For Drs. Mike and Johnnie Bond, designing their Alys Beach home meant ignoring conventional ideas about what makes a vacation house “homey,” or even what a beach house ought to be. With this house, as well as their primary home in Baton Rouge, the Bonds have sought their own style—minimalist but bold, modern with a touch of glamour.
“We’ve found that people like it when you do different things at Alys Beach,” Johnnie says. “So we were able to take our ideas and really go with them, and we’re very happy with how it’s turned out.”
Working with architect Tom Christ, interior designer Cindy Meador, and homebuilders Davis Dunn, the Bonds have created a look with an overarching aesthetic of minimalism that serves as the perfect backdrop for impactful details, like the artful curve of a staircase, custom-built wooden doors, and bold pops of color. You could call it a meeting of mid-century modern and Hollywood regency.
“I was so ecstatic when we worked together the first time, because they’re not afraid to break out of the box,” says interior designer Cindy Meador, who had also worked with the couple designing a condominium they owned previously in Orange Beach. “I love that they are trusting in my ideas and are risk takers.”
Guests to the home, which was completed last year, are drawn to a number of unique features. The interior doors, custom built out of walnut with maple inlay, lend warmth and character that contrasts nicely with the white tile floors and white walls. The wood is repeated in the design surrounding the fireplace to equally stunning effect.
The curved stairwell leading from the courtyard to the second-floor terrace is another quiet standout, representing a collaboration among the Bonds, Cindy, and the builders at Davis Dunn Construction. “It was originally more of a rectangular, 90-degree-turn stair, and then it became a radius stair with the radius tread built in,” says Davis Dunn owner Whitney Dunn. “It went from ordinary to a real accent.”
Then there’s the lighting, much of which Mike chose personally. Not by accident, the house is full of chandeliers reflecting the feel of stars and constellations—a nod to the setting of the home under the Gulf sky.
“To me, lighting can really make or break a room,” Mike says. “The theme that runs through the home is lights with a celestial look of one kind of another. When we were there at Thanksgiving, we would sit up on the third-floor balcony and watch the sun set. The stars and planets would appear, and it’s just stunning.”
“By reflecting that theme in our lighting, we were able to bring the outside to the inside,” Johnnie notes. “It creates a complete living experience.”
Cindy says that while modern might be the prevailing look of the home, there is also a happy co-existence of subtly different styles in the pieces they chose. They also included pieces that had been in their Orange Beach home, because they fit the couple’s personalities so well. They loved their vellum cocktail table with brass accents; a beautiful goatskin credenza; and an Eames chair and ottoman that Mike discovered years ago, so Cindy helped them find fresh placement within the design of their new Alys home.
“We could mix in something old or something more soft and comfortable right alongside the mid-century pieces. Midcentury pieces mix in no matter what—that’s not a ‘trend’ to me. It’s just a matter of mixing it up properly and getting that marriage just right.” She adds that while it’s not evident to the naked eye, she and the Bonds freely commingled high-end furnishings and accents with less expensive pieces. “It just all came together with sophistication.
“A lot of people have gone in the house and said, ‘It doesn’t feel like a typical beach house,” Cindy adds. “But that isn’t what they wanted. The Bonds are true to their aesthetic, and this house is so Mike and Johnnie.”