We live in the lounge, however we name it, and that makes it the most important room in the house. We at BRIGHT have been writing about lounges for quite some time, and have decided to put together 10 of our best, all designed by the award-winning UDesign team. All different, but all with a common thread of architectural and interior design excellence, and all a joy to live in.
Article by Vivion O’Kelly
Here are our 10 top lounges:
The walls of glass in this lounge flood the room with natural light, while the vertical gardens flanking the huge onyx fireplace bring the outside in, as in most UDesign living spaces. The Zen Villa is exactly what it says, with its open interior garden accessed only from the lounge, the two entities separated by Zen-like stepping stones over still water with fountain, water lilies, rocks, bamboo and Koi fish, out of which rises a red maple tree.
The warm and soft furniture sits low against the high ceiling, while the wood panelling framing the window area on the outside lends a touch of warmth to the cool marble floors and fireplace inside. This is truly a lounge for pleasant contemplation.
Penthouse Nueva Andalucia
Although not immediately evident, the lounge of this stunning penthouse, inspired by the classic luxury Manhattan duplex, is the central part of an open-plan space that includes a kitchen and dining area. As in the Zen Villa, the light floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows, highlighting the spots of bright colour in the cushions against the contrasting grey and white tones of the walls, solid wood stairs and window surrounds. The formality of straight lines in the architecture is broken by the varying heights of the pentagonal shaped ceiling lights, creating a space for relaxed conversation in exquisite surroundings.
Serenity by name, serenity by design. Inside or out? Hard to tell, because sitting in this lounge is as close as one can get to sitting in the natural surroundings of the villa itself. The walls of glass soar above the low seating area, drawing inside the carefully designed garden.
Sparkling white is the predominant colour, accentuated by the simple black coffee table and the dark blue of the lights overhead, and the black window frames define the entire glassed area. In this villa, the concept of outdoor/indoor living is almost brought to an extreme, but it works in a beautiful and poetic way that invites us to be there.
Seigneur de la Ville, Queen Bee of Manhattan. This magnificent penthouse lounge is top notch for the top notch, a contemporary design in a faux-baroque/contemporary style that will seal any deal. The high glass walls are an invitation to linger longer over the sprawling city below, as good a view by night as by day. The architecture is classic big-city American (Lloyd Wright would have loved it), and the interior design is cool, sophisticated and beautiful. Nothing off the rack here: the furniture is designer and the fittings have been made to fit this space and no other. The Manhattan Suite lounge is the perfect combination of simplicity, modernity, elegance and tradition, all in one.
The design of this Mediterranean villa is based around a central atrium with a hanging oriental garden, and its beautiful lounge occupies most of the ground floor. Lounges, to be more exact, because a lounge being a place to relax in, there is more than one such space here. A large space with two separate main seating areas, linked visually by the Asian aesthetic of less being more, and the wonderful atrium full of Bonsai trees and hanging plants, bringing nature right into the home. The space is extremely functional as a family lounge where all family members and friends can gather together without being stuck together.
The formal lounge area in Villa Andaluz is drawn on the floor by the black lines in the carpet, enclosing a space that is defined architecturally by the high minimalist fireplace. The main seating in the lounge is a long purple sofa, traditional in design and contrasting with the contemporary coffee tables in front.
This is all about contrast and colour against a white architectural structure, with access to the rest of the villa in all directions making the space central – although not actually the centre – to the entire floor plan. In a way, this is a lounge without walls, an island of peace and relaxation in a vast open ground-floor area that can only exist naturally in the context of an Andalucian villa.
105 Marbella Hills
This vibrantly coloured and sophisticated villa, filled with many of the best artworks in the world, is for the owner who has seen it all and still likes to party. But also likes to relax in a relatively traditional lounge that is also in keeping with the eclectic architecture and interior design of the rest of the villa. Structurally simple, with natural light flooding in from tall windows all around, the carpeted area makes a place to hide in plain sight in, while other family members and guests make use of the many other seating areas in the vast property, not least of which is a magnificent outdoor lounge area at the far side of the pool, complete with its own fireplace.
The Villa Nuraya lounge could be described as an art gallery masquerading as a lounge, or vice versa, depending on one’s point of view, quite apart from the fact that the space itself is an entity of exceptional beauty. But putting aside the art for a moment, we see a quite unusual crimson sofa on one side, reminiscent of a piece of soft seventies sculpture, in front of a long low slab that is a coffee table, flanked at each end by rounded ochre/yellow armchairs, all sitting in isolated glory beneath a very high ceiling and gardens on both sides; one interior and one exterior.
The minimalist stairway is in itself another work of sculpture. The end wall is splattered with giant gold and silver coloured blobs in a seemingly haphazard way, but nothing in this lounge has been put there by chance, and certainly not the fluttering cloud of gold leaves that hangs from the ceiling, which is, of course, a very beautiful and creative chandelier.
Vista Lago Residences
All 18 of the Vista Lago Residences have been designed and built individually, and in most cases, to specific clients’ taste, so it is, perhaps, difficult to show what they all look like. But we can state that all are open-plan, and all conform to the non-conformity of great creative design. That means attention to both detail and overall concept. All villas are guaranteed to have uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean below, and beyond, and these views can be enjoyed from the lounge as much as from its extension onto the front terrace in each property.
Inside, the architecture is minimalist, with clean straight lines and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass as windows and doors. This provided the interior designers with a clean canvas upon which to work, and while some villas have somewhat colourful and exuberant interiors, others are more muted. The images we show here speak louder than words. Good interior design is pretty and decorative. Great interior design is an art form, and that has been achieved here.
For more information on Vista Lago Residences, visit our information page.
The view from across the pool looking into the formal lounge in Villa Alcuzcuz takes the breath away. The beauty of the furniture and its layout is accentuated by the extremely high ceiling, extending up two floors, and the lighting becomes an imposing design element in itself, even in broad daylight when the natural light creates mottled patterns on the tall mural in the centre of the room.
To say that this is all about the view from inside out would be wrong: the views are certainly important, but just as beautiful is the view from the outside in. The tall symmetry here is majestic, making this a space that explains perfectly why the villa has won important international design awards. Unfortunately for some, Villa Alcuzcuz has recently been sold.
All architecture and interior design in this feature is by UDesign, developed by BRIGHT.