When you picture island living what comes to mind? Do you imagine the beach or the vastness of the open ocean backed by clear blue skies? These iconic moments that are native to the island hold so much meaning to those who grow up with them. Saint Thomas is home to many people who come from diverse backgrounds. One thing they all have in common is their love and appreciation for the island and the kind of lifestyle it offers its inhabitants. A client of ours came to us with a home renovation project for her family who has roots in the Caribbean. She grew up in Saint Thomas and now lives stateside. Our client wanted her children to be able to experience living and having their home here. A home base in Saint Thomas would mean more time with extended family during summer vacations and a long-rooted love for Island life. The secondary goal for this project was to be able to rent the home out by the week to vacationers on Airbnb to provide extra income for expenses related to upkeep.
The Backdrop to Life
Our focus is to create the backdrop to all of those special family memories while blending the style of St. Thomas with a little bit of the California lifestyle. Which is how they live when stateside. As you enter the space, you are immediately greeted by a big, beautiful island view. We accentuated this sight by framing the window with vibrant shutters. The view is absolutely breathtaking. As you move into the dwelling it offers you a sense of untouched majesty that could only exist in a special place like Saint Thomas. The addition of the turquoise bench catches your attention and it is as functional as it is colorful while playing off of the client’s family art piece. The colors and happy faces in the artwork set the tone for your stay in the home.
Color is a key focal point throughout the design and this living room design scheme is a great example of how to layer in color effortlessly. The area rug and artwork lay the foundation for a cascade of hues within the room. Without them, we would be left with a very neutral and basic look. When the core pieces of a design are done in neutral colors it is easier to update later. For instance, we could throw in a fresh new rug and throw pillows that would change the room completely. Everything can be tied together and built off of other design elements to pull off a truly cohesive design.
The Heart of the Home
What better way to make people feel welcome than by hosting them in a dining room that is able to accommodate up to twelve guests. We love the natural vibes of this dining area that is sturdy enough to last for years to come and gives everyone plenty of room to spread out and relax. The slipcovers on the chairs are made of a washable outdoor fabric that elevates the guest’s seat while also being practical for those little mishaps. The orientation of the home is situated on the island to where it has an amazing breeze all year round. This allowed us to lose the fan and replace it with a soft overhead light to create an intimate ambiance for those family dinners.
Bringing Everything Together
The master bedroom is a masterpiece of solitude. We brought the various heights of the windows together by hanging sheer drapes on a continuous rod that figuratively and literally outlines the room as a private space. The sheer fabric hangs over the far back wall with the smaller windows to allow some light to shine through, but not so much that it would disturb someone’s sleep while also unifying the height of the larger sliding windows to the right. The drapery also helps to guide your eye up and around the space. Deep blues and various cool teals backed by clean sheer drapes make this master feel like a relaxing retreat, which is exactly what the family needed.
The other side of the master bedroom features a magnificent view of a smaller island across the water in the distance. Parallel to that is an indoor balcony that opens up to the living room below. Maintaining privacy is important as well as finding a way to keep the room cool at night. We incorporated custom sliding doors made locally out of mahogany since the opening was not a standard door size. Their ease of use left it up to the family if they needed them to be open or closed for more privacy. Without the use of a traditional swing door on either side of the opening, we were able to incorporate a cozy lounge chair for those afternoon naps.
Treat Yourself and Your Guests
The guest room in our client’s home is a treat for any of their visitors. This transformation was a seamless fusion of well-selected furniture groupings, fresh paint and window treatments – and of course an updated fan. The view from the guest room displays the pool and of course a view of one of the outlying keys that surround St. Thomas. What better way to enjoy your stay than in a guest suite fit for royalty, not to mention all the homey touches every guest appreciates.
The home was purchased with an unfinished pool, so of course, finishing the pool and making the most out of the outdoor real estate was a top priority. A covered portion of the patio allows for shade for those who need a break from the sun, while sunbathing lounge chairs are carefully placed close to the edge of the pool and the patio that opens up to a pristine view of the ocean. With views like this, the back patio and pool area are a great place to spend your afternoon during those summer vacations.
Reimaging a home for our clients and their families is part of what makes our work so rewarding. Where they start in their home does not mean that is where they have to stay. We love collaborating with our clients to see beyond what is given and modifying it to fit their family’s needs. Do you have some renovation ideas in the works? Share your plans with us so we can help bring you to your own little piece of paradise.