You don’t come here to sit indoors. It’s an essential truth about life in the Turks & Caicos. And of all the natural elements that draw people here, none is more distinc­tive, more alluring, than the stunning blue water that surrounds our island homes. How fitting, then, that the hottest luxury home-design trend in Turks and Caicos brings the water right up to the doorstep.

The stunning Turtle Tail Estate combines the personalization of a custom home with the amenities of an ultra-luxury resort.

Ask a real estate agent, a contractor or an architect and they’ll tell you: Homeowners and developers are producing a distinctive new island aesthetic by creating new life­style relationships with the water through pool and beach amenities.

Joe Zahm, principal at Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty, reels off the trendsetting examples: Private plunge pools from The Estate at Grace Bay Club, offering guests three tiers of water access (plunge pool, resort pool, ocean); the over-­water decks at Gansevoort Villas; the pool at Beach Enclave’s North Shore Villas that directly overlooks the ocean, inviting guests to lounge in one while gazing at the other.

At The Dunes, they built a platform into the pool for dining. At Sapodilla Bay Estate, the deck with the dining area extends over the ocean itself.

Move over, fire pits. Water-related design has arrived.

Architect Ron Shaw made breathtaking views of sky and sea the focal point at Villa Lua.

Architect Ron Shaw made breathtaking views of sky and sea the focal point at Villa Lua.

“I think it started with ‘vanishing edge’ pools and has evolved to where pools and pool areas are the heart of the vacation resi­dence and critical to use and outlook,” Zahm said. “In our pretty tropical climate, people want to live outdoors as much as possible, so creating compelling pools and decks, with seamless access to either the beach, or a related body of water, really improves owner and rental guest experience and builds long-term value in the real estate asset.”

The new approach doesn’t require a new water element per se — private pools have long been a desirable feature — but it does require a more creative, thoughtful way of integrating living space with the water. Typically, this means lounge areas are an ever-more significant part of the overall de­sign, often blurring the line between indoor space and outdoor space.

So where to begin if your property is in need of a refresh? Start with a creative mind, and consider ways to produce a haven in your own home. Don’t settle for one us­able outdoor area. Design for maximum use of your outdoor property. And let your imagination run wild when it comes to lounging and enjoying the water.

Yes, it’s an expense. But when it comes to resale value, it could be a wise investment.
“Most new homeowners and their ar­chitects/developers are getting the pools right, if you contrast to a decade ago,” Zahm said. “And with regard to existing properties, pools are often No. 1 on the ‘reno’ list for new buyers. Undoubtedly, a great pool can really move the needle in terms of perceived value and marketability.”