When Charles Jennings was looking for an island escape for his family, he wanted the ultimate beach house and seaside retreat in Cayman.
That’s exactly what he has created since buying and remodelling the property that the family has named Treasure Cove.
The luxurious two-storey villa is located in Cayman Kai, nestled by a serene lagoon and surrounded by lush tropical greenery to provide peace and privacy. It is also conveniently close to the area’s amenities and attractions, including beautiful Rum Point and laid-back Kaibo.
“We love the lagoon,” says Charles. “It is always wonderfully still and tranquil – exactly what one wants to get away from it all.”
This idyllic seaside home, however, needed a major renovation when the family purchased the property in 2011. The house was somewhat outdated and lacked a personality of its own.
Charles brought in designer Joyce Wells Burcombe of Vista Development Company Ltd. to give the home a fresh feel and bring it up to a high standard. Frank Packer of Titan Development came on board as the contractor
The redesign had to blend two separate functions, as Charles rents out the six-bedroom, four-bath beachfront house as a short-term vacation (or staycation) home when his family is not enjoying it as a getaway.
“In order to achieve this objective, the house had to be a step above an average holiday home, but maintain the casual comfort of a beach house,” says Joyce. “The ultimate goal was to design a villa that would create memorable Cayman vacations for visitors to our island – in particular, families and close friends.”
Charles and his wife Siân were pleased with the end results.
“It came out just as we had intended,” says Charles.
“We didn’t want anything too minimalist or spartan, as we have stayed in our fair share of beach houses which were, quite frankly, a bit unloved.
“We believed that if we could create the sort of house we would love to stay in ourselves, and then maintain it with real attention to detail, people would appreciate that, treat the place as they would their own, and hopefully want to return again and again.
“We intended to let it, so we wanted to be satisfied that it would prove popular with short-stay tenants. At the same time, we wanted it to be our family’s taste too. With Joyce Burcombe’s help, we think we achieved both.”
Indeed, the look is modern and chic with the accents and finishing touches making the space feel calming and comfy, just as a beach home should. The details give the 4,200-square-foot home a relaxing feel and distinctive personality.
“We asked Joyce to create a design that was comfortable and nurturing without being too ‘northern hemisphere’,” says Charles. “There are probably more decorative touches and a more lavish use of textiles than you would find in most beach houses, but you never feel inhibited from relaxing and putting your feet up.”
The nine-month renovation project entailed completely gutting the master bedroom as well as the kitchen and all the bathrooms. Every inch of the rest of the interior was also remodelled.
The main living space is now awash in white with dark wood accents, while a wall of windows and sliding doors allow sweeping views of the sea. Although the main floor area has no separating walls, it is defined into four functional spaces: kitchen, dining room, television room and a cosy conversation area.
“Everyone can be in the same room at the same time, but be doing different things,” says Joyce.
The dark wood throughout the home is offset with whites and creams on the walls and floor, giving it a fresh, breezy ambience. The beach chic look is enhanced with beautiful sculptures and artwork, from an exquisite glass starfish and a striking sea fan to a hand-carved wooden fish and painting of a rustic dock. Abstract seascapes and botanical details continue the theme throughout the house.
Accents, such as oversized shell lamps, white pillars, mirrors with striking frames and bold floor vases, add interest and impact to the rooms.
The 12-seat glass dining room table is also sure to be a conversation piece. Joyce and Siân went to Atlanta to buy a few unique accents for the home and spotted a dealer selling old teak tree roots. They picked out several spectacular pieces and used them as the base for the dining table as well as several glass side tables in the living areas.
The kitchen is bright and airy, and according to Joyce, was the most effortless part of the whole renovation as she simply picked out the finishes and handed over a sketch of the design to Perry Garrison of Garrison Industries, who did all the rest. The high-end appliances were sourced from A. L. Thompson’s.
The outdoor environment had a big influence on the look of the interior space. The artwork, finishes and colour scheme – hues of green, blues and creams – reflect what’s right outside the door: white sand beach, swaying palms and the expanse of turquoise sea.
Charles cites the upstairs master suite, which is now a haven for relaxation, as one of his favourite spaces.
“It’s a wonderful combination of cocooned luxury with its four-poster bed and filmy curtains and the limitless view from the balcony,” he says.
The balcony has an inviting, round lounger to relax on while catching Cayman’s brilliant sunsets and cooling breezes.
Another space he and Siân are fond of is the former small home office that has been transformed into a sophisticated bunk-bed room for children, with a zebra-themed rug and bed covers, and miniature table and chairs.
The amenities at Treasure Cove are impressive, including a private pool allowing guests to simply walk out the door and go for a dip, or they can swim in the calm, inviting sea.
For those wanting to kick back, there’s ample room to laze on the beach or while away the day in the hammock under a shaded thatch-roof cabana. In the morning, breakfast can be enjoyed on the screened outdoor patio, which is another spot favoured by Charles and Siân.
The couple also have a home in Prospect but spend as much time as possible at Treasure Cove when their 21-year-old triplets Lucy, Tom and Eleanor are home from college.
“The children and their frequent guests love kayaking and paddleboarding – the house is ideally situated for that,” says Charles. “We all hang out. It’s a pleasure just to chill at the house.”