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    HomeLifestyleDream House | A restorative Portland hideaway | Lifestyle

    Dream House | A restorative Portland hideaway | Lifestyle

    It prides itself on being a well-kept secret, far removed from unwanted stares, planted on a very steep hillside jungle.

    Peeping out from its tropical foliage, this house thought, and indeed hoped, it could escape the glare of attention. But its mystery cannot be sustained anymore. We need to know why it holds the key to such a restorative experience.

    Our felicitous road trip takes us to Port Antonio, Portland. Somewhere off the main, we climb sharply upwards, acutely aware of the challenging road conditions, as we cautiously and excitedly journey onwards. The road ends abruptly at the house – you have reached the hilltop, seemingly cut off from the outside world!

    On the wings of the spectacular, bird-eye views enable diverse scenes for your engagement i.e., the eye–appealing harbour with seagulls fluttering around, the lofty Blue Mountains staring back at you, with soaring bamboo shoots and palm trees swaying in the whistling wind. Parrots continually play right outside, interrupting and imitating our private conversations.

    The visual phenomenon up here also involves the house, with its architecture of curved, part wraparound balconies, and curved walls governed by glass – all inspired by nature.

    Other walls are mostly of lumber, painted in green to mimic the outdoors.

    Crowning the rooftop are projecting roof lights, cheerfully accepting the arousing beams of sunlight and the celestial views from above.

    The floors shine with the laminated wood look, and the kitchen counters are tiled. The interior (aside from stain and varnished wood) is enhanced with eggshell paint, providing a soft, smooth finish like that of an egg.

    The concealed 800 sq ft cosy dwelling on half-acre, spoils and safeguards you with its mesmeric living and dining zones, in addition to two bedrooms with private bathrooms per floor.

    Audaciously constructed in two stages, the bottom level was first built in 2009 while the upper was finished one year ago. An outside grill is perfect for barbecuing.

    Donna Bedassee is the beaming property owner. A high-school English teacher with an endearing, restless spirit, she taught in East London, Florida, and the Cayman Islands for many years. Born in England and raised in Port Antonio, she is back in Jamaica now. In her spare time, she indulges in the rhyme and reason of poetic language.

    Stressed with the demands of everyday life? At the risk of psychiatric and other health disorders? You may need to escape to an isolated, unspoilt natural environment up in the clouds, for human well-being and longevity.

    This dream house has its indoors and outdoors co-existing in harmony and respect, desirous of each other’s existence. A tree remarkably once had pride of place within the very building!

    – Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email feedback to and



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