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A Lyford Tropical Villa

tropical villa

James Andrew at Lyford Cay

When traveling, it is always inspiring to explore local architecture and notable interiors.

Fortunately for me, my gracious friends knew everyone in Lyford and happily arranged several house tours, showcasing interiors by major design-world icons like Mario Buatta, Mark Hampton, Jansen, and Colefax & Fowler. I took tours of all the best homes in Lyford as well as the magnificent Lyford club itself, which has been re-imagined by the brilliant Tom Scheerer who successfully managed to preserve the best of the old club while investing all with an updated and decidedly chic new twist.

I was particularly taken with one house—a marvelous tropical design by famed architect, Henry Melich, which had been abandoned for over a decade and yet still remains in surprisingly good condition. While it is a small 3 to 4 bedrooms house, it gives the impression of a much larger villa complete with an expansive drawing room and plenty of outdoor space—all, absolutely perfect for entertaining.

Tropical Villa by Architect Henry Melich

My tropical fantasy villa by architect Henry Melich

Perhaps it is just the romance of ruins, but I was instantly smitten and am now possessed of the idea that I simply must have this house. It is the personification of all my tropical house fantasies, and if you know me at all then you will know that I’ve already started to imagine how I’d design the interiors and garden, as well as how I’d entertain there. What a romantic retreat it would become!

I am not ashamed to admit that I AM one to entertain some rather elaborate imaginings. I find that allowing myself to dream can really help to put me into that joyful place where all kinds of crazy and magical things can (and often do) happen!

My Lyford fantasy garden.

My fantasy garden.

On my way to a fabulous dinner party, I’m admiring my Tropical Villa in a Tom Ford pale pink silk suit, lilac cotton over check shirt, a pink silk knit tie and ivory suede loafers, Gucci python belt with silver buckle, pink silk pocket square Charvet Paris, vintage moon stone cuff links,my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.


  1. Topaz says:

    What an incredible experience to see all of those beautiful homes! My vacation fantasy is to travel the country and then the world simply looking at house museums, but of course you had the opportunity to see those not open to the public. I wonder why your dream villa was abandoned — is it currently for sale? If you have the chance, would love to see more pictures.

    And you, as always, look wonderful.

  2. Robin Brouillette says:

    Oh James I hope you do own this home! Its soooo you! And I’d better be on the guest list to visit!! You look stunning … as always.

  3. James Andrew says:

    Darling Robin,

    Can you imagine , swirling around in one of your beautiful beaded kaftans, on a sultry tropical night- just sublime!



  4. The pool is great with that wonderful shape and stylish paving. And having a pair of poolhouse pavilions is always a good idea.

  5. jon k says:

    hello Mr Bond : )

  6. James Andrew says:

    Hello jon k,

    Why don’t you join me for a “Vesper” or 2?



  7. Nick says:

    James, what a magnificent villa!

  8. Dean says:

    Dear James,

    I love this post. I wonder if Babe and Truman ever visited that old villa. You and I share a love of classical, symmetrical architecture. I wonder if this villa could be rented for a month or so to see if you like it as much as you thought. Yes, ruins are so exciting. Some of the most interesting homes in Naples have that genteel faded quality, which we decorators adore. Did you name your villa yet? How about Saint James House?


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