limestone color against the dark, Duchateau European oak wood floors throughout the rest of the house draws out a sense of hospitality.
“We created a transitional home, but with a deeper kind of feeling. ... More Zen and richer in substance versus the Anglo Caribbean white on white colors,” says Randall Stofft, the lead architect.
The richness in woods and the natural light coming through the wide-ranging windows does indeed breathe life into the home.
Directly across from the main entrance lies an exquisite living room with a fireplace on the south side. Mahogany panels sit atop the fireplace mantle, and on each side of the fireplace there are two stacked split-face marble stone walls that lead into the media room.
There awaits a theater-like arrangement. With a flat-screen TV, plush white reclining seats and the promise of a good time, it’s hard not to sit down. The full bar and poker table is to the right, and since Scott is a University of Kentucky alumni and a huge wildcat fan, there are signed footballs encased in a wall unit on opposite sides of the fireplace wall.
West of the media room is Scott’s office. He spends most of his time in there working, and Shannon jokingly calls it his “cell.” But a cell that overlooks a pool, the Intracoastal and the lighthouse doesn’t sound too bad.
On the north side of the house is the family room and a large, white pristine kitchen. There are two islands and an abundance of storage space, which explains why nothing is out of place. “People don’t think we live here sometimes, but that’s how I love it – everything has a home,” Shannon says.
Heading up toward the second floor of a staircase cut out of plate aluminum and stair treads that are French limestone, lies the master bedroom, a guest room, a gym and the boys’ loft.
First stop is the gym. The Smiths, who love to work out, find themselves in this approximately 500-square-foot room quite often. It overlooks the water and has a balcony, and there’s an adjacent steam room.
Next is the boys’ loft. Before anything else, Shannon knew how this room would turn out. She calls it their village. On the east side of the home, almost like a separate wing, the three Smith boys, Carter, Logan and Blake, have the coolest of living quarters. Past their own laundry room (separate from their parents’ laundry room, which is on the first floor), are the double doors to their haven.
They all have individual bathrooms, walk-in closets and same-size rooms. The only difference is the décor, as is seen in the first room on the left: Blake’s room, which is decorated in a safari theme. A few feet past Blake’s room is the boys’ own living room with a sofa, TV, movies, games, video games, toys and a long custom-made table, where they can eat, do homework or play games. Past the playroom is Logan’s beach-themed room, and at the end of the hall is Carter’s blue room.
On the west end is the master bedroom, where arguably the best view of the house can be seen. The bed in the middle of their room faces the lighthouse. With only a couple of chairs symmetrically spaced from each other, and a retractable TV console, the phrase “Less is more” has never rang more true.
But before reaching the simple yet chic bedroom, the his-and-hers bathrooms and walk-in closets need a momentary spotlight. Described by Shannon as the one feminine thing in her whole house, Shannon’s bathroom and adjacent walk-in closet breeds envy. The marble floor, onyx countertops, isolated bathtub and crystal chandelier in her powder room make it look almost regal. And her 240-square-foot closet is any woman’s dream. Everything is compartmentalized: her jewelry is organized on the west wall, her clothes color coordinated on the left, her bags and hats area stored in cabinets on the east wall, and her copious amount of shoes are neatly put away in a glass-cased unit on the east wall. “What can I say, I’m a neat freak and I hate clutter,” she says, smiling.
Equally as impressive is Scott’s bathroom. A stacked rock panel lines the shower wall and the perimeter of a window frame, and his walk-in closet, although not as enviably filled as Shannon’s, is just as grand.
Shannon leads the way back downstairs through another set of smaller, hardwood stairs on the north end of the house. It’s time to take a walk outside. She steps past her kitchen toward her family living room. With the exception of the last panel of sliding glass doors at the end of the room, all the glass doors that lead out to the loggia unlock and pocket into each other.
Once outside, the feel is completely different from the rest of the house. There’s the loggia with a full summer kitchen, flat-screen TV, fireplace and fire pit. To the left is the hot tub directly against the house, and the pool built with a vanishing edge and translucent mosaic tile.
Across the cool grass, about 50 steps from the loggia, is the Intracoastal and the rest of the Smith’s backyard. They have a trampoline, a tiki hut with marble floors, paddle boards and kayaks. There’s a floating dock the kids can jump off of during high tide, and the other dock near an area that turns into a beach at low tide.
“It’s not just a house dropped on a lot. … I feel like this style talks to the environment,” she says.
You can really feel the beauty of coastal living at the Smith’s Jupiter home. They have successfully designed a home for their friends and family to enjoy, a home designed to fit their lifestyle, a home designed to make memories in.
“I wanted the house to be comfortable, homey and where everyone can enjoy it with us,” Shannon says.