Designing a house

Right from the outset we wanted to have a house with separate guest accommodation we could rent to holiday makers. This would give us a small income, give us something to do and would allow others to find out that Carriacou was a lovely and relaxing place to stay while helping the local economy.

We wanted each apartment to be very private so we would be unaware of guests staying and they would have privacy and be unaware of us …unless we were needed for help or advice.

Initially, I looked at placing our apartment of top of the guest’s place so ours would be like a penthouse. This would mean we could look out both over the ridge at the sunsets and also over to the easterly islands which was arguably a nicer view. Guests would just get the latter view. There would also be a shared small pool area on the ridge.

With design after design this just wasn’t working like this so Liz suggested each apartment should be on two levels but placed side by side. In each there would be an open plan living area and kitchen at the top (having sea views both to the front and rear) and all bedrooms and bathrooms would be on the level below to them keep them cooler. Underneath these, right at the bottom, would be the cistern to collect rainwater and two garage spaces for cars.

Designs on this basis quickly came together and after a few revisions and refinements we were ready to let Sky’s architect do the engineering drawings and send them to get planning permission.

Computer illustration of the design
Architect’s drawing of the front elevation
Small cardboard model created to illustrate the contours.

The design incorporated a large deck area at the back which Liz wanted to be very open. The concrete arches replicated through the design proved difficult to ‘marry’ with this softer and more open look so in the final design the arches were ditched much to Sky’s delight who never like them apparently. We also looked at using stainless steel wire railings that made the most of the views and were less obtrusive than the wooden railing quoted. These in combination I thought might make the design too industrial but when we tried them on the design software we both thought the look was fresh and contemporary.

Final design — version 7C
Holiday flat side of the building (lighting simulated for a sun position at 7:50am on 21 August)