This breathtaking home in Berlin’s Bay Point Plantation is the realization of Chris & Jacki Ray’s dream house, expertly crafted by Poole Contracting & Consulting
Chris and Jacki Ray are experienced homeowners and no strangers to what makes a home great. So when it came time for them to convert their idyllic lot on Berlin’s majestic Bay Point Plantation, they chose respected local custom-home builder Poole Contracting & Consulting. Together, the Rays and Poole Contracting principal Mike Poole created a one-of-a-kind family playground that represents the material manifestation of the loving four-member family itself.
Over the course of the job, which was completed in March, Chris said there were 12 to 15 sit-downs with Mike, tweaking all the nuances and discussing what was possible before settling on a final plan of action. “Mike was meticulous and exacting in every aspect of building our home; he was relentlessly available to us, day and night,” praised Chris.
All that assiduous preplanning resulted in the Rays’ sumptuous three-story (plus garage level), 5,200 sq. ft. masterpiece, which is drenched in light and water views. The house is undeniably seaside-themed but otherwise deliberately does not conform to any particular style. The home’s wide-open floor plan contemplates the configuration of the lot itself, so that exceptional views of Turville Creek and Assawoman Bay into Ocean City were uncompromised and could be had from every room’s perspective.
On the first level, the first thing that greets people is the custom-made locker room, where the family can store their boots, coats, umbrellas, book-bags and whatever else they want to shed upon entering. Beyond that is the spacious game room, chock-full of fun diversions, and the fully functional downstairs kitchen, including microwave, sink, cabinetry, dishwasher and icemaker… in other words, all the things that serve as prelude to the full enjoyment of the gargantuan porch, which overlooks the bay. The flooring on the first level (except for the tiled bath) is COREtec, an elegant laminate that offers premium aesthetics, great durability, easy maintenance and great under-foot feel. The look is balanced with soothing gray quartz flat surfaces and European-style cabinetry. For sheer luxe fun and family time, there is the custom home theater. Eight sumptuous high-back leather electric-powered recliners with built-in vibration technology set the stage for the stage, which boasts a 100-plus-inch screen and state-of-the-art surround-sound system. The theater also has wall sconces and suede-like wall surfaces and commercial-grade octagonal carpeting that can be found in actual movie theaters.
Just hop the home’s elevator to access Chris’ favorite area of the home, the second level, where the main kitchen, great room and dining area converge. This kitchen includes an impressive full-slab Cambria quartz center island with a waterfall edge, so the top surface spills over the edge and down the sides. The center island also houses a dual-beverage center and refers to an expansive backsplash that was cut from the same stone. The custom portrait cabinetry is a clean, pure white, to maximize the home ambient brightness. The kitchen also sports a custom-wood-built walk-in pantry, dishwasher and other accoutrements.
Off the kitchen are the dining area and great room, which boasts a sky-high 20-foot ceiling that is accentuated by a contemporary-looking custom-fabricated metal-railing balcony that drinks in all the palatial grandeur available from a third-floor perch. This breathtaking space is what greets the family when they arrive via the stacked-glass, double-doored front entranceway. The dining table is an unconventional seven-foot diameter concrete round surface; off of it, through a large barn door, is the home office, which Chris takes full advantage of. There is, of course, a gas fireplace with a large flat-screen TV in the great room, as well. On this same level is a massive, 21-foot-deep open deck with hot tub, along with a large screened porch adjacent to the deck that the family and friends can enjoy.
The master suite is a tribute to minimalism, as Chris is not a fan of clutter. Thus, there are lots of custom built-ins and therefore tons of orderliness, from drawers to charging stations. The master suite can also access that enormous open deck. The master bath features his-and-hers sinks and custom cabinets with modern tub and discrete spaces for the commode and full walk-in shower. Upstairs, on the third level — past the stairwell’s art-gallery-style bank of asymmetrical windows — at one end of the 90-degree plankway is Chris and Jacki’s daughter’s room, which is colorfully drenched in vivid tones of magenta and teal, with a complementary bath in magenta. In the other direction is the guest suite and the navy-themed bathroom, which is shared by their son from his bedroom, which includes his own gaming/living room. This bathroom, one of 4.5 in all, features huge slabs of special-ordered tile that has to be assembled on-site.
Also noteworthy is the state-of-the-art outdoor custom kitchen, which includes not only all the amenities imaginable but also its ceiling contains an elaborate water-draining system by Poole Contracting that allows the family to enjoy it and the adjacent game area even in the midst of a rainstorm.
Other top-of-the-market touches include Celect top-grade siding for the home’s exterior, which was provided by Blue Marlin Siding in Berlin, while Steve Shreve of Jerk Pony handled the barn doors, custom railings and posts. The Rays’ custom InvisiRail railings provide the family and their guests unobstructed views of its picturesque surroundings. The home’s fun yet visually stunning interior is the work of local designer Tiffanie Adkins. Mike added that the skill and dedication of Poole Contracting carpenters Corey Leggour, JT Hazard and Hank Storm proved essential to stunning success of the project.
“I think it’s important to note a key to what makes Mike special — his communication skills,” said Chris. “He really listens and takes the time to understand what you’re trying to share with him. He also offers clear, transparent, open feedback, which is all-important. Add to this his incredible skill, and you can see why we decided to build with Poole Contracting.”
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