Stonehouse villa, designed and built in the iconic style of architect Glen Spear, recently received a beautiful makeover by Tiffany Cassidy of Lagnappe Custom Interiors on St Thomas, US Virgin Islands with the assistance of Michael Milne, architect.
All photos by: Don Hebert, commercial and residential photography, St Thomas, USVI: Tel: 340-642-5539 Web Site
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Tiffany Cassidy was kind enough to share some of the history of Stonehouse and how she and her team gave this magical villa a much-needed tasteful makeover during our recent interview!
Stone House was designed by Glen Spear, a well-known VI architect who also designed Mongoose Junction. It was built in the early 80’s, and the original home was just the rotunda and two bed/bath suites on either side. It was a simple design for two families to share on vacation.
The second owners added the pool and the space under it, which is the current bunk room. They were big entertainers, so the expanded outdoor space has hosted many parties and weddings over the years. My clients still meet people who say they were married there or remember the great party days of that house.
Our clients are the third owners, and when they purchased the home, it required a little TLC. Some deferred maintenance issues come with age, and they desired to make it a family gathering place for their blended families and friends.
The home is a beautiful example of Glen Spear’s trademark style and the unique qualities of Virgin Islands architecture overall. The structure was designed never to require Air Conditioners, so the way it is situated on the land and the placement of windows is very intentional, taking full advantage of our trade winds. The rotunda itself is a unique feature of the home and is everyone’s favorite living space! Glen Spear had studied the old windmills and took some inspiration from them both in style and from the standpoint of longevity for the structure. Then there is the beautiful pointed stonework that is the home’s trademark, specifically in the Virgin Islands and especially in St. John.
The home is a product of the community there in St. John. Our clients still meet locals in Coral Bay who recall being a part of the original build or one of the additions over the years. You can tell which home features have been added at what time by the slightly different styles of the pointed stone. Stone masons have a certain style to their craft, so additions done with a different mason will blend but do show the hand of the maker; it’s part of the home’s unique charm and reflection of the community.
The contractor recommended us, but it was a little touch of Serendipity that I had worked with the homeowner many years before on a small condo project in St. Thomas.
We worked with the Great Horizons construction crew for this project and many other talented local subcontractors for stone masons, carpenters, cabinet makers, and artists to ensure the community benefited from the work and that the home continues to reflect the area. All while adding modern luxury features and personalizing the home for our clients’ family and how they live.
Design is always a collaborative process between the designer, the client, the contractor, and other craftspeople. I thrive on that collaborative process, and bringing all the elements together in a way that suits the client’s lifestyle while remaining honest with the architecture is the joy of the process.
Our clients were outstanding and had ideas about what they wanted to improve, including how they wanted to live in the space, some materials they loved and wanted to use, and a collection of daily antique furniture they wanted to use in the house. There were a lot of ideas and moving pieces to bring together; they just needed help to make it all flow, make sense, and add in the missing pieces in a way that would be honest to the antiques and the style of the home. Overall, we were looking for an eclectic, collected feel that is a little layered but not cluttered. We wanted it to perform like a new home but read as a home that’s always been there and has a story to tell.
For example, our client brought us a piece of tile she loved and wanted for her bathroom. She also knew she wanted a specific soaker tub, and I love it when clients know certain elements will suit them. We were able to take that tile and mix it with other details to get the overall look you see today with the multiple tiles, great modern lighting, and all the functionality of a modern home.
The new primary addition features her grandmother’s antique bed, and if you look closely, you’ll see the little heart-shaped addition to the stonework over the headboard made by local ceramic artist Donald Schnell. We brought modern build materials to the space that blended with the existing and accented the antique bed.
The bunk room had a big before and after reveal! We added a bathroom and mini kitchen to that space and cleaned it out. Lastly, we banished the frogs! Those who know St. John know what a mess those guys can make.
We work on all the USVI islands, down-island, and stateside. We have embraced technology, making it easy to work here with clients who are off-island or even from here on projects in other locations. We offer a full range of services, from short consultation sessions to full-service turnkey installations.
The best way to learn more is to book a call through our website. We’re currently looking for new projects for 2024!
Tiffany Cassidy / Lagnappe Custom Interiors
To Book a Call: https://www.lagnappe.com/contact/
Our Studio (By Appointment Only):
6300 Estate Frydenhoj, Compass Point Marina
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Our Mailing Address:
6501 Red Hook
St. Thomas, VI 00802