For interior designer Lydia Uzzell, creating a space that reflected she and her husband Justin’s personal taste and lifestyle was paramount in designing their new home.
The trouble was deciding on a style for the three-bedroom George Town residence, as both are drawn to a variety of aesthetics.
“In the end we nixed the idea of one particular style and instead chose to make the home feel as comfortable and inviting as possible, with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories,” says Lydia.
“Our home isn’t huge, so we just ran with the idea we could curate a collection of pieces we love, without worrying whether they fit any particular theme.”
That includes artwork the couple has collected during their travels.
“We love how they are a daily reminder of amazing trips we’ve had,” says Lydia. “I also really enjoy fresh flowers and plants – there’s nothing quite like them to create a welcoming vibe in a home.”
The home was lacking in architectural detail, and the couple’s tight budget didn’t afford much room to add anything particularly significant.
“We knew right from the start that we wanted to incorporate some kind of ceiling detail to counteract this,” says Lydia. “We love the look of bead-board, so added it to the high-impact areas: the living/dining room and the master bedroom.”
The ceilings in these rooms are clad in bead-board finished with white paint.
“The ceiling is really the ‘fifth wall’, an element that is often overlooked,” Lydia explains.
“Using texture on a ceiling adds loads of character and depth and, in our case, made an otherwise rectangular and potentially boring room look interesting.”
The combined living and dining area is spacious, with light flooding in through the large windows, and has a look which combines traditional comfort with modern tastes.
The dining table, for example, is a whitewashed and aged teak, with an overhead pendant light of clear glass bubbles. The sofa is also contemporary, but is offset by two traditionally inspired tufted armchairs, and a coffee table Lydia designed from antique Chinese elm.
“Aside from the fact that we simply love both aesthetics and each of the pieces independently, we quite like a careful mix of styles – it’s a little unexpected and gives a home a more collected appearance,” says Lydia. “We really didn’t want our home to feel like a showroom.”
The couple decided to splurge in the kitchen which they have designed as the heart of the home.
“Having spent much time in poorly designed kitchens that drove me nuts, and having designed so many custom spaces for clients, I was determined to experience working in an amazing kitchen for myself,” says Lydia. “It was so worth it – every time I use my kitchen, I think about how much I love it.”
It’s somewhat separated from the living and dining areas by a large open doorway which, although bucking against current trends, Lydia likes.
The master suite has the feel of being a separate wing. The room has a huge, woven rattan bed by McGuire and the en suite bathroom features a luxurious rain shower. Ann Sacks subway tiles are used on the bathroom walls, while the hexagonal statuary marble tiles on the shower floor required a splash of cash but because it was a small area didn’t break the bank.
The guest bedroom and bathroom, meantime, have been kept simple.
‘Cool Breeze’ is the name the couple have given their home, a nod to the time spent on the back patio. It also happens to be the name of the eye-catching paint colour on the exterior.
One of the main attractions of the property was the large yard space, which the couple have taken full advantage of by adding a patio and porch and installing a swimming pool.
“We knew we would live outdoors most of the time, so we integrated the pool into the patio which creates a nice connection between the spaces,” says Lydia.
“We definitely wanted shade so we could maximise our time outdoors, so decided early on to extend the roof over the patio, which we think, despite being at the back of the house, adds a lovely Caymanian cottage-inspired element to our home,” she says.