My husband, Jon, and I traveled the world in search of the perfect beach. We were lucky — our jobs took us from Africa to Southeast Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific. We’ve visited many of the islands in the Caribbean, but it was Anguilla in the British West Indies that pulled on our heart strings. Over and over it’s included on lists of the best beaches in the world. We loved that it was undeveloped (only 12,000 citizens), yet has some of the best restaurants and wine cellars in the Caribbean. The use of two currencies (British pound and the U.S. dollar) make it an easy place for an American to travel.

When it was time to build our island retreat we decided to make it a little more than a beach shack, and invested in the idea of creating Anguilla luxury villa rentals for when we were not in residence. There was a resort we loved in the Seychelles, which had an architecture and ambiance exactly like what we were looking for. We contacted the resort and they told us it had been designed by the Dallas interior architectural design firm Wilson Associates–someone right in our own backyard!

As we looked at the Wilson Associates website, we were convinced there was no way we could afford to build a residence with these prestigious and world-renowned resort designers. However, they helped us to create a luxurious island retreat within the agreed-upon budget, and the results have been outstanding.

For us, it was all about indoor-outdoor living and having the pools and lush landscape transition seamlessly to the interiors. Wilson Associates did this perfectly, and our living area doesn’t even have corner wall supports, affording us spectacular views of the beach and the mountains of St. Barths beyond.

We had rented many villas over the years, so we knew we wanted equality in the bedrooms. When you share a luxury villa rental with other couples, everyone wants a master suite with a veranda and an equal view of the Caribbean. Wilson’s design accomplished this, having multiple buildings, intertwined by the pools and landscape, allowing each guest room to be separate and private, which is also nice when you’re traveling with your family and friends and you want a little “alone” time.

For gathering together, Wilson Associates designed an interior living room with a wet bar as well as an exterior living room with the first fireplace on Anguilla. There’s a sundeck for those who want to tan, but I especially love our covered veranda which offers shade and beautiful views.

In addition to the architectural design, Wilson Associates provided us with an interior design concept that includes furniture, fabrics, and accessories. From our years of travel, we had an extensive Oceanic Art collection, which they incorporated into each space.

I remember walking into their conference room to review their initial design concepts. Jon and I said at the same time, “WOW!” They listened to our ideas and paid attention to every detail, and it was exactly what we wanted. And, the whole property, from location to design and from furniture to decorating, has continued to earn rave reviews, as well as design awards. We’re so glad we had the opportunity to work with Wilson Associates to create this gorgeous island retreat!