Harbor Island, Bahamas
The Tropical Escape
A guest house beckons in Harbour Island, Bahamas
Photo: Brie Williams
Everything about Will and Laura Young’s guesthouse was designed to make visitors feel relaxed, from its poolside setting to a kitchen garden that offers up fresh tomatoes for sandwiches. Located on Harbour Island—a hop (by plane), skip (taxi), and jump (water taxi) from the couple’s primary residence near Nassau—the two-bedroom cottage is part of a larger compound with a nineteenth-century home built from blocks of coral stone quarried on-site. Given the property’s history, adding to it wasn’t a matter of luxury; the guesthouse had to fit in.
“No one ever guesses that it’s new,” says Amanda Lindroth, a Nassau-based designer who teamed up with New York architect Kiko Sanchez to help the Youngs make sure the addition complemented the original home in scale, materials, palette, and spirit.
“We wanted a bungalow where guests could spend the night and spend most of their days outdoors, at the beach or by the pool,” says Laura, who grew up in the islands. The main living area is an indoor-outdoor hybrid—a twelve-by-thirty-foot loggia with kitchenette, dining, and sitting areas that can be enclosed by louvered wooden shutters during storms or strong afternoon sun. A hall leads to a bathroom with a claw-foot tub and double doors opening to an outdoor shower. “With the doors open,” Will says, “you can lie in the tub and get a clear view of the garden.”
To make the cottage feel even homier, Lindroth outfitted the bedrooms with stationery, water carafes on night tables, and reading material. “A holiday house doesn’t feel loved if it doesn’t have current magazines and novels,” she says. A comfortable place to nap helps, too. “I love to drape the beds in white cotton,” Lindroth says. “It’s so islandy, so crisp and beautiful with the breeze blowing through.”