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Rock House
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Page 1 of 1Total of 2 messages
Posted by:Nov 10th 2003, 08:36:22 pm
KimberlyI saw a great article about Giovanna Knowles' place in the November issue [available online via subscription,], but nothing about Rock House. Is this the article you're referring to?

By Barbara Dinerman
Island Hoppers

When you work in the Bahamas, you need another idyllic spot for relaxing. These Nassau residents escape by ferry to Harbour Island.

Ancestral connections first pulled Nassau native Patricia Vouch to tiny Harbour Island 20 years ago. But the mesmerizing sea, hilly paths, and pastel harbor kept bringing her back. Now retired, having passed her cruise ship business on to her daughter and son-in-law, Giovanna and Matthew Knowles, she decided it was time for a family place facing the turquoise ocean they'd grown to love.

They all agreed they wanted "an easy-maintenance, comfortable house that had a relaxed Bahamian look, as if we had built our dream years ago," says Giovanna. "And we knew that Jack Fhillips would be the perfect interior designer. We'd worked together on several projects, including a Miami condo for Mom. He's part of the family."

Giovanna also enlisted Nassau architect Jason P. Lorandos. He devised an open plan, with no corridors or hallways and plenty of cross ventilation with its one-room-deep layout. For this beachfront site, two lots wide, all rooms except baths have ocean views, the windows becoming frames for serene images in saturated colors. The bedrooms, which flank the living and dining areas in a pleasant symmetry, each have two louver-enclosed verandas for shade and security against storms. Upstairs, a high-ceilingod sitting room and bedroom suite offer privacy and architectural charm with exposed beams and dormer windows.

Jack worked with Jason, refining the plan to maximize those vistas. "To augment the Anglo-Caribbean design, I raised the porches and ceilings, adding the all-important transoms, so my clients would have a spectacular view of the ocean from the moment they stepped through the main entry doors," Jack says. He then set to work on just the right colors and fabrics for this sun-drenched setting.

"Patricia's only requirement was 'Make it blue!'" Jack says. But the test was to come up with the right shade. He had brought his own custom-mixed paint to the island but quickly learned that "Bahamian pigmented paints have more brilliant hues than anything we have in the States," he says. "The blue that I'd chosen looked faded because of the light." Local hardware store employees shared their secrets as they mixed the perfect blue.

The floor stains also developed gradually. "I wanted the floors to look like old ebony," Jack says. "And we decided to have some fun by hand-painting the old armoire in the living room with a takeoff on the blue-and-white upholstery." Most of the fabrics here were hand-colored and printed for Jack, primarily at Bahama Hand Prints in Nassau. "I went to the factory, picked the fabric design, and had the cotton canvas screen-printed to my specifications," he explains.

All the upholstery, cushions, duvets, and shams can be unzipped and put in the washing machine. Even the white draperies, which billow so romantically when the louvers in the living areas are open, are a linen/polyester blend. "It's a wash-and-wear house," Jack says.

Bahamian artwork--from antique Caribbean maps to contemporary watercolors and sculpture--reinforce the sense of place. Jack chose most of the original paintings right on the island at Princess Street Gallery. But placing the art and accessories involved editing the owners' purchases. "My client is a big-time shopper," Jack says with a laugh, recalling the huge boxes that Giovanna had shipped to his Palm Beach office. "The big clock over the desk in the living room was an amusing take on an English watchmaker's sign," he notes. "I didn't like it at first, but then I realized the frivolity and fun of it. In the States, we take our interiors very seriously. You can't apply that same formula to working in the tropics."

"We keep the living areas open till late at night," Giovanna says. "The view is amazing. The colors are indescribable. You have to be here to understand; the ocean looks almost artificial." Though it still seems like a dream, this airy retreat is gratifyingly real.

Copyright November 2003 Coastal Living
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Posted by:Nov 10th 2003, 04:41:58 pm
RoI am really confused by an article in Coastal Living magazine's NOV/CEC issue. It's all about a woman who lives at Rock House, but no mention is made of the present hotel at all. What's the deal?

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