A Home in Harmony


It is
rare to find a family home that is both chic and comfortable, an elegant abode
that also encompasses the needs of a bustling household. 

But it
is fair to say this house, located in the stunning surrounds of Vista Del Mar,
is out of the ordinary.  

owners, who asked to retain their privacy, bought the sprawling home in 2006 to
accommodate their family of six. With spectacular views of North Sound, ample
space for the children to grow, and enough distance from the frantic pace of
George Town, it was the ideal location for the family. Yet, the house’s initial
configuration did not suit the owners’ needs. So, in 2008, the couple began a
renovation process that lasted two years. It was an arduous process, but the
family could not be happier with the final result. 

house gave us the nuts and bolts, it had the foundations that we could build
on,” the owner explains, as she relaxes on the back terrace that overlooks the waterways of North Sound. “After going through
[Hurricane] Ivan, we didn’t want to start from scratch. We completely changed
the front exterior of the house, added this back outdoor area as well as a wing
with two extra bedrooms. It was a very extensive and detailed refurbishment,
which is why it took so long.” 

it came to the façade of the home, the owners took their cue from
Caribbean-inspired architecture while still conforming to Vista Del Mar’s Mediterranean aesthetic. The aim was to create a home
that captured the warmth of island living. Indeed, the house is visually
stunning, with rich golden hues that reflect this marriage of inspirations;
bubbling fountains frame the front porch, further enhancing the casual

wanted to get away from that Floridian-Mediterranean look, and instead use
touches of the Caribbean,” the owner explains. “I wanted it to be very
charming. It feels really wholesome and really quiet here.” 

the house strikes the right balance for the family, with an atmosphere of
relaxed sophistication. A chic living room, with floor to ceiling windows, is
ideal for entertaining; the soothing neutral palette is punctuated by bursts of
muted colour, in the decorative cushions and salmon-hued silk rug. Adjoining
the living room is an elegant dining space, where the owners host dinner
parties and family get-togethers. The space reflects the owners’ love of Asian
influences; the dining table chairs are covered in a striking, Eastern-inspired
print. In fact, the owner loved the design so much that she commissioned Karoly
Szücs, of Artisan Metal Works, to create railings for the upstairs balcony,
based on the same pattern.  

“I had
the idea [of converting the pattern into balcony rails],” she says. “Karoly
brought it to life.” 

sprawling, state-of-the-art kitchen underwent considerable renovations and is
now one of the most unique spaces in the house. Initially, the kitchen was not
big enough for the couple’s needs, but rather than completely remodeling the
area, they decided to work with the space to create a kitchen ideal for a large

kitchen was quite a dark space, because the cabinets are in a dark wood. It
needed brightening,” the owner says. “We added new cabinets, which replicated
the style of the existing cabinets, in a lighter wood tone, and we created a
divider between the kitchen and dining room. The divider is a practical
solution because it has a lot of storage, but it means we can close off the
dining room for events. 

kitchen is lovely in the evening because I can cook and there is enough room
for everyone to be around.” 

most striking feature of the kitchen is a tiled mural of a phoenix, situated
above the gas stove top. The vivid colours of the phoenix, in dazzling greens,
oranges, reds and yellows, immediately capture the eye and add a mystical
element to the kitchen.  

represent eternal life and it adds a lot of colour to the space,” explains the
owner. “It’s my favourite feature in the house.” 

Asian-inspired influences are evident throughout the house, reflecting the
owner’s childhood spent in Singapore. The owner says she did not have a
specific design scheme in mind, describing the interiors as “modern”, but rather
wanted to create a warm yet sophisticated space that accommodated the family.
To this end, the interiors feature many sentimental items, including works from
local artist, Renate Seffer, and a large Buddha that originated in Hong Kong.  

design concept was a gradual process,” she says. “I love creating calm and I
want the look of the house to keeping changing. We didn’t want a look that we
would tire of. We don’t like too much clutter. 

“As a
child living in Singapore, I have a lot of memories of that area and I am
really comfortable with that culture,” she continues. “I wanted to incorporate
these elements into the home because they create tranquillity.” 

family room, also on the first floor, is the most relaxed space of the house,
with a huge, multi-coloured lounge in shades of bright orange, pink and purple,
which practically radiates with comfort. The owner preferred the playfulness of
the space, which also features towering bookshelves and a children’s craft
table, to the formality of a proper cinema room.  

didn’t want to have a cinema room and now I’m very glad we didn’t use permanent
sofas,” she explains. “So many people comment on the sofa, and it’s perfect for
the family. It is a favourite room of mine because it just has so much energy.” 

the family’s love of the water and of entertaining is palpable. A large terrace
overlooks the swimming pool and canal, where the family’s boat is docked, and
sumptuous lounges provide plenty of space to enjoy the view. Shades of blue and
green create a sense of calm. The area features an outdoor kitchen, where the
children often host barbecues for friends, and a stunning outdoor shower, based
on the same Asian-inspired pattern of the balcony railings, which was also
designed by Karoly. 

husband wanted this area to be his own,” the owner explains, as she gestures to
the sun-dappled patio, which is equipped with retractable motorised screens,
which protect against tropical insects, and electronic misters that provide
relief from the summer heat. “It was a lot of work [to renovate the area], but
we’re so glad we did it. We love to spend time out here and use the area as
much as we can. The kids love to bring their friends here.” 

abode truly meets the needs of both the adults and the children. While the
house brims with beauty and rich detail, it retains a welcoming feel in which
no area is out of bounds. Three years after moving in, the family could not be

home is a representation of the family,” the owner says. “There is respect. The
kids have their space and they respect our space. It has been a perfect house
for our family.” 

luxury and a laidback lifestyle; the ideal family home.   


With spectacular views of
North Sound, ample space for the children to grow, and enough distance from the
frantic pace of George Town, it was the ideal location for the family


A large terrace overlooks
the swimming pool and canal, where the family’s boat is docked, and sumptuous
lounges provide plenty of space to enjoy the view


Home in Harmony

Stephen Clarke