A BIT OF HISTORY…
Saint-Lucia took my breath away as soon as I set foot on the island for vacationing. I was immediately seduced by the largely undeveloped lush mountainous terrain, breathtaking scenery enhanced by the commanding Pitons and their exulting energy and, last but not least, the beautiful emerald beaches that dot the coastline. In short, I fell in love.
I chose Vieux Fort, because of its authenticity, laid back atmosphere, remoteness and proximity to all things at the same time. The location had easy access to an international airport and the villa itself offered superb views, intimacy and a neighborhood that was mature and quiet. How could I resist?
The house was previously home to Allen “Kaf” Smith, a British marine biologist who mapped and surveyed the state of the coastal marine environment of Saint-Lucia in response to human-induced pressures and deforestation.
The house was a very rustic and simple two-bedroom affair, with a covered veranda and a small detached building used as an office. The land was completely covered with wildlife and tall trees blocking the view… Kaf was a very private man indeed but, fortunately for me, he knew what he was doing: he built his house on a remarkable piece of land that offered spectacular views, easy access and complete privacy.
A LABOR OF LOVE
This was a long and tedious labor. The construction/renovation took one year; the furnishing, electrical and decoration took another. All in all, the project was a 2-year affair.
Everything had to be imported since local stores offered only but a limited selection of goods. A few pieces of furniture, such as the TV credenza, dining table, window shutters, etc., were either locally handcrafted or restored. The Green Heart wood used for the deck and some walls/roof was imported from Guyana. All electrical appliances, A/C units and light fixtures throughout were imported as well.
As far as architecture and decoration is concerned, my spouse and I were exposed, through our travels, to many architectural styles: medieval castles, Mexican haciendas, Balinese-style houses, African safari lodges, Canadian log cabins and, of course, Caribbean. But, out of all these international styles, Villa Pierre's predominant architectural influence is contemporary Balinese and Caribbean tropical.
Our idea was to reuse as much of the “old” house as possible and to marry the rustic with the contemporary. We agreed that we had to make the most of the stunning views and the serene (even surreal) natural surroundings. We sketched up a plunge pool on a large decked area with a sunken distinct enclave for yoga or meditation purposes and blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor as much as possible. For the main house itself, we wanted a modern flow - open concept, large fully equipped kitchen and bright windows inviting the view in. Everything worked out beautifully, including our idea to convert the small building that served as an office into the honeymoon suite that it is today. Because Saint-Lucia is the undefeated honeymoon capital of the world 12 times over, the honeymoon suite was a great add-on.
All in all, the journey of Villa Pierre was organic and meant to be: we were not looking for it but it found us. We are forever grateful for the exhilarating adventure it turned out to be. We are even more thankful for you, fellow travelers, with whom we have shared lifetime memories.