Riley Uggla - The Beach House
At Home At

The Beach

Words by Lucy Siddall

A house designed to synchronise the outdoor world surrounding
it with the intimate setting within. Riley Uggla on her
family’s Caribbean Beach House.

Riley Uggla - The Beach House 02

Creating the Beach House was a collaborative effort spanning multiple continents, a global pandemic and several years. Lance, Julie-Anne Uggla and architect Chad Emmanuel designed the entire house from top to bottom alongside Antonia Crespí from Casa Gstaad. They worked together on its inception, from demolishing the original building to placing the last piece of furniture. It was a labour of love centred around a single premise; an American Industrial aesthetic in classic colours such as blue, red and white. According to Antonia Crespí, the look is “effortless and very chic; it’s exactly what you imagine when you think of a Caribbean Beach House”.

But what makes the project so special is the intimate nature of the inside and outside areas and the way the house flows seamlessly between the two. The result is a visually stunning yet tranquil space that, even though exposed, creates a unique living experience that feels like home.

Lucy Siddall talks to Riley Uggla about how this Caribbean Beach House became a home at one with its environment.

Lucy Siddall: What was the initial design concept for the beach house renovation, and how did the location and landscape shape this?

Riley Uggla: The project aimed to design a house embodying a relaxed coastal living experience, combining timeless luxury and outdoor living. Naturally, the location and landscape played a significant role in shaping this concept. The team designed the outdoor spaces to optimise a beachside lifestyle and aimed to embrace the tranquillity of the location.

LS: We’ve previously defined home as the space between four walls. Do you feel a property in such a unique landscape changes that?

RU: Absolutely. The Caribbean landscape encourages an outdoor-oriented lifestyle, deepening the connection between a building and its natural surroundings and shifting the notion of “home” to include both its physical structure and the expansive beauty of the immediate outdoor space.

Effortless & very chic

A visually stunning yet tranquil space that, even though exposed, creates a unique living experience that feels like home.

LS: The house’s interior is furnished in quite classic colours that sit alongside dark wood. What was the thinking behind the colour palette?

RU: The textiles and fabrics are in a classic but simple blue, white and red colour palette. The neutral colours complement the coastal region and the natural materials; the weathered wood, for example, sits beautifully against the beachfront. The dark wood adds depth and richness to the overall design and contrasts the lighter colour palette, creating visual interest and balance. It also adds a sense of refinement and an additional connection to nature.

LS: Are there any pieces of furniture or art you particularly love? Where were they sourced?

RU: The double concrete coffee table in the lounge is my favourite; it was a bespoke creation designed especially for the room by Casa Gstaad. I also love how the natural stone enhances the house’s connection to nature. It brings a piece of the outdoors inside, symbolising the island environment and the beauty of the natural elements found at the beach.

LS: The property’s design synchronises the house with its surrounding world. Can you talk about this?

RU: We have created a harmonious relationship between the property and its location. Natural materials like wood help blend the house with the landscape and create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Large windows and glass walls maximise the natural light in the building and capture and frame the panoramic views. The property has a cohesive and immersive living experience, creating a sense of connection and continuity throughout. The house celebrates the beauty of the beach and immerses residents in a natural and breathtaking environment.

Riley Uggla - The Beach House

LS: How does life at the beach house differ from life elsewhere?

RU: Life tends to move at a slower pace at the beach house compared to the hustle and bustle of city living. The laid-back, calming environment encourages a more relaxed approach to your days, providing a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world. The proximity to the ocean, the sound of waves, and the breathtaking views create a deep sense of tranquillity that act as a constant reminder of the beauty of nature. We spend a lot more time outdoors, immersing ourselves in the surrounding landscape and appreciating the unique magic of the island. The slower pace, emphasis on outdoor living, and connection to nature contribute to a distinct and enriching way of life there.

LS: How do you use the outdoor spaces at the beach house?

RU: The design, layout and flow of the outdoor spaces embrace a beach lifestyle. You can prepare food in the garden kitchen underneath the leafy palm trees or bury your feet in the sand while eating at the patio dining area. The areas are close enough so that whoever is in the kitchen can be social, and each part of the space connects to the next. There’s synchronicity and cohesion throughout. You can do yoga on the beach in the morning as the sun rises. The ocean’s vast openness and gentle soundtrack enhance the mindful experience. Life at the beach house blends smoothly from inside to outside because of the many comfortable seating options not hidden within its four walls. Sumptuously padded chairs, soft loungers or outdoor sofas provide areas to relax and unwind or simply soak up the Caribbean sun.

Riley Uggla - The Beach House
Riley Uggla - The Beach House Pool