Haddad Hakansson Project Featured in New Issue of MACO Caribbean Living

STT_1_Through Shot

This beautiful remake of a 1960s villa on St. Thomas is highlighted in the June issue of island lifestyle magazine MACO Caribbean Living.

The article by freelance travel writer Andrea Milam, called “The Virgin House,” tells the story of the home’s history, why it fell into disrepair and how it was revived two years ago in what Milam called a “brilliant” full restoration.

Read the full article – featuring photographs by Don Hebert – by clicking on the magazine cover below:

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 2.24.50 PM

Haddad Hakansson and the homeowner collaborated with a team of contractors to rescue the villa, built more than 50 years ago by the homeowner’s parents on nearly 5 acres overlooking the iconic Magens Bay.

Magens Bay

Magens Bay

Once drab and weathered, the villa now sports an unforgettable color scheme, cool and clean marble floors and a bright, open feel.

The home’s vibrant palette was inspired by artist Don Dahlke, a favorite of the homeowner who is known for his masterful use of color in painting Caribbean window views. Dahlke himself visited the home and mocked up several color schemes; Kurt Hakansson and the owner settled on a blue and purple exterior with splashes of yellow.

The design evolved from there. MACO magazine calls the result “a true oasis among the surprisingly busy pace of life on St. Thomas today.”

“We struck a balance between finding things that work here while still meeting the homeowner’s aesthetic appreciation for things that are not traditionally Caribbean,” Hakansson said in the article. “I wouldn’t think to take a heavy red chenille fabric and put it in a location like this, but it works,” he adds, nodding toward the living room’s bold, dominating couch. “You can very quickly become a caricature of what your style is, and we didn’t want to do that here. There’s a simplicity or gentleness to the home… I feel it could just envelop me.”


For more on this transformation, including a full look at the dramatic before-and-after photos, visit our previous blog posts on the home:

Window view – through shot

The living room

The dining room

The master bedroom

Guest rooms

The exterior, the veranda, the courtyard and the pool

Master Bedroom - After

Veranda View - After

“Best of Houzz 2013” Awards: Thank You Clients!

badge_7_2We are honored to announce that for the second straight year, Haddad Hakansson has been selected for a “Best of Houzz” award.

The “Best of Houzz 2013” awards were granted in two categories: “Design” and “Customer Satisfaction.” This year’s award was given in the “Customer Satisfaction” category and was based on a variety of factors, including ratings and reviews by Houzz’s 11 million monthly users.

Here is a sample of what our clients had to say about us on Houzz in 2012:

My experience working with a handful of other designers on kitchen and bath renovations helped me realize just how outstanding Haddad Hakansson designers are. They earned 5 stars with professionalism, exciting and fresh ideas, color expertise, and attention to schedule and budget constraints. I won’t work with anyone else.”

  • Houzz user Joanna K., Client

“I found them to really listen to my “wish list” and was very impressed in how they creatively included them all into a very small space.  They were a delight to work with and made a very stressful project an enjoyable one with their attention to detail and quick response to all my changes. 

I would highly recommend Mark & Kurt to anyone with design needs.”

  • Houzz user gmsassoc, Client

Interior PhotosHaddad Hakansson’s 2012 award was given in the “Design” category, and was based on the number of images added to Houzz users’ “ideabooks.” Fewer than 1 percent of the 32,597 interior design professionals profiled on Houzz have won “Best of Houzz” awards in both 2012 and 2013.

More new project photos coming soon! Follow us on Houzz by clicking here.

Ready to reinvent your own space? Contact us for a free consultation. We would be delighted to meet with you!

“Walnut” Mudroom Project:  Added to over 3600 Houzz ideabooks

Check it out!

Take a look at our enhanced website. Highlights includes information on our process, services, features and benefits, client reviews, and much more. Check it out at http://www.haddadhakansson.com

St. Thomas Villa: The Master Bedroom

Here we are at the end of our tour.

In the master bedroom, our goal was to be as clean and simple as possible. With white marble floors, a white bed, and just a little punch of color from the upholstered chair and art work, this bedroom is peaceful and serene.

Master Bedroom - After

Master Bedroom – After

As with the rest of this home, the transformation is dramatic.

Master Bedroom - Before

Master Bedroom – Before

We hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour as much as we did working on this wonderful project.

St. Thomas Villa: The Pool

The pool and grounds took a particularly hard beating from a hurricane several years ago.

Replanting, combined with natural regrowth, has brought the forest back to its lush grandeur.  The pool area took a lot more hands-on work.  The same coral tile that was used throughout the patio area of the house was also used to surround the pool.  Whether the homeowner is basking in the sun on a chaise, shaded under a market umbrella, or floating in the pool, this quite secluded oasis is steps from the house and offers the perfect spot to relax.

Pool - After - 1

Pool - After - 1

The pool area before:

Pool - Before

St. Thomas Villa: The Courtyard

The courtyard provided us with a great opportunity to expand the house with exterior rooms. In the center of the courtyard the roof was opened up to allow for the greatest amount of light possible.

Those same tired terra cotta floors from inside the house were also out here. They were taken out and replaced with natural coral tile. You’ll notice that the wall and shutter colors in the courtyard area are the reverse of what we did on the perimeter. The new wall sconces also line the whole courtyard. The fountain was repaired and now the light sounds of water seem to float on air.

The courtyard before:

tranum - St. Thomas 049

And after:


At the far end of the courtyard was an open area just begging to be included. The roof line here was extended to create an outdoor dining room.

A beautiful chandelier hung over outdoor dining furniture makes for elegant yet casual alfresco dining.

Outdoor dining before:

Outdoor Dining - Before

And after:

Outdoor Dining - After

St. Thomas Villa: Around the Exterior

Exterior 2 - After

Exterior 2 – After

Living on an island, it’s “water, water everywhere.” Salt water that is. Fresh water is a limited and valuable resource. Around the entire roofline of the house are lots of support posts that are also part of an intricate water reclamation system. The pump was many years burned out and the drainage pipes clogged with years of debris buildup. Each and every pipe along the roof line was removed, the pipes flushed out or replaced, and a new cistern was installed. Now with every shower or rain storm that comes by, fresh water is saved for home use.

Outdoor lighting was also nonexistent. A local artist was commissioned to make over 50 custom wall sconces. These beautiful terra-cotta sconces were installed around the entire perimeter of the house as well as in the courtyard.
Now with these lights, passage around the entire home is safely lit by a beautiful warm glow.

Exterior 1 - After

Exterior 1 – After

Exterior 1 - Before

Exterior 1 – Before

Exterior 2 - Before

Exterior 2 – Before

St. Thomas Villa: Veranda Tranquility

This beautiful property is perched on the hills overlooking Magen’s Bay.


In addition to restoring the house, significant improvements in landscaping were needed.  Damage from a hurricane a few years ago, combined with a lack of consistent maintenance, left the surrounding gardens barren in spots and overgrown in others.  Our team of landscapers took to the jungle, taming the overgrowth and at the same time filling in the gaping holes.  The result is a lush tranquil veranda.  Cooling breezes flow through this outdoor living room making it the prefect place to start or finish the day.

The veranda before:

Veranda - Before

And the view before re-landscaping:

Veranda View - Before

Here’s the view now:

Veranda View - After

Tranquility in the garden:

Veranda Garden Tranquility

St. Thomas Villa: Dining Room

The dining room had more bookcases lining the walls.  We took them out to open up the room for entertaining and used a round extension table where 8 can dine comfortably.  We kept the built-in server on the back wall but had it painted white to match all of the trim.

We also added a chandelier over the table and made a dark, cramped dining room bright and spacious. The same red fabric used for the sofas was used on the dining chairs carrying over that splash of saturated color.

The dining room before:

Dining Room - Before

And after:

Dining Room - After