Descending into a private wine cellar to procure a delicious bottle isn’t a novel idea. But an underwater wine cellar designed like a grotto? You’ve piqued our interest, and our palate.
“An artist—Meredith Miller—lived in the house at one time, and she and her husband built” the wine cellar, says Smith. “It was her creativity that came up with” the addition.
The renovation, which also added a koi pond and artist’s loft, was completed during the 1980s. The 3,360-square-foot, four-bedroom home originally dates to 1925. Situated on a half-acre corner lot, “it’s surrounded by other 1920s homes,” says Smith.
It’s the home’s (and neighborhood’s) historical character that Smith hopes will attract a buyer, although the one-of-a-kind wine cellar is worthy of a toast. Bottle storage is embedded into the stone walls for a seamless look. While sipping vintage Bordeaux, you can gaze out at a watery wonderland.
William Jennings Bryan, secretary of state under President Woodrow Wilson, was the home’s first owner.
“A lot of these houses were built in a square shape around a courtyard so they could get optimum breezes, because the ocean is so far away,” explains Smith. The urban area once attracted “well-heeled Northeasterners who wanted to get out of the winter.”
Fans of the life aquatic will fall hard for this home because “you can see water—whether it’s the pond or the waterfall or the swimming pool—from every room,” says Smith. The koi pond is beneath an ornate foot bridge leading to the home. There’s also a large gazebo for reading or relaxing. With the self-circulating waterfall, “you do feel like you’re in Shangri-La,” says Smith. There’s also a water fountain in the courtyard.
Overnight visitors in the cottage are in for a real treat: “If you are a guest in that house, you can lie in bed and look out at the pool,” says Smith.
Home chefs will fight over the right to cook in the kitchen—especially once they see the robin’s egg-blue stove and its brick surround.
“That’s about an $18,000 French stove,” says Smith. “Although it’s a galley kitchen, it just works in this house.”
Architectural details in the home include plaster walls throughout. The original fireplace in the living room is flanked by French doors. Fabulous arches—also in the living room—are crafted from wood and feature spool beams. They’re a nice complement to the room’s pecky cypress ceiling. Embedded stone lions flank an exterior door to the home. There’s also a private rooftop terrace and a sauna.
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But the pièce de résistance—in addition to the wine cellar—is the artist’s loft, which features a Juliet balcony and a private terrace.
Given the luxe amenities and historical character of the home, buyers would be racing to put in an offer, right?
Well, when faced with options including new spec homes and modern condos—both of which are prolific in Miami—it won’t be just anybody who puts in an offer.
“The buyer is someone who will dare to be different,” says Smith. “They do not want cookie cutter. They love nature. They like the Coconut Grove history. They’re probably inventive and innovative.” And, we should add, fans of a nice bottle of vino.
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