A familyÂ’s colorful Antigua compound exudes laid-back island appeal. By Regina Cole
The home was designed by D. Michael Collins, a South Natick, Massachusetts architect who engaged the services of local Antigua architect Andrew Goodenough to act as translator of local customs and building traditions. Together, inspired by West Indies vernacular architecture, they created a group of structures that are connected to each other, as well as to the water, by covered porches.
Â“[The buildings] string along to form a very private area along the beach side,Â” Collins explains.
A zero-entry pool is the focal point of the village-like cluster of cottages, its surface seemingly melting into the azure-and-turquoise sea.
In reference to building the homeÂ’s in-ground pool, Â“You canÂ’t imagine how long it took us to get the tile color right,Â” laughs Margot Heilbronner of Hopkins Rose Interiors in Natick, Massachusetts. Â“Chlorine can affect color, so we held countless tiles under the water to make sure the pool would blend into the ocean backdrop. Clashing blues donÂ’t feel serene,Â” she says.
With that same attention to detail, Heilbronner created interiors for the main wing, childrenÂ’s wing, and guest wing and the deep covered porches that connect them. Her color palette features strong Caribbean hues. Â“Yellows, teals, and pinks take on the many shades of blue [of the ocean],Â” Heilbronner says. Â“The sun is so bright that you need saturated colors; pale shades and pastels bleach out and look anemic.Â”
The homeowner, who loves bright colors and possesses a light-hearted sensibility, enthusiastically followed her advice. The living roomÂ’s focal point, for example, is an end wall painted and waxed with multiple layers of an orangey lipstick red, which Â“balances and grounds the room,Â” says Heilbronner.
Other rooms feature such delights as a polka-dot-bordered, zebra-striped rug; Lucite neo-traditional furniture upholstered in red and trimed with blue; golden-yellow drapes with turquoise leading-edge trim; and blue Murano glass doorknobs. The colorful rooms blossom against cream-colored walls and white porcelain-tiled floors; they anchor and tie together all of the houseÂ’s disparate indoor and outdoor spaces.
Walkways lead to tennis and shuffleboard courts and to a temple-like massage room, yet the favorite activity of the homeowners and their guests is simply to relax and soak up the colors of the island.