Hot Caribbean color might be the ultimate house makeover hack: Designer Amanda Lindroth transforms a 1970s Lyford Cay home with vivid island hues and gutsy decorating moves.
"The funny thing is, I'm usually fairly restrained with color," confesses designer Amanda Lindroth, who delighted in tossing aside her own set of norms to spiff up this 1970s-era Lyford Cay home known as Haven Hill. Lindroth's New York–based clients decided to forgo structural and exterior changes in favor of a full-on decorating redo, seeking to energize the vacation house with more of the 1950s Brighton Pavilion–style glamour that Lyford Cay is known for.
So the Nassau-based Lindroth, whose work will be showcased in the forthcoming book Island Hopping (Vendome, fall 2018), used lively patterned wallpapers, electric coral trim, and even mirrored wall panels to compensate for the older home's architectural limitations (such as rooms with uneven lighting and, in some cases, uneven floors and window casings). "The house needed a lot of layers of fun—the clients were fearless, so we went for it!" Inspired? Read on for more of Lindroth's genius decorating fixes.
Pictured: Aside from a fresh island green on the trim and front door, the home's exterior remains just as it was—a low-slung Lyford Cay bungalow with a terra-cotta shingle roof, tiered gabled portico, and circular tile driveway.
Pair daring ideas with old classics.
"The trim in the entry is borderline neon (Dark Salmon by Benjamin Moore), and even I was surprised that it worked," says Lindroth. "But everyone loved it, so we rolled with it." She contrasted the hot hue with grasscloth wallpaper and a classic green door (painted Southfield Green, also by Benjamin Moore). "It's an ode to 1960s Barbados designer Oliver Messel," Lindroth adds. "You can never go wrong with this green."
In the dining room, Lindroth covered the walls in a reverse batik print and added framed mirrors arranged like wall panels to bounce light around the room. But the centerpiece is undeniably the mischievous monkey chandelier by Mario Torres. "It's an old Palm Beach piece I found online and couldn't resist," says the designer. The vintage shell-back chairs are by Brown Jordan, and the ceiling is covered in faux bois wallpaper.
Curve your enthusiasm.
This rounded rattan sofa is reminiscent of one the Duchess of Windsor once had in her Harbour Island home. "When I found it, I knew the living room would have a lot of joy," Lindroth says. "Along with the vibrant tropical patterns, it would invite conversation." She painted the millwork a glossy black to subdue the high-energy patterns. The wallpaper is by Cole & Sons, and the chair upholstery is a China Seas batik pattern. The painting of Nassau Harbour is by Frederic Soldwedel.
Rethink your desk job.
Here, even navy takes a walk (or at least tiptoes) on the wild side. Lindroth paired the lacquer campaign desk with a vibrant piece by realist painter George Nick, a chic pagoda lamp, and tonal palm wallpaper to bring the tried-and-true blue to a whole new level of fun.
Reinvent the old.
Lindroth enlivened the bamboo and rattan porch furniture that came with the house by painting the sofa and table bases to match the house trim, and then adding conch-shell pink cushions to all the seating. By situating the bar under the window, she created a convenient pass-through from the kitchen. "This is where the family really lives," says the designer, noting that the five-foot mirror hanging above the sofa reflects the pool and Lyford Cay golf course and clubhouse.
Create a cast of characters.
Though the dining room buffet is a family antique, the bar dances to its own set of steel drums: It's tended by a watchful rattan egret lamp, and should the leggy bird need backup, Lindroth's signature Old Nassau Royale decanter could step in. "I buy them up on eBay and add them to every house," she says.
Let the landscape lead.
On Lyford Cay, the island colors are the stuff of dreams, so the bedrooms play like one-room salutes to the reigning natural hues. Located at the highest point of the house, the master bedroom has terrific views not just of the ocean, but also of neighboring architecture and foliage. "Pink is everywhere on Lyford Cay, particularly in gardens and masonry. It's one of the few pigments naturally derived from the indigenous trees here," Lindroth notes.
Let the landscape lead.
Leafy patterned valances in the twin guest room mimic the feel of sleeping under a canopy of Bahamian foliage. The bedding and pillows are by Pine Cone Hill.