Modern Gem in South Sound, Grand Cayman
Words by Vanessa Hansen Photography by Ricardo Mejia www.rmstudiocorp.com & Martyn Poyner www.poynor.co.uk
The South Sound of Grand Cayman boasts a diverse landscape of Caribbean Sea, wild mangrove, beautiful homes and hidden beaches. Nestled along this spectacular landscape is a modern gem that brings the best of indoor/outdoor living to life.
After being in the Cayman Islands on-and-off for 15 years, the owners, first-time builders, decided they were ready to construct their dream home. All they knew was that it had to be on the water and in South Sound; so began their search. Not long after they fell in love with a piece of land; planning for their South Sound oasis began.
Because they had never built before and were on a fairly tight timeline, they chose the expertise and comfort of a design-build approach offered by The Phoenix Group. Mike Stroh of Trio Design was selected as the architect to lead them through the process.
Before starting the design, Stroh had the couple create ‘idea books’ and spent much time discussing how they planned to use their home. The couple felt the outdoor space was just as important as the indoor space; they wanted ‘open flow’ in the main living area for entertaining; and a guest room that gave visitors privacy. The result is a 3,500 square-foot modern style house with clean lines and unique architectural features all complemented by lush tropical landscaping.
Guests enter through a front gate that opens into a colourful courtyard where the profile of the interior staircase becomes part of the exterior design. Just one of many unique features they credit Stroh with conceptualizing. Passing a Zen garden to the left, a short ascension leads either to the backyard or to the main double glass door entry where the living room opens to the kitchen and dining room.
Incorporated into the kitchen is a stunning glassed-in wine cabinet and bar service with blinds that can be raised, letting sunlight pour in from behind.
Ensuring warmth was not sacrificed for the modern style of the home, exposed wood elements from the patio ceiling to the lower kitchen cabinets are incorporated throughout. These touches provide texture and a softening of the aesthetic. The living room's long, high rectangular windows that frame the cerulean sea outside act as both a design element and a source of natural light without compromising privacy.
To provide visitors with a space of their own, an airy guest suite is tucked away on the main floor. The room connects to a deluxe bathroom complete with a walk-in shower featuring floor-to-ceiling deep blue tiles and a glass wall hidden from the outside by an over-sized raised tropical planter, making it appear that one is bathing in the jungle. Again, a feature suggested by the architect.
Journey upstairs, and the same sparkling white stone staircase visible from the outside is transformed into a stunning feature wall. Further along, on the main landing, there is a cosy den designed for lazy afternoons, as well as two more bedrooms and the master suite.
The master suite is a sight to behold with its full-length glass doors that open to a large patio with soaker tub and a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea. Natural light plays off the grey feature wall creating a sense of warmth and depth in the spacious room. From the balcony, the expansive outdoor living area comes into focus.
Downstairs the patio opens out to the 40' pool, garden kitchen and outdoor fireplace perfect for cool winter evenings. Frequent entertainers, fun and functionality take centre stage from a fully kitted-out bar to an outdoor shower and bathroom. Beyond the pool the couple preserved a wild expanse of beach from where they can sway in a hammock or access the water for kayaking. To the right of the pool lies a bocce ball court.
Kelly Rooney helped the owners source many of the home’s materials on island from tiles supplied by ITC Tiles and Edie's Décor to custom cabinetry designed and installed by Pooley Cabinets. The home is also future-ready with its flat-roof pre-wired for solar panels.
Surprised by how straightforward and stress-free the design-build approach was, especially as it addressed their particular needs and stayed within budget, the couple are thrilled with their treasured home on the beach.
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