This Breezy Bahamian Retreat Proves Sleek and Simple Is the Ultimate Beach House Bliss
While everyone might have a different interpretation as to what the idyllic island style might be—loads of blues? Rattan and bamboo galore?—one thing that tends to be universal in a tropical escape is the design mission: To bring on the vacation vibes. For the owners of this 2,500-square-foot townhome on Great Guana Cay in the Abacos, that meant embracing earthy textures and a minimalist palette—and allowing the home’s dynamite ocean views to really shine. “The design of the home is all about celebrating the fresh simplicity of island life,” say Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl, the designers on the project and principals at Studio Life.Style in West Hollywood, California. Here, Wollack and Zwickl share how they created a dream Bahamas retreat that feels completely relaxed and utterly blissful:
For a family of five who likes to entertain, crafting hardworking spaces that feel “simultaneously laid-back and luxurious” was paramount. To that end, materials throughout the home, including in the white-washed kitchen, are highly durable. Here, the designers paired oak flooring with crisp white Caesarstone countertops, which are virtually indestructible and require minimal maintenance.
On the spacious terrace, towering palms and the sparkling Caribbean Sea provide a heavenly backdrop to an understated mix of furnishings. “We focused on light and airy furniture profiles with lots of negative space to help enhance the floating feelings of the breezy tropical surroundings,” say the designers. Rope supports on the swinging daybed add a hint of nautical flair.
With accordion doors that open up completely to the terrace, the living area is a true indoor-outdoor escape. To further blur the lines, the designers opted for earthy textures inside, including unglazed ceramics, live-edge wood, limestone tables, and rope detailing. Clean lines and sculptural accents, like the hanging sconces from Stahl + Band flanking the artwork, elevate the spaces with contemporary style. “The floating Halo sconces were one of the first selections made for the project,” say Wollack and Zwickl. “the combination of the earthy wood finish with the modern floating indirect light helped to define the nature-based modernism felt throughout the home.”
Filled with predominantly earthy hues like grays and creams, the home allows the ocean views to really take center stage. In a guest bedroom, the subdued palette is pumped up with a medley of layers, textures, and geometric patterns that combine to make the room feel “super hip and supremely comfortable,” say the designers.
In a private sitting room off the master bedroom, the designers outfitted the perfect space to kick back after a day on the sand. In addition to the ocean views, the real show-stopper here is the wall hanging by ceramic artist MQuan, which also dictated the direction of the room’s palette. “We doubled the impact of this piece by hanging the Egg Collective mirror on the facing wall so that the wall hanging could be experienced from many angles,” say the designers.
What’s a vacation without a spa-worthy bath? Wollack and Zwickl made this one feel truly resort-ready with a freestanding tub, glass partition, and black-and-white surf photo. Modern hanging vanity mirrors above the sinks recall the silhouettes of the living room sconces, adding cohesion to the entire home.