My Island Home


For all I knew when I began the project, Ocean Breeze might have been my one and only experience working on the surreally beautiful, rarefied island of Mustique. I had gotten very close with Linda while we were working on the project. It’s natural to develop a certain bond with your client when you’re designing their home and share the same vision. The friendship that Linda and I formed while working together on Ocean Breeze was extraordinary. She was someone I strongly admired and she was embarking on a new chapter in her life with this beautiful showpiece home. The experience was proving to be just as life-changing for me. This incredible island was becoming Linda’s new home, and though I didn’t think of it this way at the time, it was becoming mine as well. I had fallen completely in love with Mustique by the end of the project and truthfully that was a good thing because it’s not an easy or uncomplicated place to love. Projects on the island get more and more complex and go over budget and between the elements and the remoteness of the island—it can feel like working on the film set of Apocalypse Now more than a fabulous private island. But I digress.

I’ll never forget the night of Linda’s opening party at Ocean Breeze. It was really most incredible guest list you could imagine. There was a ‘who’s who’ of bold name Brits from Hugh Grant to Fergie (the infamous royal, not the pop singer) to Princess Michael of Kent. It was beyond thrilling to have these people mingling in what I considered to be a piece of my artwork. Chills went down my spine each time I heard a party guest compliment something I had chosen or commissioned for the house. It was the height of my career so far. Mustique was still very dominated by the British at the time and therefore the British interpretation of what Caribbean design should look like still ruled. I took Ocean Breeze in quite a different direction, one that was both very global—with influences that ranged from Africa to Brazil—and very organic at the same time. I veered away from the hard, modern aesthetic that was so popular at the time and people were very interested in what I had done with her home.

The opening party was an excellent chance for people to see the home that Linda and I had created together and for me to mingle with some of Mustique’s denizens. The opening party was a bit of a blur for me. It was fabulous and exciting but somewhat stressful too, I found myself leaning over in and amongst the cocktail chatter to discreetly adjust a lampshade here and there that had been blown a bit off center by the wind. I also felt a bit of melancholy because I felt this was the grand finale of my work in Mustique. Little did I know that my work there was just beginning.

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One Comment

  1. Michael
    Posted July 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Great post!