Unique is an Understatement

Posted on 04 October 2017

If  you were to name the most unique house in Bainbridge, the Spanish style home on Pineland Drive would have to be a major contender.

First of all, the Spanish architecture is authentic and not duplicated anywhere else in town. It has a tiled roof, the exterior walls are concrete blocks covered with stucco, a walled patio leads to the front door, and the front door opens to the poolroom – as in swimming pool. What could be more unique than having a swimming pool inside your house?

The house was built in 1972 by Kermit and Sally Bates. It has had several owners over the years, and had recently begun to suffer from neglect and vandalism. In 2015 the house went into foreclosure and was purchased by Robert and Emily Yent, who immediately began restoring it.

The home sits on a rise atop a large lot and has interesting landscaping, including a producing grapefruit tree and a fig tree. Before the Yents obtained the house, the trees and bushes in front of the house were so large and overgrown that it was nearly impossible to see the house from the street. Some who regularly traveled the street did not realize it existed. Clearing the lawns of much of the overgrowth and dead trees was a primary concern.

The indoor 2 x 24 foot pool is lined with small royal blue tiles. It fills a large room, divided from the formal living room only by a floor to ceiling stone fireplace wall. All of the four bedrooms and the den open off either side of the pool area. The far end of the room has floor to ceiling windows and doors that open out to another large patio room. This one is screened in and the Yents have added a metal roof, making it a great place to sit and listen to the rain.

Luckily, Robert is a talented carpenter and handyman who also has a gift of vision for what can be.

His first project was to tackle the kitchen. It was divided from a large dining area by a half cabinet wall that had once contained a double oven. He tore that wall down and cleverly converted those cabinets into an island for the kitchen work area. He inserted sliding drawers in the unit, and covered it with a granite top that matched the existing counter top. He also ran electric and WiFi to the island, which necessitated drilling a conduit through the concrete floor.

Existing kitchen cabinets, all black, went partially up the wall. Wooden cabinets in the correct size were mounted on top of the others, going clear to the ceiling, and painted to match the existing ones, thus doubling the amount of cabinet space.

All of this opened the kitchen to one large room, with half of it serving as the dining room. That area had little wall space due to all the windows and doors leading from it. So, Robert closed the door in the middle of the wall and built an arched doorway on the left side, giving access to the den, while creating wall space for a buffet.

Another immediate project was to get the master bedroom and bath in condition so they could move in while work progressed on all the other areas.

All interior walls and ceilings, doors and window frames had to be painted.. Some windows and doors had to be replaced. All three and half baths had to be re-plumbed, and some received new vanities and counter tops.

An interior sauna that was off the master bedroom and bath was removed and the resulting space converted to storage.

New lighting has been installed throughout, ceiling fans added and new flooring has been installed over the tiled flooring of the kitchen, dining and living rooms.

The Yents love to entertain and the Spanish house lends itself to that purpose very nicely, no matter the season. During the holidays a giant Christmas tree goes clear to the ceiling in the living room, where an electric fireplace mounted in the firewall adds a warm glow. One of the most recent additions is a wooden mantel made and installed by Robert.

The home is furnished with an eclectic mix of vintage style furniture, many of them inherited from Emily’s family. The large wall behind the sofa in the formal living room is hung with a 9×12 tapestry rug. Curio cabinets are filled with mementoes and artwork reflective of the many foreign travels the Yents have made. Walls throughout are adorned with framed photography taken by Robert on many of their trips.

The spacious lawn has ample room for the Yents’ bee hives to one side, as well as his work area, which has been fenced in.

Asked if anyone uses the pool, Emily responded that she does when she is home and has the time. They annually host a New Years Eve party for Rotary club members and friends. Rumors persist that certain guests did voluntarily swim in the pool before the clock struck midnight.

All in all, the newly renovated house bears little resemblance to the “before” photos; but the swimming pool confirms its identity.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.