She designs, He builds | Tranel Group & Label C, Cayman Islands
Sharing a common love of exceptional design and quality results, Jordan and Cynthia Tranel, partners in life and in business, make the ideal design-build team.
Words by Natasha Were.
Jordan and Cynthia arrived in Cayman separately, but within months of each other. They met, not as one might expect on a construction site, but in true island fashion, at a boat party. He, a general contractor and real estate broker, she, an interior architect, it was clear to both from the start that their expertise in design and construction was something they could, and should, pursue jointly. At the same time that they got married, they formed their separate – but complementary – businesses, Tranel Group and Label C Designs.
Tranel Group was founded to provide a full-spectrum, white-glove real estate development service. From finding lots and investors, to negotiating land purchases, managing the design and construction, and ultimately selling the end product, Jordan and his team offer expertise for every step of the process.
Originally from Colorado, Jordan studied construction management and business, and worked on high end residential and commercial projects in the US, before moving to Cayman to join the team building the Kimpton Seafire resort. His all-round understanding of the design-build process gives him a unique perspective, ensuring the design vision is not compromised, whilst adding a practical viewpoint.
“There is often a disconnect between design and construction,” he explains. “Typically the design team hand over the design documents, and the construction team build. This can lead to friction if the designers feel that their vision was not delivered, or the construction team can’t build what the designers envisioned. I’m a huge proponent of getting the construction team involved as early as possible, so that ideas are discussed and bounced around. That way the drawings are actually executed, the construction process is seamless, and build time is shortened.”
Label C is a full-service design studio working on interiors for residential new builds, renovations and boutique commercial projects. Cynthia and her team are involved from the earliest stages of the design process, studying spatial flow and function, designing kitchens and bathrooms, detailing cabinetry, and procuring furniture and accessories.
Born and raised in Lebanon, Cynthia studied Interior Architecture at university in Beirut and went on to do a Master’s in Interior Design for Luxury Living in Milan, Italy.
“I knew from the very beginning that one day I would have a design studio and shop, but I was waiting for the right time,” Cynthia says.
She gained valuable experience working on projects of the highest caliber in the Middle East and Europe. Then, when the urge to travel drove her to apply for positions further afield, she moved to Cayman and worked on more American-style interiors.
Her familiarity with very different design styles and her ability to blend the best of these sets her apart from other designers. Her signature style – sophisticated simplicity, natural, laid-back – has earned her numerous projects already, including the recent renovation of Jungalow, a family home in the Seven Mile Beach corridor. Largely carried out during lockdown, the raw, boho-chic yet comfortable home encapsulates one of her favourite styles.
In addition to design services, Label C includes a homeware shop, selling furniture, rugs, kitchenware, lighting, vintage items and more.
“It is a collection of all the furniture and accessories I love,” Cynthia says. “Sourced from around the world, each piece has been carefully selected for quality and style. It’s conceived for those who appreciate great design.”
Although Tranel Group and Label C operate independently from one another, collaborating on a complete design-build project is something Jordan and Cynthia always dreamed of doing. Now, their first two projects as a partnership, Paradise Pad and Crystal Crib, are taking shape.
Located in Yacht Club and Crystal Harbour, both are unique, high spec modern family homes designed with entertaining in mind.
Tranel Group found investors and negotiated the land purchase. Label C meticulously designed the architecture and interior, taking into account the location and the type of property most in-demand in the area. Construction is now underway, overseen by Tranel Group, with completion scheduled for the last quarter of 2021.
The properties will be unfurnished, but buyers will have the option of hiring Label C for the interior design or choosing the same package of pieces shown in the renderings.
“We lived and breathed these houses, so every detail was meticulously thought about,” the couple says. “We hope to find buyers who are as passionate about design as we are and will appreciate all the special features incorporated. These properties are really a legacy.”
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