When you have an award-winning luxury villa with a coveted view in a fantastic location, the last thing you’d think to do is add more and keep refining. But that’s what Indigo owners John and Val Barker have chosen to do with their 16-year-old property. A relentless pursuit of excellence has seen the remarkable 9-room, 8.5-bath home upgraded to 10 full king-sized suites, all while retaining the home’s signature charm.
“It looks like it’s been designed from the very beginning,” says John of the home’s cohesive new look. The couple used judicious choices of material and finishes to tie old in with new during the renovations.
Started as a 3 bedroom property to compliment next door Turquaz, which was built in 1989 to accommodate their large family of 4 children and 12 grandchildren, Indigo was increased to 5 bedrooms in 1995. In 2000, a further acre of land was purchased enabling the Barkers to develop Indigo from a small home to a large 9-bed villa with tennis courts and gym.
As this final development of Indigo was being completed in 2009 the Barkers started Le Bleu, drawing on their considerable experience of building worldwide and the experience of the inside-outside life in Anguilla. Once Le Bleu was completed in 2010, it became clear to John and Val that Indigo had become dated and, with their plans to combine both into a boutique hotel, it was necessary for Indigo to be given a new lease of life.
Every area in the property was reviewed, many walls removed, and new bathrooms were created. 10,000 sq. ft. of terracotta tiles were replaced with white ceramic tiles, not only brightening and modernizing the spaces, but are much easier to maintain.
Entry to the property starts with a drive under the entry pavilion’s porte-cochere. The building, which originally housed 2 bedrooms, a garage and a gym, has been reconfigured to give way to a king-sized suite. A paved courtyard opens up inside, leading to a trellised parking area that adjoins the tennis court. A long, arbored walkway under climbing plants, beside lush landscaping, takes you to the entry lounge of the main residence building.
Access from the main lounge to the kitchen was eliminated, along with a small laundry. That allowed the homeowners to create a kitchen befitting the home’s new size. Sweeping walkways and wraparound patios along the house’s southern side open the inside to the property’s signature gardens, which have remained untouched.
The sloping terrain allowed for a full level below, where 4 bedrooms were reconfigured into three bedrooms and one gym. What was once a second, smaller lounge in the standalone Little Indigo pavilion was converted into a grand 10th bedroom. The end result is an eclectic mix of styles and influences, as well as old and new, orchestrated by Val. “From a design point of view, Val is very talented,” John laughs. “Me? Not so much, but I can draw it up.” The couple feels that this work was the missing piece of their larger goal for the Indigo-Le Bleu axis they call Little Harbour Estates. Combined, the properties boast 20 ensuite bedrooms, as well as 4 pools, 2 gyms, 2 tennis courts, oceanfront views and a small beach ideal for larger groups such as wedding parties.
“Anguilla has worked hard to become one of the top tourist locations in the world,” John points out. “We had to match those ambitions. We have always wanted to improve. Our goal is to try to be the best.