A Peek Behind the Scenes: Bringing home concepts to life with John Merrill Homes

home concepts, design-build process 3D home rendering

If you take a look at our portfolio, you’ll find a wide array of finished homes that we’re proud to have designed and built. What we don’t show you as often is what goes on behind the scenes during the custom design build process. So, we’re inviting you for a look behind the scenes as we share the stories of two in-progress projects. 

Family memories (almost) ready to be made

Situated on one of two lots left in the well-established Oyster Bay community at Fernandina Beach, this private residence design is based on a plan we created, but never built. Our clients, young empty nesters with children in their 20s, took their time in deciding what they wanted. With grown children and grandchildren on the way, they envisioned a large (almost 5,000 square-foot) home that would serve as a welcoming gathering place for their expanding family. After hearing about their needs, we realized that we had an existing plan that checked most of the boxes, so we started with that and manipulated it over the next few months. 

The design boasts charming Lowcountry features that are typical of the area, such as three sets of double doors and shutters. Inside, the layout features four bedrooms, a large office, and a flowing kitchen/great room/dining room area. There are also two staircases—one leading to a large room above the garage intended for family stays, with space for multiple bedrooms and a living area. The home also has a bunk room that’s big enough for two built-in bunks with ladders and stairs; perfect for the grandkids. 

Due to its location near a tributary bay leading to Nassau River, this home is built up high, offering sweeping views of the surrounding area. It also features a dock and boat lift. Future plans include adding a pool to the backyard, further enhancing its appeal as a hub for family gatherings.

The interior design is a blend of classic style and contemporary trends. Antiques mingle with modern finishes, while Zellige tiles add an old-world charm. The color palette is soothing, with creamy white cabinetry, Sherwin Williams Pewter Green accents, and warm taupe tones. Mixing metals like brass, brushed nickel, chrome, and matte black brings depth and character to the space. Despite the variety, the house flows harmoniously from room to room, creating a welcoming and refined atmosphere that’s both timeless and sophisticated.

Here’s the rendering showing what the home will look like when it’s complete in October/ November 2024:

And here’s an in-progress shot:

We’re currently about halfway through the build. 

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Classic meets contemporary

In Waterman’s Bluff, this home blends classic Southern charm with contemporary design elements. Our client, a traveling doctor and his wife seeking a peaceful retreat between work assignments, found their haven. The couple wanted a single-story, marsh-front home. We designed their home to fit on the wide, shallow lot and provide extensive marsh views.

The exterior features a courtyard entrance with pillars and stained wooden gates, while inside, vaulted ceilings and modern touches like linear fireplaces create an inviting ambiance. Large windows provide panoramic views of the marshland, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. The home features two separate garages (one double, one single), an exercise room, and four en-suite bedrooms, one of which can be used as an office. 

Dana’s mentors, locally-based Interior Design Solutions (IDS), collaborated on the furniture and interior design. One of the home’s highlights for Dana is the dark, moody color that is used in the dropzone. 

Thoughtful details abound, including a cozy reading nook with a built-in reading bench with shelving and lighting and a stylish bar area with fun wallpaper and floating shelves. The design effortlessly combines classic features with contemporary flair, resulting in a space that is both elegant and comfortable. 

The journey from concept to completion is not without its challenges. Zoned air conditioning was a key requirement, but, post-COVID, our HVAC carrier had stopped producing the air conditioning parts we needed. However, our team remained dedicated and resourceful, engineering the AC mid-build and ensuring that the vision of our clients was realized despite the hurdles.

Exterior progress pics:

JMH Progress

Almost complete, the exterior of this attractive home features different shades of a deep, smoky blue side by side with crisp bright white.

Turning visions into reality is what we do

At John Merrill Homes, we take pride in our ability to turn dreams into reality. From concept to completion, we collaborate closely with our clients to create homes that are not only beautiful but also functional and tailored to their needs. These are just two examples of the countless stories we’ve had the privilege to bring to life, and we’d love to hear from you if you have a home design + build project waiting in the wings. 

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