The Conch Shack
Designed For Island Entertaining, This Chic Bahamian Courtyard Home Is A Showstopper And A Conversation Starter
Architecture and Design:
Walton H. Chancey, Sandra Chancey and Cameron Hughes, Chancey Design Partnership, Tampa, FL
Jacqueline Capra and Meredith Summersgill, Tavistock Group, Windermere, FL
Dana Hoff, Boynton Beach, FL
Albany, New Providence Island, Bahamas
Adriana Grauer, Agsia Design Group, Aventura, FL
Justin Coble, Capstone Consturction Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas
Corey Mills, Mills Design Group, Inc., Oviedo, FL
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At the heart of Albany, a gorgeous 600-acre ocean-side luxury community in the Bahamas, complete with its own superyacht marina and every amenity imaginable, is Jason and Sara Callender’s inviting “Conch Shack.” But don’t let the name fool you. Jason is a partner in the development with British business mogul Joe Lewis, and pro golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, who are also residents. And Sara is a real estate broker based in Albany as well. The Callenders’ so-called shack is anything but. This 9,231-square-foot residence includes a stunning two-story main house, delightful guest cottages and vibrant outdoor living areas sited around an irresistibly charming courtyard. Truly a showstopper, it is a lovely private home and the couple’s fabulous 3-D calling card.
The “Conch Shack” embodies the fun, lively and young-at-heart spirit of the New Providence Island community. Its neighboring homes are named “Sea Ya” and “Riddim House” (whose owner is a drummer). The community’s famed centerpiece, “Albany House,” now features fine dining venues and an oceanside lounge. The pink mansion was previously owned by French filmmaker Jean Chalopin — the creator of the animated television series, Inspector Gadget — and served as the villain’s home in the 2006 James Bond movie, Casino Royale.
“My wife and I grew up in the Bahamas, where everyone gives their home a name,” Jason says. “Our home is a culmination of the experience I’ve gained in my years in the development business, and since Sara and I are both Bahamians, we know what works best for homes in the islands.”
When coming up with a master plan, Jason visited communities designed by the urbanist firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. Through DPZ, he became acquainted with the Tampa-based architectural and interior design firm, Chancey Design Partnership. “Andres Martin Duany is the father of New Urbanism,” Jason says. “We liked that master-plan intent and adopted it for Albany, and Walton and Sandra Chancey have designed some great homes within DPZ’s communities.”
With an appreciation for beautiful accoutrements, a love for indoor and outdoor spaces that flow, and a large lot in an Albany neighborhood of courtyard homes, the couple was ready to build. “I wanted our house to be charming with a little bit of ‘beach glam,’” Sara says.
“The Callenders had their hearts set on a traditional Bahamian feel with British Colonial imagery,” Walton says. “But in today’s world, British Colonial needs to be opened up.” Instead of distinctly defined social spaces inside and out, columns and beams separate the main living areas, but allow them to be open to each other. “This type of home is conducive to the couple’s hospitable lifestyle with nonstop guests,” says Cameron Hughes, the Chancey Design Partnership architect who oversaw the Callender project.
Step through louvered doors into the courtyard, where pretty terraced gardens with palms, an infinity pool with a hot tub and sun shelf, and patios with a dramatic fire feature and contemporary fountain all add up to an enticing sensory feast. Embracing the gardens, guest bungalows anchor the courtyard corners to create a spa-like retreat with areas for lounging, sunning and chatting. And just beyond, a pedestrian path leads to the beach.
Inside, the main house is a breath of fresh air with its crisp white palette studded with touches of blue. “We wanted to carry through the traditional feel with paneling, wainscoting and molding,” Sandra says. “It’s a beautiful architectural envelope that offers the perfect backdrop for the couple’s art and furnishings.” While the living and dining areas flow together, the bar is situated around the corner in an intimate setting. “Because they often entertain, Jason wanted a dedicated wine room and bar area,” Cameron says. “You have to walk though the bar to get to the wine room, where a brick accent wall displays Jason’s prized bottles of spirits set within its niches.
Spacious and inviting, the kitchen beckons family and friends to gather around the oversized island fitted to accommodate small social groupings. Black granite countertops contrast with white cabinetry, while sparkling stainless steel accents and a mirrored backsplash enhance the setting.
But while the house is guest-minded, it also has serene and private spaces. “In the master bedroom, you walk in and see the pool area, so we created a foyer with a paneled wall behind the bed,” Sandra says. The master baths each have a distinct feel. Jason’s sports a darker mahogany, while Sara’s bath is all fresh white with a patterned-concrete flooring and Calacatta marble countertops. “This is Sara’s dream bathroom,” Sandra says. “She wanted a freestanding center tub that looks out over the courtyard.”
And a last word about the courtyard, everything circles back to Jason and Sara hosting many events and gatherings. “When designing a courtyard like this, you want smaller social spaces with seating areas to facilitate that,” Cameron says. Here, an arbor overhead shapes an outdoor area that exudes the feeling of an intimate space for guests to carry on conversations. When all is said and done, the “Conch Shack” is a self-contained paradise on an island paradise … not even James Bond or Inspector Gadget could ask for more.