Anyone who knows me knows I love a good before and after transformation. The big reveal days keep me coming back for more in this job! When I first met this client, he had just purchased this home and contacted us because it wasn’t exactly his style. He wanted to update the furnishings and add a little color. Since most homes in the Virgin Islands sell furnished, this happens quite often. Someone buys a home, and while the house and location are perfect for them, it could be styled more for who they are and how they want to live. Before we could jump into the design, we needed a jumping-off point for the project to establish the look and feel.
Sometimes I get a feeling about a person and what they will like, and I felt that a particular artist would resonate with the client. That’s the designer’s intuition from two decades of working in this industry. With that, I headed to my favorite local art gallery, Mango Tango, and borrowed a small collection of pieces by artist Brian Murphy. These pieces became our jumping-off point and guided us to make our design decisions throughout the home.
*Pro-tip: you can design a whole home around art you love!
The Living Room and Dining Areas
First, we worked on the living room and dining areas with these paintings as a starting point. The dark red brick, brown leather, and Chippendale-style furnishings felt outdated and dark for our client’s style. I also thought it was essential to turn the seating arrangement in the living room to face the panoramic views this home has. The original seating layout focused on the TV, and it’s always a bit of a thing in the Caribbean to take advantage of the stunning views and watch TV from the same seating space!
The color scheme now picks up the blues and greens from the landscape. The rug and slipcovered sofas are easy to care for and pet-friendly to suit the lifestyle of someone who loves animals and regularly entertains family and friends.
The dining room received the most significant makeover. The dark brick made it look small and hot in the Caribbean environment. I know many brick purists will cringe at the idea of painting brick, but we did. We had an excellent local faux finish artist come in and apply a lime plaster look to the brick so you can still appreciate its texture and character; it’s just lightened up a little.
Plastering in progress:
Then the finished dining room, complete with our first selection of art pieces. They look right at home here.
The Heart of the Home
With the refresh of the lower-level living spaces, the kitchen called for a makeover of its own. The countertop spaces were originally broken into small bites, and while there was lots of storage, the flow our client was looking for needed to be included.
We worked with a local cabinet maker to design a truly custom kitchen with a mix of walnut and painted cabinets, integrated new appliances, and lots of storage. The best part – is the big island in the center that allows for conversation while the cook is at work. The more open floor plan allowed us to put a slightly larger breakfast table in the bay window spot, making this space much more user-friendly.
The More the Merrier
When you live in the Caribbean, you can be sure that you’ll end up with friends and family visiting, especially during the winter months. The visits are much more enjoyable when everyone has space to spread out and get a good night’s sleep. Having a space to host and make your guests feel welcome is wonderful, which is why the guest rooms were next on our list for this transformation.
The previous owners left behind basic furnishings, so we needed to improve the level of comfort and style.
This almost doesn’t look like the same room. It is incredible how fresh paint and thoughtfully curated furnishings can transform a space!
This room came with a standard setup when the previous owners sold it. So, we wanted to upgrade the look, style, and comfort level.
When we makeover a room, besides the obvious paint and furniture, we carefully select comfort items for our clients, such as the best new mattress, super soft sheets, plump pillows, and fluffy towels. It guarantees that all the elements fit, and work together well and greatly simplifies our clients’ lives while saving them time. After all, they don’t just hire us for a great look. They hire us for a simplified turnkey experience.
We also enjoyed the opportunity to refresh the outdoor spaces in this home. The location has breathtaking views of the island, and indoor/outdoor living is so important in the Virgin Islands that the outdoor areas need to flow seamlessly with the interior spaces.
Lots of cozy seating and lounging spaces for friends and family to gather here. (Not to mention cute pets!)
There you have it, a refreshed home with elevated island flair.