Friday, 19 April 2013

Design Tour - Ajoupa Garden Cottage

View from outdoor deck (Photo courtesy
 Nestled in the hills of  Upper Carapichaima, Chickland Village in Central Trinidad lies a quiet retreat for artists and writers to be inspired, surrounded by lush vegetation and rolling terrain. The quaint 19th century ajoupa styled cottage, characterized by its gable roof and wooden façade (some versions employ mud/brick) sits on a four acre property and is run by Bunty and Rory O'Connor of Ajoupa Pottery. The former estate house (gingerbread style) is the couple's main abode, while the one bedroom cottage is the retreat, your home away from home.
Turning off the main road you're met with a beautiful tree lined entry which signifies what lies ahead. On entering this hidden pathway you understand that you are entering something special, you get a sense of the exquisiteness that lies ahead. Nature lovers beware, you will fall in love with the place. There are no photos of this pathway, they don't do it justice so, you'll just have to experience the majestic quality yourself!

On your arrival to Ajoupa Gardens there seem to be several pathways to treats beyond. One such, is the pathway to the cottage retreat below.
Pathway and entry to Ajoupa Garden Retreat  (Photo courtesy
The brightly coloured exterior reflects the warmth of this tropical paradise and that of the owners. This warmth and relaxation will seep into your soul and fill you with peace and serenity.
With Love...(Photo courtesy 
Downstairs-Main Living/Dining Area
Open Plan Kitchen/Dining allows views of the rolling plains beyond
 (Photo courtesy
The lattice work on the Eastern wall offers views to the exterior garden and the entry of North-Easterly prevailing winds. Throughout the morning, this decorative pattern provides an interesting play of light and shadow on the floor and walls. The cottage uses various species of recycled lumber including cedar, olivier and fiddle wood (locally called bois fidele) from one of the old cocoa houses that existed on the estate.
Bright and cherry kitchen (Photo courtesy
The Eastern wall of the cottage uses hurricane shutter windows which allow the cool tropical breezes in during the day and can be lowered to protect guests from the early morning sun or driving rain. The tropical foliage also provides a good measure of shading.
Wooden Shutters and streaked olivier wood graces the Eastern wall
(Photo courtesy

The Western wall seen below, is the original end of the cottage but this was amended in 1990 when an annex was constructed to accomodate a growing family. This included the addition of a writing room downstairs, which doubles as sleeping quarters for two small children or adults and an upstairs bedroom with lookout deck. This once family abode, now welcomes guests from around the world. The old Western wall contains built-in storage which displays Ajoupa pottery work, knick knacks and books.

Built-in storage displays pottery and books
Terracotta Sconce designed and made by Bunty O'Connor
Writing Room (Photo courtesy
The vibrant blue that weaves throughout the main living area
makes its way onto a folding accent chair.
Upstairs-Main Sleeping Area
The main sleeping area is located on the upper floor of the annex and looks out to the surrounding gardens below. The space is equipped with a few pieces of exquisite antique furniture collected at garage and estate sales over the years.

Colourful accents liven up the upstairs space
Antique storage piece
Bedroom balcony looks out into the garden below
You can book your spot at the Ajoupa Garden Cottage by contacting Bunty at or visit her at ajoupa garden cottage at to view more beautiful photos of the space and surrounding garden.

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