(Published in Inside Out magazine, spring issue, 2016)
“Breathtaking” really doesn’t quite express adequately the view as you step into Eamon and Helen McErlean’s home, “Sea Breeze.”
Perched right on the water’s edge, the Old Prospect Point Road home is designed to take full advantage of its stunning oceanfront views.
Indeed, step through the brightly colored blue door and you are immediately greeted with the view of the vanishing-edge swimming pool and the aqua Caribbean Sea stretching out as far as the eye can see.
It is this breathtaking view that first attracted Eamon and Helen to purchase the 5,300 square foot home in 2005, which was originally designed by Arek Joseph in 1995.
“The first view you have as you walk in the front door is what captivated us,” Eamon says. “It is a continual view of aqua blue through the glass doors, vanishing edge pool and ocean. It is almost as if you are being invited to step into the sea.”
The couple were so captivated with the view that they decided to go ahead and purchase the home, despite the fact that it needed extensive renovations to make it their perfect family home.
“The house was originally designed at a point in time when many of the options that we had during the renovations were not available in the market and the finishes were much more limited,” Eamon explains. “We loved the house, but felt that we could really make it all about the spectacular views.”
With the aim of incorporating the ocean into the house – so it almost becomes one seamless space – Eamon and Helen set in motion a host of renovations.
These included raising ceiling and door heights to increase the feeling of lightness and brightness; knocking down numerous walls to create a large open-plan living space; installing European-style impact-resistant interior and exterior doors; adding a state-of-the-art media room; installing the highest-quality marble stone flooring; as well as kitting the house out with the most up-to-date technology available, including Lutron lighting control, security system with DVR recordings, and a Bose multi-area surround sound system.
Outside, Eamon and Helen added a structurally designed sea wall, a large vanishing edge pool with waterfall feature and Jacuzzi, in addition to extensive landscaping.
The main aim of the renovations was to make the very most of the homes idyllic location along one of Cayman’s most stunning seafront locations. Consequently, each of the four-bedrooms and all of the living rooms have full views of the spectacular Caribbean Sea.
“The house is open plan, full of light, contemporary, and totally flexible in terms of usage,” Helen enthuses. “Additionally, the restoration ensured that the house is completely up-to-date, kitted out to the highest specifications available and able to withstand Cayman’s tropical climate.”
Favorite features – in addition to that spectacular view – include the flexible living space which enables the McErlean’s to host regular parties for family and friends, the two sizeable upper-floor balconies, as well as the home’s open plan concept. “We can all be doing something different, but somehow we are all together,” Helen says.
As in most properties, the kitchen serves as the heart of the home. Designed with a chef in mind, the amply sized modern kitchen is equipped with top of the line appliances – including a professional-level gas range – and extensive work top space. Indeed, a modern, up-to-date kitchen was a must for the McErlean’s who regularly host up to 50 guests at a time.
“The house is wonderful for entertaining, which we regularly love to do,” Eamon says. “Alternatively, you can just sit outside and enjoy a quiet moment either in the full sunshine, or under one of the many ample shady areas. We love to sit in the pool or Jacuzzi and just relax listening to the sound of the ocean and waterfall.”
Helen adds: “At dark, the gas tiki torches are fantastic and on a rare cool night we love to light the outside fireplace. There have been many s’mores and marshmallows toasted there with friends.”
And, with a perfectly designed home like Sea Breeze, no doubt there will be many more good times to come.