Sitting across the river from a nature reserve, Jeff’s unique abode is a sanctuary in its own right. Modeled after one of Jamaica’s great houses, the home is surrounded by 40 acres of nature trails, gardens, picnic grounds and a large walk-in aviary.
The beautiful site is open to visitors, who are welcome to participate in one of the many tours offered at Animal Farm Jamaica. Guests can feed birds, visit a petting zoo, enjoy a picnic along the riverbank or even take a guided tour on a raft down the river.
Staying true to the motto, Don’t Just Live, Live Green, the house relies on solar power, bio-gas and compost to keep things running. Decorated with family heirlooms and built with reclaimed materials, sustainable design has been incorporated since the beginning. From the majestic balcony to the light-filled living quarters, this charming home incorporates and celebrates the beauty of nature that surrounds it.
Closer Look: An Interview with Jeff
Q: Can you tell us about seven objects, places or viewpoints in your house that really make it a home for you.
A: 1 — I designed the house completely by myself—every aspect. The veranda was the only thing I didn’t put in the original design, so I added it and now it is my favorite place!
2 — The furniture is mostly from relatives, both on my side and my wife’s side.
3 — The stereo has some real history. It is from the 1930's.
4 — I especially love the wooden floors, which really make it feel like a country house.
5 — The old family photo is a treasure. It was taken by my mother's cousin on my sister's birthday. You can see in the photo how thrilled my sister is with a new camera she received on her special day.
6 — The river is such a wonderful aspect of this site.
7 — The bricks on the exterior of the house are all reclaimed from different plantations and great houses around Jamaica. I patterned the bricks after an old sugar estate, as well as the latticework and shutters. Also, the black and white tiles on the porch are like the Devon House, which is one of the famous great houses in Kingston and inspired by Georgian design.