To step into a house is to step into an ambiance. But mood is personal, and that’s why the interior designers of Vista Lago residences are on standby to help each new owner create the mood that is exactly right for them.
Article by Vivion O’Kelly
Even devoid of furniture and fittings, a house will still make you feel something. It begins with the architecture, although specific site and general location also plays a part, since the way we feel about a house will be determined to some large extent by its surroundings.
But the architecture of a house, and especially what goes into it, is the real key to the creation of mood. Each Vista Lago villa is similar in basic architectural style, with minor variations, but this is a style that allows for wide variation in interior decoration, from colour and tonal combinations to the three-dimensional design of the furnishings and fittings within.
Each room in a house is, in a way, a blank slate upon which to build specific mood, and there are as many ways to do this as there are different moods to be created. We can all do it, of course, but it takes knowledge, experience and creativity to do it to the level achieved at Vista Lago.
Below we take a closer look at four different views of the same room whose interior has been designed in three different versions, each creating an ambience with subtle differences in colour and shape that make for very different moods in each.
1-View from terrace
The first image we look at is straight into the room, which is the main lounge/dining area with the large mural facing us and the dining table on the left. In each of the three versions, the mural itself sets the tone, all other elements in the room taking their cue from it. The first mural is based on a Japanese print, with swirling lines and sharp contrasts in reds, ochres and warm browns. The two pouffes we see in the foreground reflect the reddish browns, while the dining table and chairs pick out the ochres and grey/browns. The mural image is not so overwhelming that it cannot be reflected directly in the large mirror over the fireplace. The mood here is warm, colourful and exuberant.
We now look at the same view in the second and third versions. In the second, the mural is tonal rather than colourful, with sharper contrasts, ideally suited to the creation of a cooler and more reserved mood. All other colour variation is kept to a minimum, the off-white of the furniture in both areas of the room being broken only by the small, warm grey cushions and the metallic/glass coffee tables. The minimalist design of the dining chairs is in keeping with the overall scheme.
In the third version, the mural becomes the focus of attention of the entire tableau, and would be overwhelming if not for the smaller rectangular and round mirror images over the fireplace, the ochre/green of the dining chairs, the purple/blue of the cushions and the polished bronze of the coffee table. It is also clear that the two hanging lamp styles, overhead and over the dining table, have been chosen to fit in perfectly with the mood to be created in each.
2-View over the terrace
In these three versions of the same view out over the terrace, we can see immediately that the cool minimalism of the second, with its more reserved colour scheme extending to the terrace furniture, is quite different from the other two.
The warmth of the first continues outside in the colours of the loungers and table base, while the sharper contrasts of the third version also extend outwards in the black loungers and garden chairs.
3-View across the room with lounge area in foreground
Once again, the most different of the three versions is the first, which is more flamboyant both in colour and design. The first thing one notices is the cloth sculpture on the expanse of white wall overhead, seen in the first version behind the thin vertical lines of the lamps over the dining table, which is absent in the second and third.
The design of the kitchen is quite different in all three: warm and inviting in the first, more sombre in the second and reflecting the other warm greys in the third version.
4-View across the room with dining table in foreground
In the first version, we quickly notice the play of geometric shapes created by the illumination hanging from the main ceiling and over the dining table, seen at its best against the neutral tones of the villa’s architecture. The dining chair colours, the bonsai tree, the sofa cushions and the ceramic pot provide the colour needed to reflect those in the large mural.
The absence of bright colours in the second version accentuates the subtleties in the whites and greys, while the casually entwined lamp over the dining table breaks the straightness of the architectural lines. This version would change instantly if the rope lighting were bright red, for example, but creating mood involves much more than simply splashing colours about.
The design of the dining table lamp is especially important in the third version, its irregularly curving lines of gold floating above the table and breaking up the absolute symmetry elsewhere. The contrasting tones and basic geometric shapes create a mood that is less colour and exuberance and more refined elegance, evident in the other views of the same design.
Design speaks loud and clear, even if sombre and understated. Just like any art form, it transmits emotion if done well, and in the case of interior design, the emotion must be restrained. We all want a room we see for the first time to say something to us, even if just a “wow!”, but if exceptionally well designed, a room will say something to us every time we enter it. And we will probably not all want it to say the same thing.
Vista Lago Residences is a gated, luxury development of 18 individually designed sustainable villas located in the 200-hectare estate of Real de La Quinta where the views towards Gibraltar and Africa are arguably among the best in the world. The setting is unique, with Marbella’s iconic La Concha mountain on one side and the exclusive La Zagaleta Country Club & Golf estate on the other, bordering a UNESCO biosphere reserve and just a 15-minute drive from Marbella.