Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Warm up inside designer Kit Kemp's boho chic Barbados home

Another cold, snowy day in the Midwest, but at least I can think sunny and warm with a peek inside the boho chic Barbados home of London-based interior designer and hotelier Kit Kemp.

A recent Vogue Living Australia featured her gorgeous design-build getaway on its cover. A tour of the home also forms the opening chapter of Kemp’s second book, Every Room Tells a Storywhich came out last fall.

“In an ideal world we would all have a secret bolt hole where we can escape to recharge the batteries, be creative or just hide away from the everyday world,” Kemp says. “This is where I’ve been lucky enough to design and build a dream house in the sunshine of the Caribbean.”

'Lucky' is an understatement, agreed?

Take the tour, see for yourself...



This is one view I’d never tire of, but maybe I should back up a bit so you can fully appreciate it. 



The new house sits on a hillside, overlooking turquoise blue waters, and is reached at the end of a palm-lined drive made from coral stone. The house’s secret is already visible. Do you see it?



It’s even more apparent in this photo: The house is built so that you see through the front door, straight to the sea.



Pretty neat, huh? Imagine the anticipation you’d feel every time you drove up!



These photos are of the outdoor sitting room, but the entire house is constructed to blur the lines between indoors and out.



The view is terrific no matter which way you turn, and all the seating looks oh-so-comfy, but I’d be parking myself in one of the sea-facing chairs and not giving it up until sundown. (And maybe not even then!)


Even inside, no space strays far from that spectacular view






Doors between living spaces remain open whenever possible, and island monkeys and hummingbirds often find their way in. Windows built into the tops of the high-pitched ceilings help the birds, who only know how to fly up, find their way out again.


‘It’s all about scale’



The master suite is all about how to use scale, Kemp explains. From the statement upholstered bed…



...to the stately breakfront bookcases, large-scale pieces hold the room together.



Silly me. All along I thought it was gorgeous detail--shell-encrusted nightstands, glorious island colors, whimsical art, and …



…last but certainly not least, a killer soaking tub, with an island-pebble floor to massage my weary toesies stepping in and out.


It fits my idea of ‘roughing it’ in the great outdoors perfectly.



I’m picturing my sweetie and I strolling this pathway, hand-in-hand, on the way to our rooms after a long day in the sun, lanterns lighting the path, twinkling candles nearly burned down into a soft mound of smoky-sweet wax.



It was admittedly a long, dizzying day in the sun and so hard to leave that pool.



The part I’ll never forget? Dinner under the Caribbean sky, followed by a midnight swim under the stars.


I hope this virtual vacation tides you over until spring break.




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