Article by Victoria Wood
When nature is not limited to the exterior grounds of a home, incredible effects can be achieved, not just aesthetically. Having plants inside your home doesn’t just look good it makes us feel good as well. When we get in touch with nature, we reduce mental fatigue and stress while increasing our relaxation and self-esteem. Plants also clean our indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen.
But how can you incorporate nature into the home so that it becomes a natural part of the furnishings? We take a look at three examples of our recent projects which embrace nature both inside and out in totally different ways.
This home’s interior has an incredible central atrium featuring an indoor hanging garden – a botanical engineering masterpiece – with an Asian twist. The garden can be viewed from all levels of the house as it rises more than eight metres from the basement to the top floor.
On the ground floor the view over the Mediterranean is spectacularly framed by the infinity pool, lush gardens, and the natural flow of the decor from the indoor living room to outdoor lounge area. The ceilings are high and the decor light which increases the ease in which we flow from indoors to out, whichever way you turn you are met with nature, on one side the exterior gardens, the other the Japanese-Inspired zen gardens reaching up to the top floor. Here the glass walkway to the bedrooms is a further place for contemplation as you overlook the living area, outdoor views and stroll past the hanging gardens.
The transformation into evening is a spectacle in itself as the interior gardens are illuminated and the sense of immersion in nature is intensified. The unique combination of Oriental-Mediterranean gives this design a contemporary and luxurious edge, but the interior hanging gardens take it to another level. This is ultimate Zen living.
OLIVE TREE SUITE
Within the suite there is no shortage of nature, the centrepiece being an incredible 75-year-old olive tree standing proud in the middle of the room. The tree is open to the elements and so any weather type will be experienced intimately, yet the glass cuboid surrounding the tree creates a protective shield for the residents. So yes, you can lay in bed and watch the rain falling in the middle of your bedroom, without getting anything wet!.
At night, the beautiful old tree is gently illuminated to create an impressive and unique ambience that perfectly expresses the intention of bringing the outside in. This impressive feature also provides a natural flow to the room, subtly dividing the bedroom from the walk-in wardrobe area.
The wall behind the bed is a solid-stone, rock-face that delivers an additional natural and unique textural effect as does the Asian-inspired facing wall depicting softly shaded scenes from the Japanese mountains. The otherwise minimalist interior is equipped with a kingsize bed framed with suspended lighting, an armchair with a view, walk-in wardrobe and little else. This is a picturesque room high in the comfort and design stakes and low on clutter, the main feature being the olive tree delicately balanced and juxtaposed with man-made essentials.
A well-designed home optimises and utilises any existing attributes the property may have and the Garden Villa is the epitome of such innovation. For a home that was not graced with a view it could have been a difficult pill to swallow to be told that there was going to have to be a high, surrounding wall – however not when that wall becomes an integral part of the living space, delivers copious amounts of natural plants, and allows for an integrated indoor/outdoor lifestyle. And on top of that, looks incredible.
This exceptional design brings nature to the entire property as well as creating a view which wasn’t there in the first place. Designer Jason Harris explained the reasoning behind his conceptual solution to a home with no view.
“The inspiration for the Garden Villa concept comes from my conviction that there must be a solution to the problem of designing a house without good exterior views. Most people simply do not have the kind of views from a luxury dwelling that only a great deal of money can buy and many are overlooked by neighbours, or have partial views that are, in the end, unsatisfactory. This encouraged me to come up with a design concept that resolves this by internalising the view, so to speak.”
This design certainly employs nature as a prominent feature: the Zen-like gardens, red maple tree, open lounge and dining areas, vertical herb garden, flower and moss-covered roof, two-storey living green wall, open central courtyard with trees, bushes, and rockery, the trickling fountains, the extensive pool with seating, all making it almost impossible to determine whether you’re inside or out, the line between the two is imperceptible. The home is open-plan to the max, and there are niches and places to sit and enjoy the plethora of different angles and views throughout. Just atop the lava-esque surrounding wall you are met with the tip of a mountain and the upper halves of the surrounding trees, all adding to the natural elements encompassed by this concept.
The impeccable style and attention to detail within this home is jaw-dropping, it makes the absolute most of a relatively small space (for what you get within it) that wasn’t blessed with an uninterrupted view and so created its own internally.
All three homes in this feature were designed by UDesign and Developed by BRIGHT
BRIGHT offers Design & Build services, so if you’re looking for a plot to build your home on, or already have a plot and want to create a stunning one-of-a-kind home, contact the BRIGHT team on (+34) 648 981 111 or email: [email protected]