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Step Into Tom Scheerer's Converted Bahamas Convent

In creating himself a tropical getaway in the Bahamas, interior designer Tom Scheerer overhauled a pair of dilapidated structures; a nunnery that he convert into his main house, and an 1800s cottage that became his guest house. The latter is known as the Cash Box, as it used to be the home of Mary Cash, who Remodelista describes as one of the "matriarchs" of Harbour Island, a designer-studded locale where the prominent mode of transportation is the golf cart and one's neighbors include the likes of Bill Gates and Diane von Furstenberg. Remodelista describes Scheerer's approach to remodels as akin to a preservationist's, and given the his original training as an architect at Cooper Union, it comes as no surprise that he opted to highlight historic features rather than gut-renovate them.

Scheerer, who was once described in T Magazine as "interior design's most humble and nuanced talent of authentic blue-blood gentility," rolled back the Cash Box's 1940s modernization by revealing its coral stone hearth and "keeping the mod cons—stove and fridge—out of sight." He also covered the cement floor in Cuban tiles, which he chose because they're found in "most of the oldest houses" in the area.

Scheerer picked the attic (pictured above) for his "master suite," painting over the rough pine floor with "many, many coats of shiny white" that help it bounce light around the room. According to Mimi Read, the author of Tom Scheerer Decorates, the seafoam green walls are "a nod to a Harbour Island old wives' tale about the wasp-repellent properties of the color green." She also notes that Scheerer's practical streak is the key to his remodeling projects: "'Don't make too much trouble for yourself' is one of his mottos. 'Live life now, rather than after a torturous renovation.'"

· Island Life: At Home with Tom Scheerer [Remodelista]