When Steve and Lisa Wooten were working as air traffic controllers outside of Atlanta, they talked about their retirement plans. Both knew they wanted to live near the beach, but—incredibly—neither had ever heard of Amelia Island or Fernandina Beach. When their daughters reached college age, the two began thinking more seriously about their retirement home. “Friends told us about Fernandina Beach,” says Lisa. “We came down, and a realtor showed us this lot, which we really fell in love with.”
The couple chose Plantation Housing Corp., an independently owned and operated franchise of Arthur Rutenberg Homes, to design and build their home. It was easy to pick out everything, from the floor plan to tile, paint colors, and design. “Julie and Benjie of Julia Hall Interiors helped us so much with colors,” shares Lisa. “We had an idea, but Plantation Housing Corp. had plans which fit
our needs. We knew we wanted a one-story home.”
Their three-bedroom, four-bath home has an open floor plan with twelve-foot ceilings. The living room and dining room have sliding glass doors, which open to a beautifully designed enclosed pool area. The doors completely disappear into the walls, so that in the right weather, the home is fully opened to the tropical pool area.
“We really have two living rooms,” says Lisa, “one indoor, one out.” Both have fireplaces, and the mantle on each is reclaimed wood from G & H Reclaims in Callahan. A comfortable sofa and four occasional chairs surround a gas fireplace in the living room; an outdoor sofa and matching chairs face the outside fireplace.
A full slab of quartz—ten-and-a-half feet by five feet—tops the island between the living room and kitchen. The island, which has a farmhouse sink and full cabinets underneath, sports a wine cooler on one end. Comfortable, low bar stools create an ideal spot for a quick bite, or for guests to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. A spacious pantry tucked behind the refrigerator runs the full breadth of the kitchen.
The living room and kitchen serve as the central axis of the home. Although neither is at home full-time now, each of Steve and Lisa’s daughters has a room with an ensuite bath on the west side of the house. The expansive master suite is on the east side of the house. “Both our girls are tall,” laughs Lisa. “We had the bath counters and shower fixtures designed especially for them.”
A mud room separates the west wing bedrooms from the garage; a custom-built wall of cabinets and benches is in the “stop and drop” space. Steve and Lisa put in an outdoor shower, which opens onto the mud room, while a spacious laundry room is off the hallway leading to the garage.
A bar/TV room on the back corner of the house was made into a den. “We repeated the brick wall from our Peachtree City house,” notes Steve. A beautiful coffee table made from a tree downed in a hurricane adds to the custom feeling of the room.
The relaxing master suite is on the other side of the home. Double doors open into an entryway which separates the bedroom from the master bath. A beautiful piece of copper-relief art on handmade paper graces the master suite foyer. “Steve and I bought that on our honeymoon,” said Lisa. “It was the very first thing we bought together.”
The master bath features a soaking tub and a roll-in shower with a pebbled floor. His-and-her closets (Lisa’s features a chandelier) line the hallway to the bedroom. A king-sized bed with headboard and footboard made from abaca—a hemp-like Filipino fiber—is the centerpiece of the master bedroom. Comfortable chairs and a small table create a cozy sitting area under the window, while a door opens onto the pool area.
Steve, who lived in Hawaii for four years as a child, says he hopes to get back into surfing now that he doesn’t have to maintain an acre-and-a-half property. “We went from that level of maintenance to a five-minute mowing job!” he laughs. The Wooten family will have plenty of time to enjoy their island home.