Sunday, March 3, 2013

Retro Island Glam

“Retro Island Glam.”  That is how Marcie Bond described her style in Coastal Living’s February 2011 feature on her 1963 cottage in Lyford Cay, a private community in New Providence Island, Bahamas.  I love that!!  “Retro Island Glam” totally describes my style too, and Marcie's home more than lives up to the description. Let’s take a look inside!

When Marcie and her family moved in, the 3,500-square-foot U-shaped, courtyard-style house was in disrepair. Instead of following the trend of tearing down to make way for a more contemporary home (quel horror!), the Bonds restored the original footprint and authentic charm.

Adding to the house’s historic allure was the fact that its first owners were Sir Guy Henderson (chief justice of the Bahamas in the 1960s) and his wife, Lady Henderson.
I wish I could see the top of that umbrella… it looks tauntingly familiar!

Once the renovation was complete, Marcie shopped thrift and antiques stores in Florida and the Bahamas to find mid-century pieces that evoke the retro-island look she adores.  The table and chairs above are from Circa Who in Palm Beach. 

Shell chandeliers are a beach cottage must! This one features an unexpected antiqued silver finish. The mounted game fish, a throwback to 1970s beach décor, adds whimsy to a more formal room.
 Most of the living room furniture dates from the 1970s and earlier. The vintage McGuire console table belonged to the home’s original owner. 

In addition to honoring the home’s provenance, Marcie wanted everything to reflect a memory. “I’m very nostalgic, so I wanted the furnishings to be more than decoration,” she said. For local flavor, and to pay tribute to the island and era she loves, Marcie outfitted the house from floor to ceiling with local artwork, bamboo pieces, and other items that recall her Bahamian childhood. Framed maps and sea life prints in the living, for example, are by the same artist whose work adorned beach cottages on nearby Chub Cay, which she visited with her family as a little girl.
The home features traditional low Bahamian ceilings. To create a soft backdrop for the hits of tropical color, Marcie kept the remaining textiles neutral – grasscloth wall coverings, natural-fiber rugs, and linen-upholstered sofas and chairs. The 70’s-inspired woven rugs, fan chairs, rattan chandeliers, and 60’s-era floral prints were style staples of the houses she grew up in and around.

Note the old-fashioned jalousie windows… Marcie kept them in an effort to maintain the home’s original integrity.  “People say to me, ‘I can’t believe you kept those windows,’ but I believe that once you add modern elements to a midcentury house, you change its entire ethos,” Marcie said.

The scalloped canopy, made of weather-resistant Sunbrella fabric, was made by a local boat upholsterer.
Simple bamboo frames and bright pink mattes turn a selection of Bahamas tourism ads from the 1960s and ‘70s (found on eBay) into instant art.

For advice on fabrics, Marcie turned to her brother John Fondas and friend Amanda Lindroth, both decorators who live on the island. They suggested patterns from Quadrille, a fabric company that still produces many of the same prints it sold in the 1960s and ‘70s.

The above bedroom’s canopy fabric, from China Seas by Quadrille, has been in production since the 1960s. The patterned weave of the sea grass rug matches one that belonged to Marcie’s grandmother in the ‘70s. Marcie finished the mirrored lattice headboard (also from Circa Who, along with the bench) with a coat of white paint.
 A Madeline Weinrib rug adds vibrant color to this neutral room. The porthole-shaped mirrors were crafted by a West Palm Beach artisan from fragments of midcentury chairs.

A dark mahogany countertop grounds the mostly white bar area near the kitchen.

Marcie’s children – Emma and Jack – racing on the beach, just a short walk from the family’s house.
Marcie re-covered old headboards with fresh, retro island print fabrics from Quadrille.
The powder room features fabulous bamboo-print wallpaper.
This vintage nightstand is from Circa Who.  Bedding is by Jonathan Adler.  

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to live in a vintage Caribbean home, because it comes with a sentiment you don’t get today,” Marcie says. “Living here is like living in a time-warp – and I love every minute of it.”
Images, information and quotes via Costal Living.
To get the look of Marcie Bond’s Lyford Cay house featured in Coastal Living’s February 2011 issue, shop at Bamboo Bamboo. Owned by her brother, John Fondas, this store is full of fabulous modern and midcentury pieces. Lyford Cay Shopping Centre, Lyford Cay, 242/362-5557. Marcie also shops Circa Who, which I have written about here, and Bamboo & Rattan, another shop in West Palm Beach that provides the largest collection of vintage rattan in the country, and also offers custom furniture.

Image courtesy of Bamboo Bamboo, via Coastal Living

Also, make sure to check out Marcie’s shop the next time you are in the Bahamas – Marcie Bond Resort Clothing Whether you’re strolling sandy beaches or concrete sidewalks, Marcie Bond has the perfect ensemble fit for any coast-lover. Lyford Cay Shopping Centre, Lyford Cay 242/362-4844.


  1. What wonderful pictures. I want to move in! (especially since we are still in full winter here in Chicago). I just missed out on purchasing a pair of elephant side tables like in the second to last picture for $50 (for the pair!) on Craig's List. Darn!

  2. Marcie's gorgeous place proves that vintage is best. Thanks to your post, I've definitely got island fever now and am completely envious of my posse pal, Ellen, who is heading to the DR this weekend. Check out her packing tips at

  3. It was very nice to find this article as it told me things I did not know what had happened to the house at Lyford Cay which was my parents home for many years. My Father Sir Guy H. died in May 1987 and the house was left to my brother Neil who unfortunately was not capable of managing the property due to other problems and upon his death in July 1990 the house was left to a girlfriend he had met in some bar in London. She was not interested in the house and sold the house to a man called Withers---As I really had no friends or reason to associate with The Bahamas I naturally was under the impression that the house was lived in by Withers and his family. Thus the absolute total surprise to read about the state of the house and indeed, your acquiring the house. I recognize that this article was written a few years ago and that there is some possibility this message will not reach you. Needless to say I am delighted to see that you have lovingly brought the house back to such a lovely condition. I wish you many wonderful more years -that you are blessed with good health and that you have happiness and love . Ian H.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Thank you so much for your kind note! Do you have an email address to which I can correspond? Mine is

      All the best,
      The Glam Pad


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