Boyd Martin was recently featured in the Northwest Florida Daily News for his recent construction project of Michael Belk's new home. read more>

Boyd Martin was featured in the Walton Sun newspaper for his wonderful restoration project on the Wesley Mansion. read more>


February 3rd, 2011

Mansion 'repaired, restored, and revived for generations to enjoy'

From the Northwest Florida Daily News

By LIESEL SCHMIDT Florida Freedom contributor

POINT WASHINGTON — History is an integral part of what shapes our world, an invaluable asset that needs to be preserved.

To walk the halls and pathways frequented by people who lived hundreds of years ago is an act that holds an undeniable sense of magic. It is that magic that needs to be protected, that delicate tie to our past that needs to be respected and handled with the greatest care.

It is that respect for the integrity of the past that makes Boyd Martin of Martin Properties, Inc., so perfect for the task of restoring the Wesley Mansion to its former glory.

"I feel honored to be a part of something so special as Eden Gardens. The bottom line is [that] we want the work to be done right," says Martin. "We are truly blessed with a fantastic team of people we work with each and every day on all our projects, a true group of professionals with integrity."

Martin's wife, Daphne, is part of the team at Martin Properties, and has watched progress on the project unfold.

"Boyd has respect for all things historic and a specific reverence for the Wesley Mansion on those beautiful Eden grounds," she said. "A few years ago, Boyd volunteered his time to oversee necessary maintenance and painting. In the process, wood rot was discovered; and, ultimately, the structural soundness and safety were put into question.

"Boyd has worked so diligently to put a team of professionals together to restore the integrity and the beauty of our history. And now... the Wesley Mansion can be repaired, restored, and revived for generations to enjoy."

Originally built in 1897, the Wesley Mansion was intended as the residence of William Henry Wesley, who founded and operated a large timber company run on the surrounding property of Eden Gardens.

At 5,600 square feet, the mansion was the largest in the area, a beautiful and stately home that overlooked an equally impressive expanse of land that would eventually become Eden Gardens State Park. The Wesley family maintained control of the estate and the mill until it was sold in the early 1950s and changed hands again in the 1960s.

The new owner, Lois Maxon, then donated it to the state of Florida in her parents memory. During her brief years of living in the mansion, Maxon made additions and alterations to the home, intending it to be a treasure house for her extensive collection of heirlooms and antiques.

After being entrusted to the Friends of Eden Gardens State Park, the Wesley Mansion has begun restoration, making it once again the historic gem that it once was.

A volunteer organization founded to maintain and enhance the property, Friends of Eden Gardens State Park ensures that a natural part of Florida's history is preserved for the enjoyment and education of generations to come.

The mansion is now the site of the second-largest Louis XVI furniture collection in the country, with guided tours detailing changes since the mansion's construction, as well as scenic walks through the sprawling State Park.

"I am extremely pleased that the Friends of Eden have decided to fund such an important project...adding yet another dimension to (the) tour experience while visiting the rest of Eden Gardens State Park," said Mebane Cory-Ogden of the Department of Environmental Protection, who also acts as park manager.

"(It's) a wonderful place to go to work every absolutely a gorgeous piece of property. The park service and the Friends of Eden do an awesome job working long and hard to keep the place up and what a job they do," said Martin.

And it is quite a job: the park covers 124 acres in South Walton, with multiple gardens maintained by volunteer gardeners who belong to the Friends.

July 18, 2010

Martin Homes goes green

From the Northwest Florida Daily News

By LIESEL SCHMIDT Daily News Contributing Writer

Green has been redefined to become a way of life, a goal that so many companies and products are striving to reach.

In a time when reducing carbon footprints has become as important as the space race once seemed, greening very aspect of life - from the way we eat to the way we drive - has become a global goal.

No less important to the movement is housing - both in the way a home is built and in the way it continuously utilizes energy once owners have taken up residence. Solar energy, low-energy consumption appliances and materials that conserve energy through the simplest means have all moved to the fore of the construction and home renovation industries, gaining so much attention that even the government supplies tax incentives for their installation.

Long before the movement became so widely recognized, Boyd Martin and his construction company, Martin Homes, were making the best use out of the most up-to-date, cutting edge and energy efficient materials.

"We, as builders - and the building industry as a whole - working with the local governments, should play a very large role in making the Earth a better place for all of us," Martin said. "If we will all do our part to help, it can be done without much effort. Educating the public and our young people is vital. We have been given this wonderful world, and we need to take care of it."

His wife Daphne bears witness to this passion.

"(Martin's) heartfelt desire ... to educate others, other builders, other home-builders, our own three boys … about doing what's right for the greater good, for all the generations to come, to truly make our best efforts to take care of our earthly resources ... by recycling on the job site from drink bottles and cans to packaging cardboards and left over metals, to researching and using the best of insulations and water-saving, energy-saving products," Daphne said.

One of their latest homes, currently in the process of being "green certified," is 255 West Lake Forest Drive in WaterColor. With 2-by-6 exterior walls and heavy insulation, the house is efficient both in conserving heat and in maintaining cooler temperatures.

Waterproof closed-cell insulating foam is used in the bottom system of flooring, the exterior walls have been insulated with cellulose, interior and mid-floor walls have sound-resistant insulation and all windows and doors are surrounded by foam insulation. Hardi plank siding provides the home with an extremely low-maintenance exterior, while the Galvalume metal roof provides both 'easy care and visual appeal. With the installation of hurricane resistant doors, safety measures are spared no less attention, while the impact resistant windows are made of insulated Low E glass.

Though eco-friendly and energy-efficient, the interior lacks no extravagance and nowhere does the word "granola" come to mind.

Low VOC paints and stains are used on the walls and cabinets, while antique reclaimed heart pine floors lend warmth to the lower level of the house. Twelve-foot ceilings in the living and dining rooms and the downstairs master suite provide airiness and a spacious feel while air is circulated throughout by energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

Countertops are made of high-end materials, with limestone in the master bath, granite in the second master, limestone in the upstairs bathroom and travertine and granite counter surfaces in the kitchen. Limestone, travertine and subway tiles adorn the floors of each bath and laundry area, while custom cypress cabinets provide handsome storage in the kitchen and baths.

Appliances are top of the line and energy-efficient, as well: the kitchen is equipped with stainless steel Thermador appliances including a 36-inch gas stove with chimney hood, 30-inch wall oven, microwave, 42-inch side by side refrigerator and two stainless steel drawer-style dishwashers. A gas exterior tankless water heater, water softener system, Samsung washer and dryer, water-efficient faucets and fixtures made by Rohi, Grohe and Kohler each play a role in making the home even more ecofriendly at the same time as conserving style and luxury.

Martin properties strive to be wise in so many areas of their business. From being conscientious of their buyers' needs and standards to being respectful of the environment, Boyd and his staff take pride in delivering the best.

"Treat people the way I want to be treated, plus some," is Martin's self-claimed maxim.

Closer inspection of Martin's homes and client relationships would speak to the truth of that, just as his passion for preserving the environment is readily evident. His homes are so efficient in so many ways, in the usage of water and energy, in the building materials chosen, in the placement of the houses, that being eco-minded in a Martin home is made simple.

"His final Home Energy Rating Score will depend on the amount of energy usage his appliances have, but his air changes per hour - which is how we measure the tightness of a home – came in at 2.18. Superb!" said Todd Trusty of Energy Services, Inc. of Defuniak Springs.

If they maintain that level of standard, then Martin Properties will, no doubt, find themselves at the top of the Green movement.

"We strive to exceed expectations and be very good at what we do," Martin said.

June 12-20, 2010

The 31st Annual Parade of Homes showcased homes from the area's most talented builders. These homes were open for viewing for a 9 day event beginning on June 12th and running until June 20th and were spread across two counties.

Click the image above for more information.

Martin Properties featured home #20, @ 255 West Lake Forest Drive, in Watercolor. You can find driving directions on page 32 of the Parade Guide.

View the 2010 Parade of Homes Guide HERE

View a slideshow of this beautiful home HERE

June 6, 2010

An eye for detail

From the Northwest Florida Daily News

By LIESEL SCHMIDT Daily News Contributing Writer

SANTA ROSA BEACH - As any true artist knows, visual appeal is crucial to any piece, and architecture is no exception.

With the same studied, artistic eye that he employs in his photographs, Michael Belk designed a beautiful home set against the picturesque canvas of WaterColor. This jewel-box beachside community is truly idyllic for someone with Belk's high standards, offering its own naturally inspiring charm.

"Living in WaterColor is awesome," Belk said. "The beach is a short walk away. Plus, you have shopping and restaurants right here in WaterColor, and ... we. Can walk or ride our bikes straight through to the shops and restaurants (at Seaside) as well." Backed by the building expertise of Boyd Martin and his team at Martin Properties of Northwest Florida, Michael and Cheryl Belk set about their project of creating a dream home.

"No doubt, one of the more challenging projects I've been a part of," Martin recalled.

"I think one of the most compelling things about this house is that every detail was thought out," said John David Sullivan of Beach Properties of Florida. As the listing agent for the Belk's home, he's had plenty of time to study the property "This is truly a one of a kind residence in one of the most sought after neighborhoods along the Gulf Coast."

The 3,108 square-foot home includes an additional 1,800 square feet of screened porches and a two-car garage with carriage house above. Despite the sophistication of even the smallest detail, the home offers warmth through expertly-chosen colors and materials, accentuated by elegant lighting fixtures and an abundance of natural light that floods the house through its numerous windows.

Although safety is not always associated with aesthetics, those windows provide 150 mph wind-rating, as do the impact resistant doors.

"They have told me a few times that visitors comment how solid the home feels," Martin said.

The worry of flooding is negated by the elevation of the house which sits 28 feet above sea level. Beige hardi-plank siding is trimmed by white wood, a quiet nod of grace in the often overly-bright beachfront community.

"The house has some very detailed, precise and unique features due to their tastes. We used a lot of simple moldings but used them in elegant ways," Martin said. "From the wide-plank, face-nailed pine floors… (to the) beautiful stones … (and) walls with arches … accents throughout make it special. Cheryl had the wonderful insight to add a recessed nook behind the stove which topped off a fabulous kitchen."

The home's stately kitchen includes custom-made cabinetry stained in a wash of charcoal, topped with honed-marble counters. Additional features include a hammered nickel sink, tumbled-marble backsplash, and such designer appliances as a stainless-steel Bosch dishwasher, a six-burner Brown 5-Star gas range with dual-door oven, a warming drawer, and a Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator.

Ten-inch honey-colored pine plank flooring adorns the interior of the house, accented by custom moldings and well positioned, built-in shelving ideal for libraries.

The 48-bottle refrigeration and cabinetry of the wine bar lends an air of distinction to the interior, while chocolate-colored wooden plank flooring provides a rich foreground for the screened porch, ideally-equipped with a summer kitchen and DCS gas grill.

Each of the four bedrooms is spacious and airy, with 11 inch ceilings; its four and a half baths include sandstone vanities with porcelain sinks and tumbled marble showers. The master bedroom boasts wainscoted walls, while the master bath offers a 4-by-4 shower and spacious bubble-jet bathtub, limestone countertops and walk-in closets.

Functionality also was considered in the home's construction. A tankless water heater and quietly-operating air conditioning system integrate top-of-the-line features even in •the most mundane areas.

The loft-like floor plan of the fully-equipped carriage house includes a living and sleeping area, providing the perfect space for guests. Its kitchen is complete with dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator and custom cabinets with granite countertops. After more than 20 years in photography, Belk has certainly earned a reputation for high standards and impeccable vision. Spreads in Elle, Vogue, and Vanity Fair have taken him all over the world, affording him widely diverse experiences in culture and shaping his ingenuity for design.

That creative intuition has certainly lent itself in the execution of the house at WaterColor, readily apparent to anyone who crosses the home's meticulously designed thresholds.

"Martin Properties of Northwest Florida has very high standards ... (and) we strive to exceed expectations. We use some of the best subcontractors and suppliers in this area," Martin said. "I've said this before, if we can meet Michael Belk's expectations, we can meet just about anyone's. The man has a great eye, and he sees all. Our team working with Michael's vision, sharp eye, standards, and intelligence [had] great results."

Those results successfully married art and function to create not just a house, but a home far from the ordinary.

© 2010 Martin Properties of Northwest Florida, Inc.   |   58 Initial Lane Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459   |   850-865-8962