Ocean Breeze: the Beginning

Ocean Breeze was the incredible project that served as my introduction to Mustique. I was working for Peter Marino at the time and during this period he was working almost exclusively on these incredibly large scale homes, 30,000 square feet and up, so he sent me to take care of his client Linda de Pecciotto in Mustique. He had designed a home for the de Pecciotos in Cap Ferat, a project that had gotten a ton of press and was something of a jewel in his crown, so I knew how important this client was to him. To be trusted with something like this was a huge deal for me, so I was both thrilled and bit nervous to take it on.

Luckily for me, Linda was about the loveliest woman I’d ever met. She was incredibly warm and we hit it off immediately. She was this exotic, beautiful, elegant woman and everyone who met her just fell in love with her in an instant. The house itself had previously been owned by a German couple who built it with the name Honeymoon House, which turned out to be a horrible irony because the couple only visited it twice before they got divorced. It was henceforth referred to on the island, sadly, as Heartbreak House.

I first went down to meet with Linda in August and she wanted to have the house ready for the holiday season, a very big to-do for homeowners on Mustique. Considering the Byzantine customs process that it takes to get anything onto the island, it was pretty much going to take an act of God to get it all done in time. To say that designing her home was a dream project for me would be an understatement. I came down there with lots of ideas about what I wanted to do, John Robshaw wasn’t so well known at the time but I was an early fan and I basically cleaned out his showroom to bring it down with me for the first meeting. I immediately envisioned an Africanist design (I spent time in South Africa as a child and it’s always influenced me) for her because she was so exotic and she loved natural-looking materials. It was an intense process as she wanted absolutely everything custom: woodworkers from Chanel, the best of everything.

I spent a lot of time up at the house during that fall and there began to be a bit of a buzz about me and about what was going on up at Ocean Breeze. Mustique is, by design, a fairly sleepy place so any new person who starts spending time there causes a bit of a stir, let alone a crazy single blonde girl running around. It was around this time that I first met Basil, who would go on to become extended family, but more on that later.

I was feeling incredibly inspired but the idea of getting such an elaborate project done in such a brief period of time was completely overwhelming. Little did I know how much this experience was going to change everything for me…

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