Contemporary with elements of mid-century and Scandinavian modern.
Situated on the edge of a sweeping swathe of sand on South Sound, John and Dina Foley’s home at TIDES is connected to the sea on every level.
Each place in the development has direct access or views to the ocean; the residences, gym, pool, and roof terrace – which covers the width of the building and gives 360-degree panoramas of the island – or even just driving into the garage to park.
“As we learned, the architects tried to mimic the movement of the sea in their design and truly valued the connection to the ocean, building primarily around that,” says Dina.
The New York couple first came to the Cayman Islands in 2014 to take a small break from the chaos and stress of Manhattan life, and rented an apartment on Seven Mile Beach.
Fell in love
“We instantly fell in love with the lifestyle, the sea, the community and what Cayman had to offer us,” Dina recalls. “What was supposed to be a short break turned into spending the next five years moving between New York and Cayman.”
The pair visited TIDES during construction and were entranced by the complex and its environs, as well as being impressed by developer NCB’s commitment to sustainability.
Green features include solar panels, geothermal cooling, ICF construction, LED lighting and energy efficient Thermador appliances.
Dina and John, who have two young children, purchased the property and moved into the four-bed, four-bath home in March 2019.
Although her background is in finance, Dina began immersing herself in the design industry after working on Wall Street for almost 15 years. And, for the past couple of years, she has been with an architect and interior design firm in the Hamptons, engaged in large residential projects.
The two-storey corner unit features 18-foot ceilings, enjoying a tremendous amount of light, with materials and colours playing off of the hues of the crystal blue waters and the white, sandy beach outside.
This starts in the entranceway with a seven-foot whitened teak-root hand-crafted bench that was sourced and handmade in Indonesia using reclaimed materials.
The dining table, counter stools and coffee table were all designed and built by a workshop in New York and made out of American walnut, and then bleached out to give a beachier, brighter feel.
The oversized rug fabric was handpicked due to its texture and durability and made and shipped from India.
“We worked with a local and talented millworker, Kenny Wulffsberg (of KW Woodwork) to build the floating/wall-mounted credenza and the bar, which is equipped with a small wine fridge, glass shelves and an antique bronze mirror, giving it a very sophisticated metropolitan feel,” says Diana.
“The bar is a special piece because we designed it off a similar piece we had made in New York and wanted to bring that same element and feel here to Cayman.”
The console that sits behind the sofa was handmade in New York by a local millworker, with lamps made from natural water buffalo horn and set on a crystal base topped with a beige linen drum shade.
“And, of course, there is the wallpaper, which is my favourite part of the home,” says Dina, describing it as a piece of art in its own right. “It was our way of connecting with the sea from an interior perspective and bringing the colours of the Caribbean into our home.”
The master suite is ‘mezzanine style’ but completely glassed in to give a sense of privacy with the help of sheer and blackout Lutron shades which, when open, allows expansive views of the sea, and lots of light.
Notable design elements include the floor lamp hand-crafted in New York and the vintage Milo Baughman chair that was reupholstered to stay consistent with the colours of the sea and sky.
Their daughter’s room is simplistic and clean, but Dina has added elements of fun by painting the walls pink, furnishing one nook with ‘mommy & me’ matching Eames rocking chairs, a small tent lit up with fairy lights, and some cosy and fuzzy rugs.
There is also a fabulous terrace, where Dina and John often entertain guests for dinner and drinks.
“They reflect amazing shades of blues, oranges, reds and pinks throughout the home at different parts of the day,” says Dina. “It is truly magical to watch the sunset from any part of the building, as it was designed around this very feature.”
Originally published in InsideOut magazine, Issue 37, Spring Summer 2020.