A Beach Chic Reno

A two-bedroom unit at Kaibo Yacht Club in North Side underwent a major transformation – a top-to-bottom overhaul that puts a new spin on beachside condo living.

It’s modern, sleek and sophisticated, yet decidedly warm and inviting.

The owner, an energy engineer from Texas, enlisted Jami Eliason Design for ideas to update the unit, as well as to incorporate some of his personal “must-haves” such as being family friendly. But, for the most part, the New York interior designer had free reign.

“What I wanted to bring to the table was something different to the Cayman Islands; something fresh and elevated in design and sophistication,” she says. “There is a huge high-end market here – but I wanted something unique that you don’t see in Grand Cayman.”

The result is a design that seamlessly bridges luxury and function, standing apart from the crowd while connecting with the tropical surroundings.

Jami says practicality was very important to her client, but that didn’t mean skimping on style. Porcelain Marazzi flooring, for example, is not only stylish but is highly durable.

The furniture is soft and sleek with fabrics that radiate a luxe feel but are practical and user-friendly.


The kitchen is minimalist with reflective finishes that make it appear larger. Carrara gold custom-cut marble is featured on the kitchen walls, adding a touch of glam.

Storage space is maxed out, with even the microwave tucked away but accessible with a flick of a switch. The custom cabinets are finished with protective catalytic paint. High-end appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator and Wolf oven.

Wood accents, including a round teak coffee table in the living room, bring warmth to the unit while funky lamps and lighting add interest and layers.

“Lighting for me as a designer is always very important,” says Jami. “It really adds character and ambiance.”

Jami also weaves in texture to create interest. The former cement walls in the living room have been decked out in shiplap, which gives the condo a “coastal, beachy flavor and architectural vibe. It elevates the design as well, and really provides that interest over flat walls,” says Jami.

“The stone, the flooring, lighting, cabinets and colors provide a sleek and modern look,” says Jami. “It makes a statement.”

Décor items including a polished turtle shell and starfish add Cayman flavor.

Bathroom upgrade

The master bedroom features an impressive textured feature wall. The bathroom has been opened up and upgraded with a large walk-in shower, and spacious floor-to-ceiling closet for extra storage space. A custom sliding door separates the space, with air reduction fans in the bathroom to dramatically reduce noise.

Both bathrooms were completely redesigned, with the walk-in shower in the guest bathroom made larger by using part of the adjoining closet space.

Striking tiling is featured in both baths, and the doorways were also expanded from 30 to 36-inches.

The view takes center stage – as soon as you enter the condo the eyes are immediately drawn to the swaying palm fronds and sparkling sea.

“We raised the windows where we could,” says Jami. For a better view, they expanded the patio glass doors from eight to 12 feet, painting the all-white frame in bronze.  “It really blends in with the palm trees,” she says.

Likewise, the window above the kitchen sink offers an inviting view.

Other touches include Nest thermostat and ultra-modern air conditioning flow bars on the ceilings.

Challenging reno


Robert Wood of Unrestricted Living oversaw the remodel – one of the more demanding renos he has undertaken.

“There were a lot of challenges doing this one,” he says. “The details that went into it, you can’t really see. The behind the scenes work was tremendous.”

That included rewiring the entire unit, rebuilding the inner walls, levelling the floors and insulating the unit to cut energy costs. The two bathrooms were completely redesigned, with the tiling installation an intricate and time-consuming task.

Installing the wood flooring in the living area was tricky as it all had to be stored indoors. “Each piece had to be protected as it came to the island finished,” says Robert.

Installing the Sub-Zero fridge was another challenge as there was only one-inch of clearance space to spare.

“These condos really weren’t built to accommodate them,” he says. “And you can’t lie those fridges down – they have to be upright.”

With no detail overlooked, and some complex logistics in bringing in various supplies and furnishings, the renovation not only took patience but some creative problem-solving.

“Because this was all custom, there was much more of a time and care element to it,” says Robert. “It was pretty intensive.”