A drive along South Sound road, in the vicinity of the Cayman Rugby Football Club, doubles as a sightseeing tour of some of the most impressive edifices on the island.
Architects and homeowners have been drawn to the coastline here, creating a row of multimillion-dollar residences that lead to the South Sound dock and accompanying boardwalk.
Among them is Picture Perfect, the aptly named home of photographers David and Melissa Wolfe, who share it with their two children, Sky and River.
Picture Perfect is a four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom, two-storey property – built in 2002 – with extra nooks and features revealing themselves the further you explore. It has also cornered the market on French doors, offering multiple access points to the swimming pool, hot tub and garden.
Sensational sea views
The choice of using darker woods throughout starts with the front door, which leads down a short, wide corridor to a living room and open-plan kitchen with high ceilings and remarkable views of the sea.
This is thanks to the combination of large picture windows and some of the aforementioned French doors that run from one wall to the other.
Tommy Bahama-esque furnishings are nicely complemented by the louvered plantation shutters to be found in many of the rooms.
All but one of the bedrooms are located on the ground floor, as the enclosed second storey is confined to the area above the large garage. This has allowed space for a penthouse-sized upper lounging sundeck above the master bedroom, accessible via an outdoor spiral staircase.
Anyone who is a fan of entertaining at home would be in their element here, and when the house was rented on Airbnb, the accolades came flying in.
The Wolfes have nurtured many indigenous plants and trees around the property – such as sea grape and coconut palms – to feed its ‘Caribbean soul’, as well as to create natural shade.
“The landscaping design has been done entirely by David,” says Melissa. “We wanted shade to come from the trees, rather than a lot of umbrellas, which would block the view.”
The cool breezes blowing in from the sea lower the temperatures by at least 10 degrees – the perfect weather for lazing in the hammock under the thatch-roofed cabana or sunbathing on the upper deck.
The master bedroom boasts two sets of French doors, a large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, standing shower with body jets, a bidet and walk-in closet.
One of the favoured items in the bedroom, however, is the large, dark brown leather loveseat, accented with velvet and embroidered material. It just begs for someone to curl up on it with a good book.
“Everyone wants that chair,” Melissa says with a laugh. “When any of my friends come by for a visit, they always remind me that it’s theirs.”
Over their time of ownership, the Wolfes have undertaken renovations, opening some spaces and enclosing others. These updates have created a few anterooms, with a couch here, a desk there, and several spots for relaxing or quiet reflection.
The sunken library-cum-games room on the eastern side of the house would be the dream of any writer, with its comfortable seating and bookshelves. It is areas such as these that make the house unique and give it character.
From there, a climb up the nearby staircase takes the curious wanderer into a huge space – a bedroom with ensuite bathroom and vaulted ceilings – over the garage. It also has small doors like something out of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (“mind your head!”) that lead into an impressive storage area.
“This is where we keep our photography equipment; we have a lot of it,” Melissa explains, indicating rows and rows of lenses, bags and camera bodies.
Melissa is particularly proud of the garage, which has been her latest project. What apparently was once disorganised chaos has now been converted to a professional workspace.
She felt that the space could easily be reinvented into a ‘granny flat’ or fifth bedroom with a sitting area, as the private drive can accommodate multiple cars without the need for a garage.
The furnishings and artwork found in each room have been thoughtfully curated so there is no doubt as to the property’s geographical location.
“We have a lot of local artists’ works all around the house,” Melissa says. “Pieces we’ve collected over the years.”
Randy Chollette, Horacio Esteban, Saba, and Ren Seffer are just some of the storied names to be found gracing the walls.
It seems that the Wolfes have used their photographers’ eyes to realise a property that embraces and respects its Caribbean surroundings. From the inside out, they have created a home with a view that is truly Picture Perfect.
Originally published in InsideOut magazine, Issue 38, Fall Winter 2020.