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Designing the Caribbean Villa - Life in the Tropics

Written By Lisa Clarke, BA(Hons), MArch, BIA Associate

Images Supplied By GSA

Often developed in close collaboration with landscape architects, Caribbean villas are designed to feel distinct from the everyday home. Living on a tropical island means taking full advantage of the natural surroundings and these villas are intended to blur the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces. Naturally ventilated with passive design cooling systems, they feel breezy, open and light, even in the hottest of months. Native tropical plants create a garden oasis, often with a traditional lagoon-like pond or modern infinity edge pool as a central focus. Varying in style and scale, some of these villas sit quietly inside these lush surroundings, carefully hidden from the public eye, while others are much more prominent, standing boldly in contrast to their natural context.  


The beauty in the design of a Caribbean villa is its ability to create unique experiences through thoughtful spatial planning and intricate detailing, as driven by each owner’s personal touch. Caribbean villas accommodate an elite lifestyle where every need is met. With a plethora of high-end amenities, and smart design features and facilities, these private villas are designed with comfort and leisure in mind. Many often include private cinemas, spas and saunas, gyms, yoga studios, and fully equipped indoor and outdoor kitchens. The grounds may feature tennis courts, multiple pools, and beautifully manicured gardens.  


Well designed villas take full advantage of stunning ocean views and lush garden scenery and encourage the open-concept indoor/outdoor living the Caribbean is famous for. Spacious and luxurious ensuite bedrooms enjoy seamless transitions to carefully landscaped terraces, sunny pool decks and private balconies. High-end interiors, Caribbean bespoke or Contemporary in style, feature a blend of local artisanal items and quality imported furnishings. Stunning hand-painted murals and unique hand-crafted finishes blend with the sound of the crashing waves and swaying palm trees to complete the desired ambiance.  


With the demand for sustainable living options on the rise, the Caribbean villa can neatly hark back to its origins. The historical island villa design incorporated locally sourced natural resources in its construction, passive cooling concepts for breezy indoor living, sun-shading elements for cooling and the use of rainwater catchments for irrigation purposes. To these the modern Caribbean villa has added leading edge photovoltaic technology for solar energy use.  


Spending time in a Caribbean villa represents the attainment of a desired lifestyle. These villas become home away from home.  


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