Contemporary Upgrade

A top-to-bottom redesign takes a loft-style condo at Britannia from drab to fab.

Muted earth tones and natural wood furniture work in harmony with modern fixtures and statement glass paneling throughout the home. Photos by Heather Holt
The dining area is open to the living and kitchen areas, with modern glass pendant lights adding a sense of drama. African décor items, including skins and artwork, is a nod to the couple’s South African roots.

When a three-bed, three-bath condo at Britannia came on the market, Michael and Lexi Binckes knew it was the perfect space to call home.

The family, who had been living in a two-bedroom condo at Kings Court in the development, was ready for an upgrade.

“It was exactly what we needed space-wise, and a friend of ours lived in it as a rental,” says Michael.

The condo, however, was stuck in a bit of a time warp. Wicker furniture, white appliances and faux aged marble, among the outmoded decor, made the condo feel dated and uninviting. A renovation was in order.

The couple enlisted Justin Szigeti, senior designer at Interior Design Group (IDG), to carry out their vision.

“The renovation began with a client meeting so that we could understand their specific lifestyle, needs and requirements,” says Justin.

“This helped us to map out each space and define a new layout. Once we finished our planning, we created an interior design drawing package. This allowed us to provide the contractor with a demo plan, propose electrical changes, reflect ceiling plans and suggest finishes and fixtures.”

Contemporary living

The 2,900-square-foot unit underwent a complete redesign to become a thoroughly custom contemporary loft.

The custom kitchen cabinetry was specifically designed with the homeowners’ needs in mind.

Bright and airy, the reimagined open-concept space is now fit for modern family living.

“It’s a loft style, but it’s also grounded with natural earth tones and wood furniture,” says Justin. “The second floor looks down to the living space below, which opens up the home and gives it a streamlined feel.

“We wanted the space to feel very custom and unique to Cayman. The wood cabinetry and statement glass panelling provide a luxurious and bespoke feel. We wanted to ensure that all the space we had was utilised and there were no wasted areas. That’s why we took the time to redo the entire floor plan.”

The sleek statement kitchen includes a walk-behind pantry, providing additional storage and separate workspace.

Justin says a key consideration was the kitchen, one of Lexi’s favourite spots.

“We wanted to create a statement kitchen that was as functional as it was beautiful,” he says. “The custom cabinetry we installed was specifically designed with our homeowner’s needs in mind. A walk-behind pantry provides even more storage and incorporates a separate hidden workspace.”

The unique positioning of the kitchen means that the main living areas stay clean and clutter-free. A large work surface/breakfast bar allows plenty of space to prep food and entertain.

“All-together, it’s a well-thought-out space and the contrast between the contemporary white and wood tones create incredible visual interest,” says Justin.

The dining area is open to the living and kitchen areas, making it ideal for entertaining.

“We wanted the dining space to be casual and comfortable, with enough seating for 10 people,” says Justin. “Modern glass pendant lights hang from the second storey ceiling, giving a sense of drama, while also helping to define the space.”

The living area is a comfortable and versatile space.

Heart of the home

The living area is the core of the home, a comfortable and versatile space.

“It’s a great spot to curl up on the couch and watch a movie, but it’s just as perfect for entertaining,” says Justin. “From the windows you get a beautiful view out to the canal, and above, the double-height ceilings offer a glimpse at the second-floor loft.”

The loft-style master bedroom looks out onto the main floor and the canal outside.

“We wanted the bedroom to have a very custom feel,” says Justin. “The full-height glass wall has integrated, automated roller blinds. The slatted wood headboard includes floating nightstands and recessed upholstered panels. Everything about the space feels bespoke.”

The loft-style master bedroom has a bespoke feel.
The master closet is anchored by a large centre island which sits beneath beautiful pendant lighting.

Custom cabinetry

Custom cabinetry continues upstairs in the master closet.

“This space has a lot of attention to detail, with recessed door pulls and customised interior shelving,” says Justin. “The space is anchored by a large centre island which sits beneath gorgeous pendant lighting.”

The couple wanted to create a spa-like experience in the master bathroom. Backlit LED mirrors span the length of one vanity.

On the other side of the room, there is another length of display shelving and storage. An open wet room includes a shower and freestanding tub.

A freestanding tub in the spa-like master bathroom.

Wood is a key element throughout the home.

“The repeated use of wood creates a cohesive and uniform look,” notes Justin. “We chose a distinctive, linear woodgrain to add visual interest and its warm, rich tone created a beautiful contrast with the white.”

Personal touches

The couple, originally from South Africa, moved to Cayman in 2010. Their son Jordan was born in 2011.

Custom interior shelving
in the master bathroom.

“We have been in love with Cayman from day one,” says Michael, a familiar face on-island as a real estate agent with RE/MAX.

Personal touches adorn the home, including a variety of plants and curated artwork reminding them of their roots.

“We have lots of African décor items that take us home all the time,” says Michael. “African skins also add a whole lot for us.”

Lexi loves the open living of the kitchen and dining area, along with the huge 14-foot counter to entertain friends and be with family.

“I love the wine and rum room, even though it’s small, I love the smell of cigars and the romance of it,” says Michael. “The fact that it’s always visible through a glass door means that it’s always there.”

Jordan loves the wide-open spaces of the former Britannia golf course that’s right outside their door.

“It’s fantastic for kids,” says Michael. “Our son rides off into the sunset every day and returns a couple of hours later having been exploring the golf course with his friends. It’s a kid’s paradise – just like the old days.”

Interior design
Interior Design Group (IDG)
Cabinet and millwork
Art of Woodwork
Main contractor
Tom Sargison of TGSC


Originally published in InsideOut magazine, Issue 38, Fall Winter 2020.

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