Originally created 09/09/01

Fit for a Prince



Don't be fooled by the dollhouse charm of Bill Prince's home, with its cypress siding and copper-roofed porch. Inside it's a man's world.

Set on 0.7 acre of well-screened Lakewood Drive - an intervening strip of houses and trees muffles the traffic on Washington Road - the house is a perfect bachelor's pad. The 2,300-square-foot home has everything a guy needs, including a screened-in back porch where Mr. Prince can relax with his pit bull, Bull, and a terraced yard ripe for endless landscaping projects.

A warm, woody smell greets visitors - a combination of the cypress siding, mahogany floors and fixtures and the cherry wood cabinets in the kitchen. Because the lower floor is a large, open space, divided only by a counter that separates the kitchen and the living room, Mr. Prince chose woods that would complement one another in color and tone. The flutes carved into the counters, cabinets and fireplace mantel match, further tying together the downstairs rooms.

Special touches in the living room include a built-in entertainment center above the gas-log fireplace ("I had the furniture and knew I wouldn't be able to fit any more in here," Mr. Prince said) and lighting that allows dimming of bulbs hidden near the ceiling in a box running the length of one wall.

The rich, dark colors of the wood are complemented by the Burgundies, forest greens and dark blues of furniture and rugs, including an Oriental rug in the living room. A glass-topped coffee table ensures the view of the rug isn't obscured, and a plush leather sofa and chair with an ottoman round out the ensemble.

"I went up to North Carolina - up to High Point - and bought the furniture before we even started building the house," Mr. Prince said.

Because he already knew exactly what he wanted to include in the house, he was very specific about the design, he said. The only thing not to his exact specifications is the lack of a third bedroom - the builder told him two guest bedrooms would be too small to make him happy, so they decided on a single large room.

Mr. Prince first sketched his idea for the house on a brown paper bag two years ago and estimated the property lines with a friend, using empty bottles and cans they'd found on the overgrown property. Most friends thought he was crazy, particularly when they got a look at the kudzu-covered tract before it was landscaped.

"I wanted the house how I wanted it," Mr. Prince said. "They'd lay a wall, I'd pull a string (to measure it). They re-did the tile four times. But I enjoyed it. I liked picking out the plumbing fixtures, the cabinets, the countertops. ... I just had a good time doing it."

The warm colors are continued upstairs in the denlike guest room, where dark green walls frame a cherry sleigh bed. Lamberquin window treatments designed by Mr. Prince's interior decorator, Shirley Edwins, pick up the greens and blues, along with tan and taupe that echoes the color of the walls on the first floor. The connected guest bathroom - one of 2 1/2 bathrooms in the house - continues the color scheme, with the bathtub, sink and other fixtures in forest green.

A curving banister frames a suspended walkway that connects the upstairs bedrooms - guests can look over either side of the walkway down into the foyer or the living room. On the other side of the house is Mr. Prince's favorite room - his bedroom.

The master suite is carpeted in Berber carpeting, as is the rest of the second floor. It forgoes the forest colors of the rest of the house in favor of tans, taupes and bronzes that accent the other rooms. Black has become the accent color of choice, and the master bathroom picks up the color with a luxurious black tub, separate shower stall and sinks in black porcelain against white tile. The walls have been painted to resemble marble, and one cabinet hides another television.

The spaciousness of the house prevents the dark colors from becoming too heavy: the ceiling of the living room arches up 26 feet to the second floor, and wide windows let in plenty of light. Doors, window frames and trim work in the house are painted white, creating clean, elegant lines that brighten the rooms. Beveled-glass transoms are set above each of the downstairs doors and windows, creating a prism effect for the light coming in.

"In the mornings and the afternoons, when the sun hits them at certain angles, there are rainbows everywhere," Mr. Prince said.

Reach Alisa DeMao at (706) 823-3223 or ademao@augustachronicle.com.