When Kellie and Serginho (Serg) Sandy purchased their first home last year, a two-bedroom condo in Prospect, they wanted to turn it into a space of their own without breaking the bank. The result is a unique and cozy space that has their personal stamp on it, with many décor items inspired by their travels around the world. Serg works as a program co-ordinator for the YMCA Cayman Islands and Kellie, a former Young Caymanian Leadership Award recipient, does research and development for Ironshore Pharmaceuticals & Development Inc.
InsideOut caught up with the couple and took a tour of Casa Sandy.
InsideOut: What was the decor like when you bought it?
Kellie Sandy: It definitely needed some TLC. With bright green living room walls and adjacent blue kitchen walls, it was tough on the eyes. Nearly all the furniture was mismatched with clashing colors and patterns. The kitchen cabinets were an awkward medium brown color and the fans and light fixtures needed updating. Luckily, I looked past this and saw a space with lots of potential, and Serg and I were both willing to get our hands dirty with DIY projects.
IO: Did you do the decor yourself?
KS: I did, with some inspiration from Pinterest, my favorite Instagram interior decor pages, and HGTV. I had so much fun bringing my vision to life.
IO: How would you describe your style?
KS: I would say it is more eclectic, rather than one particular style. It incorporates modern materials such as metal light fixtures and bar stools and unites them with plush furnishings. Then there is an element of Bohemian style with different patterns and textures (and items from our travels) mixed with a coastal style that introduces calming blue color palettes, white furnishings and accessories inspired by the sea. The overall goal is to create a space that is warm and inviting yet stylish and sleek.
IO: What made you decide on that home?
KS: The main reason was the price point (and the deal we got). For our first home, we didn’t want to break the bank, and we wanted to have enough money to make the space our own. Besides cosmetic changes that we wanted to make, the place was in excellent condition, requiring minimal renovations. It checked most boxes for both of us.
IO: Which room is your favorite?
KS: It would have to be an equal split between the kitchen and living room. The kitchen because we are both foodies … and the living room because it’s the room where everyone piles into after dinner and the room which is filled with the most love and laughter.
IO: What sort of art and accessories do you enjoy/invest in?
KS: I am a big fan of abstract art. I also love all things inspired by the sea. A very close friend of mine is a talented underwater photographer so we have canvased some of her photos for our place. We also travel frequently (50-plus countries) and so we have art and photos scattered around the house to remind us of our travels. In terms of accessories, you’ll find accent pillows, patterned curtains and rugs, eclectic groups of picture frames, and as many plants as my husband will allow. I could get carried away with all the accessories in the world. However, given that our place is quite small, we try to keep it relatively simple and opt for fewer accessories with greater sentiment to us.
First-time home decorating tips from Kellie and Serg Sandy
- Figure out your style: It is important to have an idea of your vision and style before you start decorating. I did endless pinning, scrolling through Instagram design accounts, and watching HGTV to find out what I loved interior-wise before I started shopping.
- Take your time: Your home is an ever-evolving entity; your style will change, as will your lifestyle and new trends you love. Enjoy the process. Rather than purchasing everything at once, take your time to be selective with pieces, and spend your budget wisely.
- Solve problems inexpensively: We really didn’t like the look of our kitchen when we moved in but weren’t prepared to do a full kitchen renovation. We painted the cabinets white, changed the hardware on the cabinets, installed blinds, and had a marble backsplash installed. It looked like a new kitchen when we were done without breaking the bank. We also changed the color on the wall, and updated lighting and fans throughout the place; it’s incredible what a difference these changes can make. But don’t take on too many projects simultaneously. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your first house, and the process to making it a home.