Design Tips for Your Caribbean Island Home

Design tips for a Caribbean island home
As real estate agents, we are often granted the rare opportunity to bask in the loving details that make an island estate truly a Caribbean home. All these experiences inspired us to share a few of the visionary design ideas that have charmed us over the years, and we hope they will inspire you too!

With execution of just a few of these design ideas, your Caribbean island home will take advantage of the tropical climate and lifestyle, allowing further enjoyment and satisfaction of a move to the islands.

Tropical garden

Taking time to cultivate your own private oasis is always a sound investment. Lush gardens full of texture and color will transport you and all who enter your home to a tranquil world where cares melt as the flowers grow. The BVI is blessed with rich tropical vegetation, so choose plants and trees that speak to you. Shade gardens painted with orchids, or tropical fruit trees are excellent ways to tempt the senses and keep you at ease throughout the year.

Remember to create shade through canopy. Sunshine in the tropics is a wonderful thing until you cannot escape it – get some shade.

Planting tips:

  • Aloe for the inevitable sunburn and key limes for the ever-popular pie and margaritas
  • Fruit trees such as coconut, mango, papaya, and breadfruit
  • Herb garden with rosemary, basil, and lemon grass for an exotic botanical feast at meal time

Bird watching might be a new hobby you want to take up with your property. Install Hummingbird and bananakeet feeders and use a bird identification book such as Audubon or Sibley guide.

Handcrafted, local elements

handcrafted local caribbean elements
Incorporating décor elements that are labors of love and skill, crafted by hand to provide more than mere functionality always trumps the conventional and mass-produced. For select features, consider commissioning local artisans to craft authentic or one-of-a-kind pieces to incorporate into your design scheme.

Make the most of the view

Caribbean island view from hammock
Establishing your own personal relationship to nature’s best offerings is why owning a Caribbean home in the BVI is so alluring, and this is undoubtedly due to its world-class sweeping vistas. Giving attention to endless sapphire seas, and neighborly nods from surrounding islands make for an excellent way to while away the hours. Make the most of your view by planning your gardens and lounge areas so they enhance your viewing experience. If possible, arrange multiple viewing angles so you and all your guests can relax, kick up your feet, and savor the splendor of island living.

Pro tip: buy some binoculars and a telescope to admire the passing sailboats in the daytime and at night, and revel in the majestic starry sky.

Tales of travel

Tell your life story by peppering your home with artifacts collected from travels afar. These conversation pieces will provide a glimpse into your past and are the perfect way to fill your home with memories while inspiring you to make new ones.

Colorful Caribbean

Add appeal and accentuate your own unique style by incorporating a bit of color into your home. Caribbean estates traditionally wear vibrant tropical hues to great effect, but even if you prefer natural tones, consider adding accents to enliven your space. Use the allure of the BVI as inspiration, and let your inner artistry take over.

Choose warm Caribbean colours and soft ambient lighting to accentuate the inviting atmosphere.

A space for socializing

Socializing space for your Caribbean home
If you buy a home in the Caribbean, you will most likely be entertaining guests and the idyllic social space is crucial in forming a comfortable and welcoming setting. A spacious and open floor plan allows for movement, mingling, and conversation to flow, as well as for comfortable breezes.

Offer comfortable deck seating for viewing the white sandy beaches and idyllic blue waters. All the beautiful colours of the late afternoon sunset when the heat subsides and the sun’s glare dims are often the most sought after cocktail hour locations in a private home or villa. Approximately 12 feet of outside covered deck space offering views and breezes toward an eastern sky are optimal.

A combination of outside dining and BBQ with sinks or stove tops near the entertaining areas are a plus. Often the chef enjoys joining the revelry while their guests amuse themselves at the bar.

Pro tip: use all-weather wicker outdoor furniture that can handle the elements of the tropical climate.

Caribbean home must-haves

Outdoor shower Caribbean

  • Hammock, rocking chair and/or porch swing: there’s nothing like sitting in the breezy shade sipping your favourite beverage. a nice spot to relax after dinner, talking and stargazing in the warm Caribbean night
  • Wooden louvered shutters: functional to keep the home cool and beautiful with a classic traditional look and feel with clean, rhythmic lines (screens and mosquito nets are also helpful to enjoy bringing the outdoors inside without the bugs)
  • Plunge pool: if you don’t have the space or resources for a full on swimming pool, a plunge pool goes a long way to help spend those sultry days relaxing at home
  • Outdoor shower: it is refreshing to bathe in the natural elements while enjoying the view
  • Hurricane shutters and a hurricane tracking chart: hurricane season begins in June and extends through till November. Winds can be very strong. Protect your windows from flying objects such as coconuts and branches
  • Snorkel gear and a fish identification book: the Caribbean is recognised as one of the top dive and snorkel destinations in the world. Explore!