Villa Palmier, An Island Escape on St. Barts in the Caribbean

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Matt and Kate Holstein, an American couple from Aspen, CO, recently remodeled a dreamy beach house for themselves and guests on the Caribbean island of St. Barts. Kate, a photographer with a passion for interior design, and her husband Matt, who has a background in construction and real estate, jointly revamped their idyllic Villa Palmier with an emphasis on bringing the locale’s pristine outdoors in. A covered structure with a peaked, painted metal roof provides 1,000 square feet of floor space completely open to the air on two sides, but that square footage is doubled by the property’s exterior decks and gardens. “The small size was something that attracted us to the house because in working with smaller spaces,” Kate shares, “we were able to focus on every detail and every corner. We finished the house in a modern, organic style with a neutral color palette to invoke a sense of serenity.” The retreat offers a harmonious lifestyle, “a place for us, family, and friends to reconnect with each other, nature, and escape the modern, fast pace of life.”

A tight three-month remodel deadline proved challenging, as most materials and fixtures had to be shipped from elsewhere to the island. But with the help of the expert local property manager who knew how to get things done, the family managed to carve out their own airy niche with eclectic finishes while maintaining the breezy feeling characteristic of the area. “Everything about the island is small, quaint, and aesthetically pleasing,” Kate adds. “There are no traffic lights, big hotels, or cruise ships — something quite unique in the Caribbean.” With spring fast approaching, the Holsteins, pup Bugaboo, and a new baby girl joining the family in July look forward to taking in the ocean view, sea breezes, and crashing waves for years to come. —Annie

Photography by Kate Holstein

  1. madeleine says:

    gorgeous home! can you tell me where i can find that rattan pendant hanging over the dining room table?

    1. Hi Madeleine,

      It’s from Ay Illuminate, called the Bamboo M1:

      They make beautiful fixtures!

      1. Madeleine says:

        Thank you, Kate!

  2. Josette says:

    This space is so dreamy! The bright white color throughout the home is amazing and the neutral color pallet doesn’t take anything away from the gorgeous setting. I will definitely be dreaming that I’m here tonight when I go to bed….heaven!

  3. Kat says:

    and can I ask where you got your white broom in the kitchen pic?

    1. Hi Kat!

      It came from Artilleriet in Sweden. They have a webshop here:

  4. Cate says:

    It’s a beautiful space. How does the house close up in poor weather? Are there stages for different needs, from a chilly evening to hurricane season?

    1. Hi Cate,

      Good question! There are electronic hurricane shutters that drop down (they are hidden in the ceiling). These really only come down when there’s a bad storm or if the house is closed down and no one is staying there. The rest of the time the space stays open. The bedrooms close off and have A/C, but the main living area/kitchen/dining stay open. The climate in St Barts is such that year round, you can enjoy indoor/outdoor living!

  5. Can I move in? Seriously!

  6. Kiki says:

    After just reading the title: VILLA PALMIER, AN ISLAND ESCAPE ON ST. BARTS IN THE CARIBBEAN…. I ran upstairs & packed my suitcase – now I’m standing at the entry for pick-up to Paris Airport – haven’t even looked at the photos – I KNOW it’s what the doctor subscribed to put an end to the grey winter – lol….
    How gorgeous is that? Perfect – and as a doggie lover I’m pleased that I/we shall be looked after by your pet :)
    And like the others, I wonder how you lock up the place when you need to. Have you got doors hidden away? Excellent taste, lovely, wonderful soothing colours and your description, all boxes are ticked and here I come!!!

  7. Arielle says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous home! That indoor/outdoor dining space is the stuff of dreams.

  8. Marissa says:

    I am seriously interested in staying at your home for a much needed honeymoon/vacation!! Are you on VRBO or Airbnb or anything like that?! If not you should be. You’ve done a fantastic job on this house.

    1. KATE HOLSTEIN says:

      Hi Marissa,

      Yes, we are on both and you can contact us through the villa website:


  9. Diana says:

    That kitchen bar is a dream. But the entire feel of the house, white , spacious, clean, would make every day into a holiday..

  10. Susan says:

    Hi Kate — can you tell me where you got the white round coffee table?

  11. sara says:

    Could you tell me where those “poufs” on the floor are from? and the black stools as well as kitchen table/bench? I want to redo my beach house and literally i want every single thing in this gorgeous home, it feels like this entire house is my dream in images!!!

  12. Susan says:

    I’d also like to know about the poufs — you may want to keep your source confidential, but can you recommend vendors who sell these? Are they made of hemp?

  13. Daniella says:

    Can you tell me where the rug in the bedroom is from? Thanks!

  14. veronica says:

    This is stunning! so relaxing.
    Do you know where the couch is from?

  15. myrna says:

    Hi, just wondering where the art/print is from in the living room? Thanks!


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