Last week my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on the Island of St. John. It was a 30 year in the making honeymoon “redo” that you can read about here. I must admit, St. John was not what I had expected. I pictured it as a flat island but it is actually the top of a mountain sticking out of the sea. Three quarters of the Island is protected national park land so the Island is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled.
St. John USVI... Linda Holt Photo
The houses, or villas as they call them, are built going up the side of the mountain. Some of them are perched on such steep ledges that it is amazing they don’t slide right off into the sea. This house below is where we stayed for the week. It is the only house WAY out on a point…talk about privacy! There was even an electronic gate to get on to and off of the property. I felt like we were drug king pins or some famous couple seeking out privacy from the paparazzi.
Coral Bay St.John... Linda Holt Photo
We stayed in the Coral Bay area which is on the other side of the Island from where the Hotels and Resorts are located. Coral Bay is more rural and has a large population of wild donkeys, goats and sheep.
wild goats on St. John
We would always stop the car until everyone was safely across (notice the little Egret on the right tagging along). The locals however have little patience and barely slow down; somehow though animals and cars seem to coexist just fine.
The beaches really do look exactly like I imagined; turquoise waters surrounded by white powdery sand.
Maho Bay St. John
St John has quite a few Ruins from Colonial times when the Island was inhabited by the Dane’s who used slaves to run the sugar plantations. Look at this pattern of painted tiles we came across while hiking. Doesn’t this look so current even though it is from the 1700′s? Can’t you just imagine this fabulous pattern painted on a floor or made into fabric?
The biggest surprise and the best part of our trip however was the snorkeling. St. John is surrounded by easily accessible Coral Reefs. You can walk right into the water and swim just a very short distance and see the most incredible colorful tropical fish and coral. I had no idea I would be so inspired by color and design by spending several hours everyday floating above a coral reef and looking down.
I must be really twisted or maybe the sun and heat had gotten to me but everything I saw I imagined as some type of home decor. I was as excited and inspired as if I was at an art opening for some hot new artist.
Here are some of the things that most inspired me with both color and design. ( I do not have underwater camera so all photos are from Google Images but they look exactly as I saw them).
Look at the yellow pattern on these French Grunts. Wouldn’t these look great as a fabric design? Maybe drapes in a beach house?
This beautiful Queen Angel Fish really rocks the yellow and blue combo…humm..maybe yellow walls blue sofa?
queen angel Fish
Just like in this photo below, we came upon a whole school of 50-75 Blue Tang. They are a beautiful shade of deep blue/purple. A color inspiration maybe for pillows on a turquoise sofa?
These giant sea turtles are plentiful off St John. We saw about 8 of them. Look at that brown and white pattern…maybe inspiration for a stenciled wall or an embossed leather?
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
This little Trunk Fish also has a great pattern of black and white dots that turn into a honeycomb pattern in the middle. Maybe a throw pillow or carpet pattern?
My all time favorite fish though has to be the Stop Light Parrot Fish. These beauties are about 15 inches long and are brilliant Turquoise, Pink and Orange with Yellow polka dots no less! I looked at these fish for hours.
The funny thing is, while at the airport waiting for our connecting flight home I opened up the new issue of Elle Decor Magazine and this is the first thing I saw… coincidence or not?
turquoise dot tray by Waylande Gregory Studios
Maybe the designer had recently been doing a little reef snorkeling themselves.
How about you? Have you ever been inspired with Color or Design in an unexpected place?
If You would like help with choosing the perfect color or with decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.