Bequia-Made, Berger-Designed, Messel-Inspired

Oliver Messel and an assistant encrust a column with coral at Messel's home in Barbardos

Inspired by this photograph, interior designer Jonathan Berger channeled Oliver Messel when we redecorated the living room in Norway House. This turned out to be especially fitting because we later learned from British architect Richard Blunden that ours is the only house on Bequia designed by Arne Hasselqvist, who acted as builder of the early Messel-designed homes on Mustique. Fortunately, Bequia has skilled masons and carpenters to implement Messel-inspired designs. (See my post on design inspiration from Messel.)

Don Leslie, a local carpenter who works full-time for Windward Island Plantation, built a console from Jonathan’s sketch using only several pressure-treated pine planks, the white latex we use on fences, and the tapered legs of an old work table Emmett had salvaged from Retreat House. Jonathan encrusted the console in situ with shells bought at several craft stores in St. Vincent. The resulting theatrically-oversized console, the only item not shipped from my former home, is now sets the tone of our living room.

I’m curious about what others have successfully commissioned in St. Vincent. Would you please submit a comment about furniture or another decorative item you’ve had made here and who made it?


Berger's Sketches

Don Leslie Working with Reclaimed Table Legs

Counting Shells

Glueing Shells

Finished Table

Questions or Suggestions?