There is nothing quite like being invited into the home of someone with a brilliant sense of creativity. Our homes are, after all, real life reflections of our proclivities and cultural influences. If you are lucky enough to know those of the artistic persuasion, a glimpse into their home is likely to be both adventurous and telling.
In the case of designer Cheryl Kellett, who builds and designs homes for resale with her husband Chris, a visit to her latest property is akin to taking a trip down memory lane; a vicarious journey that can take you as far as the Greek islands.
Inspiration is Cheryl’s bread and butter. As the design half of Kellett & Company (her husband runs the building side of the business) she relies on her extensive world travels to reach beyond her own aesthetic, resulting in spaces that evoke high drama while remaining functional.
One such abode sits neatly tucked on the canal in Crystal Harbour. “Ooh La La” is the couple’s latest project. At press time, the couple will have already vacated the property to make way for its new owners. InsideOut had a chance to visit the designer on property for her latest project, just before she handed over the keys.
Although Cheryl describes her style as modern, Ooh La La lacks no element of charm or warmth. The geometry of the lines on the home’s exterior make a bold statement, while lush landscaping in the front yard sends a verdant green reflection up the entryway windows above the front door.
Balancing her contemporary vernacular with Cayman’s natural flora and fauna is obviously something Cheryl has perfected. According to the designer, the first factor in how a home will honor its natural surroundings is the land lot it sits on.
“For me, the overall layout or floor plan of a home is based on the land; the size, shape, view or features of the lot are a major design influence for the design plan,” she says.
True to form, Ooh La La’s interior ambience is owed largely to an abundance of idyllic canal-front views and natural light. One step through the front door and you are greeted by a jaw-dropping floor-to-ceiling mural of perfect blue sky through two rows of stacked window panels.
Cheryl wields natural light and classic Caribbean views like decorative tools. Dramatic windows, the use of glass at different opacities and large, unobstructed canal views create a fluid and dreamy platform for her eclectic décor.
“[We use] large windows to not only bring in loads of natural light but also to bring outside views in and blur the distinction between the interior and exterior, thus creating a feeling of spaciousness and airiness.”
Like a conductor, Cheryl uses her keen eye to arrange spaces so that they complement the home’s natural surroundings. Through the living room’s statement windows is a swimming pool tiled with purple-blue iridescent squares that undulate and shimmer like the ocean.
To the naked eye, Cheryl’s interior aesthetic can read almost like minimalism. That said, at a closer look, each space is a carefully curated selection of colors, furnishings and art that punctuate the open air space with personality.
Cheryl employed her considerable organizational skills to achieve rooms that feel cohesive despite their expansiveness.
“Basically, I have a binder and create a picture board with samples for each room. As items are selected, I add it to the vision board.”
As an example, Ooh La La’s earthy and ethnic décor was inspired by pillow covers the designer found in Santorini, Greece.
“While the design plan wasn’t derived from the pillow covers, the colors and the texture of the Picasso cubism pillow covers were my inspiration and were the starting point for the décor.”
The pillows – which sit primly atop custom leather sofas in a soft pebble grey – serve up slices of purple, yellow and turquoise, all colors repeated in unique ways across the 4,900-square-foot home.
In the downstairs master bedroom, throw pillows in a bold purple ikat print sit below a custom wall hanging series of futuristic chrome cubes, an almost sarcastic shout out to Cheryl’s original inspiration. In a spare bedroom, a statement mirror in latticed gold plays with shapes and creates another bold visual. In the living room, a man’s figure sculpted out of cast iron climbs up the wall, another playful and slightly surreal nod to Picasso’s most famous period.
Cheryl avoids visual overload by grounding all of the interior spaces in warm wood flooring, plush rugs in warm tones and a soft neutral color palette for the walls.
The great indoor/outdoors
The entire canal-facing side of Ooh La La’s ground floor opens up to a deep teal swimming pool, bright green grass and unobstructed views of the North Sound.
In the ground floor bathroom, an outdoor shower in stone tile invites light in through frosted glass.
Patio doors at the rear of the kitchen open up to a large screened patio with an outdoor kitchen. Fitted with a bar, BBQ, fridge and sink, the outdoor kitchen feels like an extension of the interior dining room.
“We spend the majority of our time outside in the screened-in porch whether we are alone or entertaining, so a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors is very important to our lifestyle and I believe an important feature to others, as well.”