Hollywood South

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Bygone glamor meets coastal living on Oatland Island


WHEN JAY AND ARLENE GOULD first purchased their Oatland Island home in 2013, it was full of dark tile and bronze and metal accents. “It reminded me of Game of Thrones,” Arlene says. 

Still, they saw potential and soon embarked upon a massive renovation. Today, there is nary a hint of Westeros as the intoxicating blend of star jasmine, marsh and magnolias beckons guests to the place the Goulds have dubbed “Twelve Palms.”

The couple describes their vision as “mid-century Hollywood meets Savannah coastal.” This vibe begins at the palm-tree-studded driveway that gives the home its name. (There are in fact 16 palms, but the moniker is a nod to the Twelve Oaks plantation from Gone With the Wind.) A large oak tree, adorned with the requisite Spanish moss, sits at the center of the drive; remarkably, the area around the oak is heart-shaped. Capitalizing upon nature’s design, Arlene planted azalea bushes along the perimeter. Now, each March, hot pink azaleas bloom in the shape of a heart.

This theme of utilizing the natural surroundings was carried into the house as well. “I had a vision for something very elegant and clean, yet with a lot of warmth, and we took advantage of the views,” says Arlene. “They are the home’s artwork.”

The Goulds traded in the house’s original sharp angles for an open concept plan that uses furniture to separate its “rooms.” “The flow of the home is almost like a creek,” Arlene explains, “and when you wind down to the end of it, there’s the beautiful view of the creek, the marsh and the oak trees in the backyard.”

Simple, clean lines let the Oatland Island views take center stage in the kitchen. A wine cellar on the property makes it even easier to entertain.

They knocked down a wall, which separated this front room from a once-screened-in porch, enclosed the former porch in large panels of glass, and called the area the River Room for the creek that runs beneath it.

“We probably should have called it the Creek Room,” Jay says.

“We should have called it Fred’s Room,” adds Arlene, in honor of Fred Bonner, the Savannah roofer who built the home in 2006 and passed away before he had the chance to live in it.

The front of the house is unassuming, belying its 7,145- square-foot grandeur and allowing the landscape to take the spotlight (most notably the star jasmine Arlene has trained to grow in ovals around the windows). The back of the home is where its sprawling, Hollywood splendor — and stunning pool — is revealed.

“I had a vision for something very elegant and clean, yet with a lot of warmth, and we took advantage of the views. They are the home’s artwork.”  — Arlene Gould, homeowner

“Despite Arlene growing up here and spending every summer on Tybee, she doesn’t know how to swim,” Jay says, “so it could only be five feet deep.” Next, Jay added a large shelf to accommodate a lounge chair in the water. A 20-meter swim lane is a welcome feature for more active types. 

Above the pool are two massive balconies, spanning the length of the house. The second story balcony has a large bar and can hold more than 100 people. “And both the banister and the wall behind the bar are the original copper installed by Fred,” Arlene says. “We think he would be proud of the
way it all turned out.” 

LEFT: A mammoth porch towering above the marsh features its own spacious living and dining areas perfect for Saturday morning coffee and large family dinners.
RIGHT: Jay’s favorite part of the renovation began as a one-car garage at the side of the house, which the Goulds deemed unnecessary with a four-car garage around back. The space was turned into a wine cellar, with a staircase leading to the rooftop.


Owners: Arlene and Jay Gould 
Year built: 2006 with major renovation in 2018–2019
Year purchased: 2014
Square footage: 7,100
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
Architects/planners: Greenline Architecture 
Edwin Clark TDC Custom Homes
Tile/flooring: Garden State Tile
Paint/wallpaper: Armstrong Painting, Sherwin William Paints
Windows/Doors: Homesouth Architectural
Bath design: DXV by American Standard, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting

Lighting design: Lighting Loft Atlanta
Landscape design: Tadd Thomas Gardens in Atlanta, Low Country Landscaping
Hardscape design: Year Around Pool
Electrician: Keith Thompson,
Thompson Electric
Audio/visual: Crestron System
Carpenter: Savannah Millwork, Guerry Lumber, Homesouth Architectural
Plumber: Adam Moody
Landscaper: Low Country Landscaping
HVAC: Mark Randall, Randall Mechanical
Furniture: Mitchell Gold, Atlanta
Appliances: Livingoods’ Appliances & Bedding
Accessories: McCarthy, Inc. hardware
Art: Tiffani Taylor, Milton Bradley 

All resources supplied by the homeowners.