Don’t be shy … just go ahead and call it paradise!” That could be the advice anyone would give to the owner of this 11,700-square-foot estate on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Footsteps from the finest stretch of pristine, white sand beaches, and only a bridge away from the capital, Nassau, this exquisite retreat sits surrounded by the turquoises of the Atlantic Ocean and whispered to by its tropical breeze.
Enter interior designer Adriana Hoyos, who had already made one stop to the residence — eight years before. The then-owner had wanted a kind of Pacific-Asian theme, and she accommodated his tastes with elaborate grids and exotic woods. Now, with a recommendation from the former owner, the new purchaser wished to carry the themes in a slightly different direction. Without jettisoning the geometric grillwork, there would be a grand curtsey to glamour and elegance, to drama and an unabashed emphasis on the sheer volume of the living spaces. This would be about as close to paradise as one could get.
“The millwork is so beautiful,” Hoyos says. “And besides, it is in the DNA of the structure.” It wouldn’t be changed. From the front elevation where varying window sizes are united behind two towering wood lattices, the front entrance forms a kind of noble gate. Then step inside, where the entry begins the story. Intricate patterns of the stairway’s wrought-iron handrail and the dreamy green stria of its marble treads ascend alongside a contemplation rock garden perfect for calming minds from both East and West. “We were going to keep the travertine flooring from the original house, but in the end, seeing this beautiful stairway, we decided to change it all to marble,” Hoyos says.
And the same minds that feel calmed by the rock garden and the gazing balls in the entry, will energize upon entering the grand salon with its seeming readiness for entertainment and conviviality. “The original design called for a fireplace in the massive matched granite slab wall from Opustone,” the designer says. “But it was clear that piece of stone was a work of art all its own, so we sent the fireplace back.” However, she did change two windows that had bothered her. “Instead, I placed mirrors flanking this wall,” she says. Now irregularly sized rectangles reflect natural light as well as the wood grillwork overhead.
Tufted-leather ottomans from Hoyos’ own Caramelo collection anchor one end of the seating group, while Fendi’s contoured armchairs with their 3-D laser cut olive weave seem to reach across the cocktail table to chat with a pair of Art Deco inspired, emerald-suede and chrome lounge chairs. “To keep the room from feeling too expansive, I designed a four-piece cocktail table that can be separated to center more intimate seating groups,” Hoyos says.
The repetition of mirroring in both furniture and wall decor is one of the designer’s signature details. “That recognition of an element from one room to another pulls the entire design together,” she says. In keeping with her mantra, mirrors reappear in the dining room where the Lasvit chandelier repeats and repeats with smoked crystal illuminated “eggs” that shimmer from beneath an intricate stepped-ceiling. The delicate tendrils of a gilded blown-glass sculpture spiral in complementary contrast to the apparent thickness of the Paonazzo stone table top. From the “Chocolate Collection” by Hoyos, the table is surfaced in wood wrapped in stone, with a seike wood base designed for the geometrics of the house. Centering the wall, a glowing, yellow-toned abstract provides an artistic focal point.
Capturing space and turning it to her purpose is another signature element of Hoyos’ design. And when the guests depart, a cozy space to relax may be just what owner needs. In what was formerly a library, Hoyos turned the shelving into wine racks and display cases to shape a bar in an intimate lounge area where either an evening nightcap or a morning mimosa would feel just right.
“The owner loves his kitchen,” the designer says. Bright and sleek with walnut laminated cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances, the extra-spacious, all custom kitchen amply accommodates both lavish entertaining and casual meals. Overhead, a floating ceiling faced in metallic cork balances the oversized island that grounds this culinary space.
Upstairs, shimmering tones introduce the master suite that combines a cozy sitting area, spacious sleeping quarters and a private bathing alcove. A stepped, seike wood ceiling crowns the private space and lends additional height to accentuate the custom bed backed by a platinum-hued, suede wall panel. Centered above, spectacular crystal galaxies from Eichholtz become chandeliers that float in the air. “This is a very grand-proportioned room that is all about comfort, luxury and stature,” Hoyos says.
Yet, this is the Bahamas. With his yacht docked only steps away, the homeowner can admire it from a rear elevation that includes both a lower gallery filled with entertainment opportunities, as well as an upper balcony that wraps the house. “The pool area is where the owner and his guests spend most of their time,” Hoyos says. “There is so much to do!”
With elegant marble columns that look as if they were just delivered from a Grecian temple, the gallery’s width allows for five separate seating areas. Beneath the wood beams, a barbeque area with its table for 12, lounge chairs in wicker, and soft, woven daybeds invite relaxation and fun. And then there are the pools lined with sparkling glass mosaics — a lounging pool, a lap pool, and a Jacuzzi that spill invisibly over the edge to create a cascade on the dock level below.
Overhead, the family room balcony is just right for family — and friends. A comfortable social grouping and Nassau’s sparkling profile in the distance make this upstairs hideaway the perfect place to regroup once your yacht has come in.