Riddell’s Bay Renaissance – CTX build a contemporary family home at the site of Bermuda’s oldest golf course.

Sitting on the south-west point of Riddell’s Bay overlooking the waters of the Little Sound is an entertainer’s dream. In true Jacob Hocking style, as much of the home as possible can be opened up to the outside where the owners and their guests can enjoy a large verandah, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, infinity pool with “swim-out bar,” dock and even a pickleball and basketball court. Their goal, quite simply, says CTX owner Hocking, was for a “contemporary home built for entertaining. They like to entertain a lot.”

Ceol Na Mara means “music by the sea” in Gaelic—the owners have Irish connections—and the house takes full advantage of the sea views using as much glass as possible, including wide doors that open out fully to the verandah, linear windows up the stairwell, glass “walls” in the main bedroom and corner windows in the bathroom that extend down into the living room below. “The corner window was a feature,” says Hocking. “They wanted to have a floating bathtub looking out towards the view.” To add to the dramatic effect, the tub is raised, sitting on its own slab of quartz.

A contemporary home designed for entertaining, Ceol Na Mara is situated at the south-west point of Riddell’s Bay and enjoys exceptional views of the Sound.

Ceol Na Mara is a family home with three bedrooms in the main house and an attached two-bedroom cottage. The cottage is attached to the main house to fulfil the Riddell’s Bay requirements that all assessed units be connected. The owners also wanted views from all the rooms. In meeting these requirements, the house could have ended up being long and boring, but Hocking avoided this using multiple different roof designs, including a high, smooth buttery-style roof between the main house and the cottage, as well as rectangular features such as the chimney and stairwell.

“Halfway House” – so named because it is where the Halfway House of the golf course had been – features an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, bar and access to the home’s infinity swimming pool. It is the ideal spot for entertaining.

The bedrooms and an office have been nestled at one end of the house, with the main suite upstairs and the two children’s rooms beneath. One of these has been specifically designed as a “secondary master” should there come a time when the owners no longer want to be going up and down stairs every day. The huge, central kitchen and dining area is every host’s dream. Custom made by Christiana cabinetry in neutral colours but with a darker more dramatic colour for the island, the space is warmed up using reclaimed ceiling beams as well as striking light fixtures. The leftover beams were then used to make the “huge dining room table” that the owners had specifically requested. Again, every opportunity has been taken to create a light and bright space, with skylights in the ceiling and a horizontal window in lieu of a backsplash above the hob. Hidden away from view is a scullery, mudroom and laundry room. Very much not hidden away from view, is a spectacular wine area.

The house features an abundance of glass windows and doors which maximise the enjoyment of the home’s ocean views. These include doors that fully open out on the verandah, linear floor to ceiling windows, glass walls in the primary bedroom and corner windows in the primary bathroom.

“The wine fridges were a labour of love that we designed together and had the contractor and sub-contractors assemble from components that we ordered from various suppliers,” explains Lauren Grayston, partner and interior designer at CTX Design Group. The doors were custom made by California company Maiden Steel—the same company that also made the pivot front door. Acrylic and stainless steel shelving was custom made by Vineyard Wine Cellars, and LED lighting runs up vertical posts to backlight the space. Efficiency insulated the walls and installed the wine chiller system.

The corner window in the home’s primary bathroom is a unique design feature and it extends all the way down into the living room below.

The owners also enjoy a good movie in addition to entertaining, and at the end of a corridor at the far end of the house is a media room with a huge screen and top-of-the-line sound system, supplied and installed by Custom Acoustics. “The speakers are by Bang and Olufson and they tie into the wireless system that runs throughout the house,” continues Grayston. An acoustic board with felt lining surrounds the television and the doors are soundproofed.

Overlooking the water is what Hocking describes as the “focus side” of the house, where the family hangs out the most. This includes a variety of different places to enjoy the outdoors, the centrepiece of which is the “Halfway House”— so named because it was where the Halfway House of the old golf course had been. There’s an outdoor kitchen, BBQ and bar area that includes a television, making it the ideal spot for watching the game, two fridges, a sink and, in the centre of the concrete countertop, an ice sink to stop your drinks from getting warm. Two long planters and wood features in the ceiling and cabinetry make the area feel even more relaxing.
To light up the outside after dark, there is Sofit lighting in the various outdoor ceilings, long exterior sconces which glow from behind and masses of different landscape lighting. “This house is so great at night,” adds Grayston.