Oaks and Native Palms Imbue the Cosculluela Home With a Quiet Authentic Ambience
By Karen Buchsbaum // Photos by Steven Brooke
Creating a low-country southern look for his growing family was the motivation behind the lush Coral Gables property of Eugenio “Chino” Cosculluela. Inspired by the ambiance of coastal South Carolina, Cosculluela teamed up with life-long family friend, landscape-designer Santi Diaz, to make his vision a reality.
A builder by profession, Cosculluela transformed an overgrown, old settler’s property near the Snapper Creek Canal, demolishing the existing home and stable. He constructed his Florida vernacular-style home to take advantage of the outdoor spaces, incorporating several of the large oaks that existed on the property into his plans. Diaz interpreted Cosculluela’s vision with a detailed design, adding 20 more oaks, 100 sabal palms, and 150-200 saw palmettos. He selected native plants to create a natural, low-maintenance landscape. Wart ferns provide ground cover with the result being a very private, relaxing sanctuary. A shady haven by day, when night falls the beautifully lit trees create a magical atmosphere.
When the home was built about 15 years ago, a large grassy area was included, creating a perfect place for the kids and their nearby cousins to play soccer. The property has been tweaked through the years as the children have grown-up and needs have evolved. Today, Cosculluela’s favorite spot is the firepit that was a more recent addition.
“I wanted it to be like the house fell from the sky,” says Cosculluela.