Irie Heart Villa, Cap Estate, St.Lucia


When the sturdy iron and wood gate glides away from the entrance to Irie Heart Villa, there is an inevitable gasp and the home at the top of the garden and drive comes into unobstructed Caribbean Sea and country views.
A uniquely stylish design incorporates the warm pinks of rough-hewn Soufrière stone with smooth, dark-stained green heart in a modern Caribbean fusion of traditional with up-to-the-minute influences. 
Irie Heart Villa was completed three years ago, and the high standards and vision of its current owner are evident in many aspects of the home’s design and layout: this home has class and elegance, ideal for family and entertaining, so its welcoming façade is just the aperitif as the three storey villa offers one design-savvy surprise after another, back-dropped by spectacular views over the Cap Estate golf course, Saint Lucia’s northern coast and all the way to the distant Pitons.
Throughout the villa, the finishing touches have pulled together an airy, tropical but understated design, with floor and bathroom tiles in stone-textured neutrals, warm cream accents and amber sea-glass touches, rich mahogany wood tones and wall sconces in brass or wrought iron with pearly glass shades.
Approaching the main floor via a wooden staircase, the house welcomes visitors via the pool deck and the inviting pool with its lion head fountain: a spacious eating and dining area offers a relaxing outdoor lifestyle. Through two sets of French doors lies the open plan living and kitchen space, with green heart encased windows on all sides and pickled white cathedral ceilings above the comfy-chic lounge.
Views along the spine of Pigeon Island require the windows to be thrown open, letting in the natural air-conditioning of the Caribbean breeze, as an iridescent white capiz shell chandelier hovers and shimmers, and the off white upholstered sectional with rosy printed accent chairs provide a perfect spot for conversation.
Ahead is the large, beautifully-appointed kitchen, surrounded by its distinctive arced breakfast bar seating up to eight on wooden and rattan barstools. With entertaining a priority, the ample countertops are in warm, sand-toned granite with onyx-colored flecks, with stainless steel double sink and separate counter sink and large, black, modern appliances by Maytag and Whirlpool. Built-in solid wood cabinetry provides ample storage. The ceiling in the kitchen is dropped, giving a cozy, intimate feel to a very large space: at the rear is a separate pantry or storage room.
To the right of the kitchen is a convenient powder room adjacent to a half bath with polished soapstone counters, tempered glass sink and a roomy glass shower. A bright and spacious annex room houses a queen-sized sofa bed, and can be curtained off from the living area for guest accommodation. The home comes with two massaged tables, which can be perfectly located in this area overlooking the pool deck and beyond.
Next to the kitchen, a glossy wooden staircase accesses the lower and upper floors of Irie Heart Villa. The lower ground floor houses a large, one car garage with a durable American epoxy-sealed floor, plenty of utility racking and a large chest freezer.
To the left of the garage is a self-contained guest suite with a large bedroom and seating area, small private balcony and adjacent bathroom with wheelchair accessible glass-fronted shower, toilet and mirrored vanity with soapstone counter and tempered glass sink. 
A laundry room contains washer, dryer and other utility supplies.
Back up two flights of stairs, and Irie Heart Villa becomes a private sanctuary as its master-suite encompasses the entire upper floor. Cathedral ceilings are pickled white, with warm beige paintwork framing impressive casement windows which open up to the majestic panorama of the Rodney Bay coastline. Sleek, dark, modern Asian bedroom furniture and a soft-cream upholstered seating group compliment the glossy hardwood floor, while woven gold and ivory drapes bring design drama to the neutral decor.
The en-suite spa bathroom is a huge, luxury retreat, with stone-textured ceramic tiles accented with amber and sand details. A corner jacuzzi tub is built-in to accommodate more than one person, with interesting little windows which overlook the living room. 
A double-sided wooden mirror is suspended from the ceiling, and twin vanities stand back to back with polished soapstone countertops, modern white ceramic sinks and louvre-doored storage cupboards below.
The oversized shower stall is made private by a waist height semicircular tiled wall, with a convenient built-in plinth and wide rain head shower: a perfectly-placed window makes this a bathroom with a spectacular view. Similarly, the toilet hides behind an arced wall, and a spacious linen cupboard is hidden in a convenient corner.
The master suite is rounded out with an entertainment room, fully-wired for TV, audio and wifi, complete with wet bar and French doors to a small private balcony. The entire retreat is air-conditioned, although the Caribbean breezes and ceiling fans prove more than adequate on most balmy, tropical days.
Irie Heart Villa is first and foremost a home for entertaining, and the outdoor living spaces are cleverly designed to provide the house and grounds with ‘party zones’.
To the rear of the kitchen a sheltered terrace flanks the house to the left and right, and a shady paved barbecue area is popular for everyday cooking as well as parties. As the property climbs up the gentle slope, a grassy terrace offers more space for entertaining, and a winding, chipped-slate stairway continues to the pinnacle of the property where the views are quite stunning and well worth the climb.
Irie Heart’s peak is the location of a two floor guest house with a small Studio below and covered gazebo deck above which is the perfect place for relaxation, a sunset drink from the wet bar, and a sigh over the property’s absolute best views of the golf course, mountains and Caribbean Sea. The shingled roof of the main house blends into the beautifully manicured tropical garden with its lime trees, mangoes, breadfruit tree and pumpkin patch, and the gazebo’s jalousie shutters offer protection if a spot of rain appears.
There is truly a “Special Vibe” at Irie Heart Villa, which comfortably  fuses traditional and modern Caribbean styles into a chic and dramatic yet comfortable home.


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