Why Art is the Key to Making Your House a Home

At IDG, our goal is to make sure every house we work on feels like home, and art plays a big part in achieving that – it breathes life into a space and can evoke various emotions and moods.

We might select something soft and abstract for a bedroom to create a calming feel, but for a powder room frequented by guests, something quirky and statement-making. We believe art is a great conversation starter as well as a focal point. That’s why we love to include a mix of bold and minimalist pieces in every home.

Many people see art as a personal investment, but your collection can also be an investment in your community. Some incredible artists call Grand Cayman home, and IDG supports local creatives wherever possible.

Last year, we began hosting “A Night with the Artists”, a series of events celebrating Cayman’s art scene. These evenings help raise money for local art and are anchored by a growing list of IDG Featured Artists – meet them below.


Carlos V. Garcia

Carlos is a self-taught painter, muralist and designer from Honduras. His vibrant pieces centre on abstract realism.

Painting by Carlos V. Garcia at the Kimpton Seafire Residences penthouse


Julie Corsetti

Julie is a passionate photographer whose work captures the beauty of Cayman’s people and landscapes.

Wall art photograph on canvas by Julie Corsetti


Babbity Barwick

Babbity is a talented sculptor whose creations reflect Cayman’s ecosystems. Her pottery includes abstract vases, patterned bowls and other vessels.

Handmade ceramic tableware - image courtesy of Babbity Barwick


Tracy McMenemy

Tracy is a multidisciplinary artist bridging photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Her location-specific art highlights her current home of Grand Cayman.

Hibiscus Thatch painting by Tracy McMenemy

If you’d like to attend our next “A Night with the Artists” event, contact [email protected].

In the meantime, browse IDG’s current selection of art or check out a few favorites below.

This captivating mixed media piece by Carlos V. Garcia would be ideal for any home’s shared space, adding life and character. 

USD $1,463.41

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The Caribbean blues of this detailed coral sea fan design are a nod to homes in coastal locations that’s eye-catching and elegant. 

USD $664.62

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We love this print by Tracy McMenemy, using the leaves from a Silver Thatch palm to create a subtle and gorgeous design. 

USD $1,219.51

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The soft palette and tactile finish of this painting on hand-stretched canvas will create a calming, coastal focal point for the home. 

USD $438.10

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This ethereal painting combines earthy tones with shades of blue to evoke a tranquil feeling that’s perfect for a bedroom.

USD $1,312.50

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We love this multidimensional print – a blend of colors and textures from afar and hundreds of book spines up close. 

USD $1,433.90

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This intricate and delicate depiction of coral sea fans is mounted in a maplex light brown frame, with an elegant style that would suit any space. 

USD $444.56 - $880.86

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This gorgeous set of shadow boxes features 3-D string art that has been hand-threaded and individually secured.

USD $597.00

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Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. This bold black and white painting of water lapping against the shore would look great in any room. 

USD $1,908.75

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Add to Cart: Backyard BBQ Essentials

When summer rolls around, there’s nothing better than spending time outside, and one of our favorite ways to entertain is with a backyard barbecue. Below, we’ve included tips from the IDG team on how to host an unforgettable summer gathering, from recipes to try to the ultimate outdoor accessories for your setting.

Cara’s “House Rocks” Marg

What says summer more than a freshly shaken margarita? For IDG Founder Cara Saladino, her signature recipe is always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

2 lime wedges
Coarse sea salt
Ice cubes
2 oz pure agave reposado tequila
1.5 oz triple sec
1 oz fresh lime juice

Step 1:

Prepare your glass! Take a lime wedge and run it around the glass rim. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on a plate and gently dip the rim in. Pour some fresh ice into the glass, and then place it in the freezer until you’re ready to serve.

Step 2:

Choose your bar set! A good bar set is essential, especially when entertaining. Whether you prefer metallic and classy or neutral and relaxed, we have a range of attractive options in stock at IDG’s Shoppe.

Step 3:

Make your marg! Take your cocktail shaker and fill it with ice before adding tequila, triple sec and freshly squeezed lime juice. Cover and shake like your life (of the party) depends on it.

Step 4:

Serve! Pour into your prepared glass and top with a fresh lime wedge.

Andrea’s Steak Marinade

Salt and pepper are fine, but when you want to impress, try this marinade by IDG Interior Designer Andrea Keuler.

Ingredients:

250ml red wine vinegar
50ml Worcestershire sauce
25ml olive oil
50ml chutney (blatjang) sauce
50ml tomato or barbecue sauce
2 tsp minced garlic

In a casserole dish, combine the ingredients, add your meat and let it marinate for 3–6 hours. Simple and delicious!

Got a summer barbecue on the calendar? Head into IDG for a selection of beautiful outdoor furniture and accessories, or browse online

Paula’s Ultimate Hosting Guide

We love barbecues because they’re relaxed and carefree, but there are a few things you can do to make your event more memorable. IDG Personal Shopper Paula Duffy takes us through some of her top tips below.

Tip 1:

Summertime barbecues can get hot! I always have extra hats, sunscreen and mosquito repellent close at hand. When your guests are comfortable, everyone will have a good time.

Tip 2:

I like to give my guests the option to bring their fur babies along. I’ve had every dog under the sun at my house, from Bobby McGee the Doberman to Damian the Great Dane.

Tip 3:

Barbecues are great because they make it easy to delegate. After all, being the hostess doesn’t mean you have to do everything! Ask attendees to bring different dishes and show off your hosting skills with your tablescape. Dinnerware and home accessories can completely transform a dining area.

Our online shoppe is full of great outdoor accessories. Check out some of our current favorites below.

Trays are a must-have when you’re hosting a get-together. We love this crushed limestone set because it’s ideal for outdoor use.

USD $522.00

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Pillows add comfort and express personality! The fresh, coastal colors of this style are a perfect match to Cayman living.

USD $76.14

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Is your table feeling a bit empty? Add these marble links for a decorative touch. With natural texture and color variations, each is unique.

USD $2,166.00

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The easiest way to add some life to your tablescape is with greenery. We love this as an enduring option to use over and over.   

USD $917.84

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These nostalgic games aren’t just for kids! A piece like this is both beautiful and functional in its ability to entertain for hours on end.

USD $726.35

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Sometimes all you need is a pop of colour. This textured blue bowl brings a contemporary feel to the average barbecue.

USD $945.35

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Our Experts' Edit: Outdoor Living in Style

In Grand Cayman, we’re lucky to enjoy summer weather year-round. That’s why at IDG, we put so much emphasis on creating spaces that are ideal for outdoor living.

Designing an incredible outdoor space starts with great products. Anything that’s continually exposed to the elements needs to be extremely high quality — after all, tropical rainstorms are not uncommon in the Caribbean! As a result, we work with brands that prioritize craftsmanship and longevity as much as style.

Below, our team of experts have selected a few of their favorite summer pieces. For more, check out our outdoor collection, or if you’re considering a significant change, stop by our studio for a free consultation.

A place to sit 

Whether to relax outside for a coffee or catch rays on a cushy sunlounger, we have the perfect outdoor seating to hang out in all summer long.

Design associate Mireia Alvarez’s pick: The Dockside Outdoor Lounge Chair

“This chair is the ideal balance of comfort and elegance. The frame is made from powder-coated metal with a wood-like finish, so it’s also super durable. I think this piece looks best when paired with a sculptural side table and beautiful accent pillows. Don’t be afraid to show your personality with colour!”

Design associate and personal shopper Barry Hutchinson’s pick: The Montauk Chaise Lounge 

“This chaise exudes a stylish presence in any sun-lounging area. The woven frame adds character to the simplistic shape, and an ultra-plush top provides additional comfort.”

The table to gather around 

A great table for outdoor dining is all it takes to turn your patio into the place to be for summer pool parties, barbecues and meandering meals with loved ones.

Design associate Poly Lougiakis’ pick: The Log Outdoor Dining Table

“With its white fiberglass top and organic teak base, this outdoor dining table is sure to be a conversation starter! This piece comes in two sizes, can seat up to 10 people and combines classic materials with a whimsical touch.”

The perfect lounge

There’s nothing more luxurious than the comfort of a sofa outdoors for you, your friends and family to kick back on – just add ice-cold drinks.

Personal shopper Michelle Spain’s pick: The Jason Outdoor Sofa

“Don’t let the crisp white colour deter you. I love this outdoor sofa because it has removable slipcovers and quick-dry cushions that are extremely easy to clean — even after the messiest of barbecues! This is indoor comfort with outdoor durability.”

Check out the team’s top picks for outdoor living below.

Transform your outdoor space into the ultimate summer sanctuary with this crisp, stylish white sofa that will make you want to lounge forever.

USD $6,375.00

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Decorate your outdoor area with this aloe vera statement piece, accented with natural stones and set into a glossy white textured bowl.

USD $339.00

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Pull up a seat to bask in the summer sun with this hand-woven lounge chair with a powder-coated metal frame designed for long-lasting quality.

USD $2,706.00

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With its teak legs and cement-fiberglass top, this outdoor dining table is the ideal combination of rustic and sleek, perfect for alfresco entertaining.

USD $4,860.00

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Designed using an environmentally-friendly fiber, the hand-woven DALA planter brings subtle sophistication to any outdoor area.

USD $2,025.00

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Taking five days to weave by hand with an all-weather rope, this lounger features precision and durability in every aspect.

USD $2,429.41

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An Inspiring Convo with: Cara Saladino

Having founded IDG almost 20 years ago, Cara Saladino has helped develop the local interior design industry in the Cayman Islands by repeatedly upping the benchmark for her designs’ quality, creativity and individuality. 

From creating custom designs for her clients to sourcing, shipping and installing the final finishes, Cara has always found a way to make the seemingly impossible happen and do it with a style all her own. 

We sat down with Cara to chat about the challenges and changes to the local design market, what it means to be a part of the IDG family and one of her latest projects: the rebrand of IDG as Interior Design Group.

As one of IDG’s female founders, what inspired you to start something new in such an underdeveloped market?

IDG was born out of a true passion for design and a deep appreciation for creating personalized living environments. Back then, we weren’t seeing the individual represented in most homes in Grand Cayman. Instead, there was a general preset or typical design style that had little uniqueness. 

With IDG, we saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between what Cayman was currently offering and what the global design industry was excited about. We started sourcing materials that hadn’t been introduced to the island yet and using exciting and different products. We broke the mold and moved the Cayman Islands into the global site-line. 

While it can be safe to stick with what you know best, IDG has always focused on understanding the individual needs of our clients to craft designs that are as unique as them. We strive to help our clients push the boundaries of what they thought possible in Cayman.

What are some of the biggest challenges in running an interior design firm on a Caribbean island?

Being on an island means that you have limited resources at your fingertips. Simple fixes can quickly become complicated, and problem-solving on the fly is a bit trickier. Over the years, we’ve learned to adapt to these hurdles to deliver high-quality products and experiences consistently.

To ensure we achieve our clients’ visions, we have built trusted partnerships with international freight forwarders and qualified local trade workers interested in expanding their knowledge. Over the years, we’ve developed strong relationships within the community here. I genuinely believe that finding trustworthy partners has been the key to creating our success. 

How has the industry evolved today?

Technology has been a massive driver of change and made interior design available to everyone. The internet’s global marketplace has allowed us to source furniture and finishes from across the globe, making it possible to match our clients’ visions more precisely. 

Advances in tech have also changed the way our interior design team works. We now have access to 3-D printing, virtual reality and revolutionary software. These innovations have increased productivity, simplified the design process and helped us to keep our clients more informed.

Technology has also resulted in an awareness of global trends, which we use to create a client’s ideal environment. Keeping tabs on societal shifts is also crucial. For example, eco-friendly and sustainable design is now at the forefront of our industry, causing us to be more mindful of how we are sourcing our materials.

More recently, COVID-19 has also brought changes to the design world, especially in pricing and supply. Production facilities will become leaner with smaller teams, and design companies will depend more on the communities they serve through business-to-business relationships. 

In a nutshell, can you define the ethos of IDG? What are some of your differentiators in the local market?

Our foundation is built on trust, integrity, substance and approachability. The strength of this foundation has allowed us to withstand many changes over the years, including those to our industry and island.

We strive to offer thoughtful and holistic designs and give our clients the best personal experience with IDG, whether through our design team, warehouse team or personal shoppers. 

What are you most excited about with regards to IDG?

I’m really excited about what is happening in Cayman right now. The island is blooming, and IDG is currently involved in so many interesting and creative projects, including residential developments and commercial spaces. We are also excited to have our online shoppe available to our local clients, to help make it easier for people to live a #LifeInspired. 

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone looking to find success in a new market?

I think it’s so important to build from a solid foundation. Learn the market you’re breaking into, know who you are as a company and understand how your business will fit.

Establishing trust is also key to the longevity of your business. Build strong relationships and hire people who believe in your company. Encourage relationship building and the discussion of new ideas. Your goal should be to create a respectful and supportive environment. 

It’s also important to understand that you will make mistakes along the way. Take responsibility for your errors, learn from your past and implement changes to prevent them from happening again. 

Lastly, don’t chase your competition because competition will always be there. Do you and do it very well. Live by your ethos. Give back to the community around you and build a business you’re proud of. 

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?

Create your life, don’t let others create it for you. 

What inspires you on a daily basis?

I’m inspired daily by our team. They are all creative, passionate, talented and believe in our brand’s ethos. Our company’s dynamic, wide range of projects and mix of local and international clients are also an endless source of inspiration. 

If you had to choose an interior design style for a home and life in the Cayman Islands – what would it be and why?

I’d choose quality, high-end design that is relaxed, refined and easy to live in. 

What are five things you can’t live without, excluding the obvious and the existential?

  1. My dog
  2. Luxe bedding
  3. Coffee
  4. Lazy rainy days
  5. Designing beautiful spaces

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How can we learn more about IDG?

Discover how IDG can help you live a #LifeInspired and stay in the know about our latest projects by signing up for our newsletter.


A Community Partnership with Cayman Islands Charity

At IDG, we believe that everyone deserves a great space to call home. The home is the foundation of everything, and a healthy environment is what allows families to flourish and grow. 

Here, Katie Lambert, Part-Owner and CEO at IDG, sits down with Tara Nielsen, Director of Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) Foundation, to discuss some of the most important needs in our community and how companies like IDG are lending their support. 

It’s one of the reasons why we place so much value on our partnership with Cayman’s ARK. Their CASA projects have helped over 30 families find safe and healthy living conditions, and their Mentor – Educate – Reinforce (MER) program helps mentor and educate Caymanian youth. ARK focuses on the people in our own backyard and their hard work helps lift our entire community in the process. 

“We’re so thrilled that IDG has decided to partner with us and support the MER and CASA programmes,” says Tara. “It’s the perfect combination. This partnership will really enable us to move and sweep through the island by improving homes and people’s lives every day.”

IDG has been helping to support ARK through several initiatives, including:

A Night with the Artists

This event is all about bringing the community together. It celebrates our local artists while also bringing attention to in-need groups in Cayman. 

Recently, we hosted our second instalment of the series. Photographer Julie Corsetti and artist Carlos v. Garcia combined their talents to create a unique piece of work that was painted live for attendees. The finished product was then auctioned off, with 100% of the proceeds going towards ARK’s MER and CASA programmes. 

For more information on future IDG events, contact [email protected]

Cayman Ryde-a-thon

Team IDG will also compete in Cayman’s annual Ryde-a-thon. Our team, Designed to Ryde, will spin for 24 hours to help raise monies for the ARK Foundation. 

The Ryde-a-thon will take place from Friday, March 26th – Saturday, March 27th. If you’d like to donate, follow the link here and select our team name from the list of options.

IDG plans to offer long-term support for ARK through the sponsorship of a child in their MER program. MER was developed for struggling students in underprivileged circumstances. The majority of Caymanian students that are flagged with learning challenges come from impoverished homes. MER provides support to these select individuals. 

“This program really aligns down to the core of our ethos as a family,” says Katie. “We want to embrace all of these families and especially the children and help them throughout their journey. We have our IDG family and we take all of our staff on board with that same ethos.”

ARK was founded in 2006, and a big part of their continued success has been through help from the private sector. “We’d love to challenge other companies to step up and sponsor a child,” says Tara. “Our mission is for every business, law firm, accountancy and small business to sponsor a child in our program. That’s what we need to happen in order to grow.”

To find out more about ARK’s programmes and ways that you can get involved, head to arkcayman.org.