Category: Cayman inspiration

She sells sea [turtle] shells – part 1

I’ve been meaning to post up some delectable goodies with turtle/tortoise shells for a while.  I just love the all natural vibe and gorgeous textural interest they give to a scheme.

Now it’s a bad thing I suppose but I have to admit I am no cuddly animal lover.  I come from a long line of farmers in the north of England (since the Vikings according to my Mama, but I’m not sure she has any actual evidence of this…) and, while I can’t abide any form of actual cruelty, I definitely have a very practical attitude towards animals.  It’s in my genes, can’t help it!

So anyway having said this I have to admit that turtles are one (and potentially the only?) type where I have to INSIST on faux /very-extremely-entirely-ethically-sourced (VEEES in the lingo) shells as when we lived in the Caribbean I spent a significant amount of time dancing around underwater with these happy chappies:



There’s nothing like one of these coming at you and almost boinking you on the nose.

So anyhoo, here’s the design that started off this slight obsession back in 2011.  The Tides on South Beach by Kelly Wearstler is seriously seriously gorgeous:

turtle shell interior design1

As are their Bloody Marys:

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See here for more pics of this hotel and our Miamiiiii trip.

And here are ummm a few more pics of shelly goodness:

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LOVE the whiteys, think these are my faves actually, and they’re very easy to get faux-style…

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Gorgeous with a bit of bling too, no?

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And this coloured lacquered puppy is a fun take on the piece:

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The sweetest dreams – part 1

It is no secret around these parts that I’m a bit of a sucker for canopy beds.  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t desperate to have one of these to call my own, a desire that was totally and utterly magnified by a two year stint in the Caribbean and a road trip around Bali, let me tell ya.

interior design canopy beds1

Our current (rental) master bedroom isn’t big enough to host one of these puppies sadly, but I think one of these days (err…years) I’m going to have to give in to the floaty white drapes and romantic vibe.

interior design canopy beds2

So here are some of my faves right now – today I’ll cover the more exotic beauts, any of these would be perfection in Singapore.

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These two show that you don’t need to spend mega bucks on a new bed – hanging curtains from rods attached to the ceiling is a genius way to get this look on a budget:

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Or simply stringing up a canopy from hooks in the ceiling works wonders too – do you SEE these??!!

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Bali…giant swoon:

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And lastly one of Anouska Hempel’s gems at Blake’s Hotel (see here for more of this divine property) – YUM:

interior design canopy beds4


Make sure you stop by tomorrow for some colour!

Cayman inspiration: tropical glamour

Morning lovelies, how are we all today?  Sorry again about yesterday, think I was on a dodgy island internet connection.

So we went to the most fantastic wedding on Friday, held at the gorgeous Tiki Beach Club here in Cayman.  While we were there it struck me that it was about time I dedicated a little blog love to all things wood/thatch cabana-y and white floaty drape-y…

tiki beach1


I thought I would have a little lookie for some fun tropical cabana inspiration this morning – take a peek at these beauts.  Maybe not entirely appropriate for the silly season in most of the world, but it works for Cayman!

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Cayman inspiration: grotesque grey stingrays

I’m not going to lie, stingrays are not the most attractive creatures the ocean has to boast.  In fact they’re downright ugly buggers, look:


We went for an awesome dive on Sunday during which we saw two enormous moray eels slinking around through the coral heads (also uggers buggers):

(credit: Wikipedia)

And I danced with a turtle for about five minutes, as it circled me half a foot away from my face – AMAZING!

(credit: Melina Beach Turtle Hatchery)

But anyway I digress… so we were swimming back from the wall across the sand flats when I spotted this flipping massive grey stingray being (I think) cleaned by two black fish and one white fish.  The whole colour scheme looked pretty awesome, so I thought this morning that I’d find a few grey schemes for inspiration!  It’s such a gorgeous soothing shade, especially used in bedrooms and bathrooms.

Love the grey/purple here paired with a colourful four poster:

And the varying shades of grey here stop the room becoming drab.  As do those awesome side tables:

I’m sure I’ve featured this pic before – the metallic finish on the table and washstand legs is just sublime:

LOVE!  I’m having a bit of a moment for full length drapes right now:

Include various patterns in the same shades for an eclectic look that’s still cohesive (am totally drooling over that double-faced armchair):

Hellllo vignette perfection!

And I love the grey here paired with burnt orange accents and industrial chic structures:

You just can’t go wrong with statement wood panelling and woolly poufs!

And I love this more traditional design – do you see those pendants??!

And lastly here it is with my current new obsession, the oh-my-I-feel-giddy swoonworthy lavender:

(credits: Pinterest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Interiorholic, Lily & Rose)

Gorgeous! Much prettier, in fact, than a stingray…

Cayman inspiration: colourful kiting

So I’ve recently taken up kitesurfing here in Cayman and am totally kicking myself for not doing it 2 years ago (Alistair:  ‘I told you so’ – yep, you did…).  It’s bloody brilliant and I haven’t even started the board work yet, I can’t wait to start whizzing. 

Anyway so for my lessons this week I’ve been using a bright red kite and keep getting completely distracted by what a fanstastic colour combo it is wth the bright turquoise of the sky behind it (‘Elly, FOCUS ON THE KITE’ keeps ringing throught my earpiece as I’m pondering turquoise accent furnishings while the kite plunges into the ocean…oops).  Looks a little like this, except much more incompetent:

(credit: 20 Days)

Anyhoo, so I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always had an innate aversion to the combination of le blue and le red, but given my level of distraction I thought I’d give it another chance.  And it turns out it can actually provide a fantastic colour jolt or more of a soft pastelly accent.

LOVE it here combined with graphic stripes: 

Or how about a vintage-style kitchen?

My eyes are popping out of my head…

Also gorgeous in other contexts, no?

Couple of fabulous poppy red accents:

Or introduce a softer colour for a more peaceful scheme:

And I’m loving this festive take on the palette!

(credits: Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, Elle, House Beautiful, Design*Sponge)

So what do you think friends??

Cayman inspiration: changing seasons

Ok, so this has absolutely zilch to do with interior design but I am JUST SO EXCITED that winter has finally arrived in Cayman.

We have had a loooong hot, humid, breeze-free, mozzie-infested summer but the weather’s broken in the last couple of days and we actually have a cool wind blowing through our home and waves outside our back door, and it is amazing!  These pics were all taken from the same spot on our terrace.

Summer – the time of pancake-flat seas (spot the horizon) and amazing sunsets:

Winter – the time when things cool down and you actually want to leave your home:

Life is good right now!

Cayman inspiration: zebra with a twist…

So we realised last weekend that we hadn’t been out snorkelling for a while – it’s crazy living here, you just start taking the beach and the ocean for granted, we definitely need to make an effort to appreciate it more.  Anyhoo, so we went snorkelling out the front of our place on Sunday and saw about a million of these little yellow/black striped sergeant major fish.  They get very territorial and tend to swarm you when you get too close – not particularly scary as they are about 10cms long, but at one point I turned around and saw Ali surrounded by literally about 300 of them, it looked pretty amazing, especially set against the bright blue of the ocean.


So anyway, it got me thinking about the killer vibrant combo of yellow and black in interior design, and in particular the bedroom designed by Jamie Drake, that I was going on about the other week:

Zebra print seems to show up in a lot of the yellow/black schemes out there, which of course I hate.  I think I’d cover pretty much anything in this gorgeous zingy print if I could – I’d better find a good source for faux zebra hides or the eco-systems of several African countries may never be the same again once I start interior design-ing for real…  Oh wait, actually, they’re not real zebras right?!  Anyway, I digress, here are some other beaut’s:

(credits: Elle Decor, Pinterest, Ivory & Aubergine, Patricia Gray, House Beautiful, Apartment Therapy, Abigail Ahern, Houzz)

Cayman inspiration: tornado alert…

Last week we saw our very first tornado.  I have to say the Caribbean is not the place I thought that would happen, not that I’d really ever put much thought into it, but this ENORMOUS water spout appeared just off Georgetown port a few days ago, and nearly sucked up some poor parasailing cruise-shipper, all in front of my very eyes (sorry about the wiggly horizon in the pics…).

Cool, huh?!

The muted greys/blues/greens of the scene caught my attention and I thought I’d find a few ‘pretty things’ in these shades, what do you reckon…?

Tornado alert...

Tornado alert… by caribbeanliving

PiP Studio Blue Dinner Plate
12 –

Z Gallerie – Cazbar Lantern
$100 –

Richmond Chaise Longue – The White Company
1,095 –

Benjamin Moore, Windmill Wings

Benjamin Moore, Mountain Ridge

Thibaut Design

Farrow & Ball, Vert de Terre

Benjamin Moore, Stratton Blue

Cayman Inspiration: storm’s a’brewing

So summer here in Cayman is a pretty odd time of year.  Most of the time the humidity and heat are off the charts high, and make you just want to sit in the sea all day long, but one great side effect is that we get a constant stream of awesome thunderstorms rolling in.  The last three nights in a row, I’ve been woken up by a huge crack of thunder just over our heads which isn’t ideal, but last weekend we were sat out on our terrace watching four different thunder storms rippling across the sea on the horizon, it was pretty spectacular. 

(National Geographic)

Anyway, so it got me thinking about all things black and white in interior design, and about how the contrast between them introduces an instant ping to any scheme.  Here are a few ideas:

Lightning flash

Lightning flash by Caribbean Living

$1,849 –

Harry Allen My Brother’s Frame
$250 –

Kenya Oval Lamp
$275 –

Saarinen Tables
$1,999 –

Bordeaux Coffee Table
$899 –

Cayman inspiration: silversides bling

Last weekend was silversides season on our front lawn.  We went freediving with thousands upon thousands of these eeny weeny silver fish in the caves and swim-throughs in the ocean in front of our home, and it was INSANE!  Imagine being so surrounded by these little things that you don’t see the huge lurking tarpon fish until they’re 6cm away from your nose, it’s bonkers!

(credits: Geographic)

So anyway, this got me pondering the beauty of all things silver, metallic and generally blingy, and I thought I’d pull together a few furnishings in this theme…

Silversides Bling

Silversides Bling by Caribbean Living on