Island Whimsy, Whimsical Island Design
By Celerie Kemble
The tastemaking decorator, known for whimsical elegance, reveals a paradise of ideas for indoor/outdoor living that is as comfortable as it is transporting.
When Celerie Kemble laid eyes on a wild swath of jungle in the Dominican Republic next to mint green water and an endless stretch of golden sand, she fell madly in love. Against all odds, she designed a home away from home there, an island retreat suffused with light and air, full of indoor and outdoor rooms for relaxation. Drawing inspiration from a childhood where whimsy was part of her home’s foundation, she blended meaningful, unique, and surprising design choices and details into these spaces. There is the lacy tragaluz fretwork above the doors that lets in breezes and echoes the Victorian influences in a town near the property. There are the artisanal tiles with patterns reminiscent of the strangely beautiful flora of the jungle. There are the sweet pastel-colored bungalows and the art, objects, and textiles in dark hues reminiscent of a Gauguin painting.
Throughout this lovingly crafted book about Kemble’s own island design journey, ideas abound for anyone decorating a sunny home or fantasizing about spending time in one. Kemble shares inspiration for creating a sense of openness to the sea, sand, and sky; offering places to wash sandy feet or perfect viewing spots for a sunset-saturated drink; and infusing spaces with a sense of welcome, invitation, and magic. Bunny Williams’s An Affair with a House meets India Hicks’s Island Style in this gorgeously photographed, open-hearted volume.
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