A fortuitous side trip to Key West compelled a Washington, D.C., couple to stay awhile.

By Francoise O'Neill
January 24, 2006
Island Style
Robert Mauer

For Carole and Gerald Fauth, the Caribbean summed up their ideaof paradise. They promised themselves that the next time theyvisited, they would purchase a piece of land and build a vacationhome to escape the cold Washington, D.C., winters. But as oftenhappens, fate intervened.

"We got a phone call from friends who were considering buyingproperty in Key West. They asked us if we could check out the areafor them on our way back home," Carole says.

Little did the Fauths know, their circuitous route would altertheir plans forever.

The couple was so taken with Key West's carefree attitude, blueseas, and diverse residents, they decided to find their getawayplace there. "The weather was perfect, the restaurants plentiful,and the lifestyle relaxed," says Carole. Ten years after building ahome, the couple decided on a repeat performance―this time inTruman Annex, a former U.S. Navy base turned privateneighborhood.

They called on architect Thomas Pope for his experience inrestoring and renovating historic homes. "Tom understood instantlywhat we were looking for," Gerald says. "We planned to winter hereand wanted to take full advantage of the garden and the poolarea."

To give his clients that always-on-vacation feeling, Tom drew onWest Indies and Bahamian sensibilities. He utilized trademarkelements such as metal roofs, picket fences, double-hung windows,low roof overhangs, and shutters to integrate the new home into theestablished vernacular. Transom windows let in plenty of naturallight, and French doors keep the indoors flowing out.

"The dining area opening onto the back porch is my favoriteroom," Carole says. "We have wonderful dinner parties withfriends." Out here, when the slightest breeze unleashes thefragrance of jasmine and gardenia, Carole and Gerald no longer haveto depend on Caribbean dreams.