Har­mo­nious Union

Na­ture and mod­ern de­sign marry in the Bali home of per­sonal stylist Sena Hus­band, writes Madeleine Ross

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - FRONT PAGE -

Na­ture and mod­ern de­sign marry in the Bali home of per­sonal stylist Sena Hus­band

Bali holds a spe­cial place in Sena Hus­band’s heart. It was here that she fell in love with Paul Hus­band, and here that the two tied the knot in 2014. Bali’s al­lur­ing shores have lured them back for reg­u­lar re­ju­ve­na­tion and rem­i­nisc­ing ever since. It’s of lit­tle sur­prise, then, that the cou­ple chose Bali as the site of their new dream home.

Set on more than 32,000 square feet of lush jun­gle ter­rain in Canggu in North Kuta, Villa Suami is an ode to family, na­ture and 20th-cen­tury modernism. De­signed by ar­chi­tect Felipe Gon­za­les of Sukyf & Ar­chi­tects, the open-plan home com­bines ce­ment, wood and stone, and fea­tures large in­door and out­door spa­ces that merge into one main liv­ing space. “We love their aes­thetic as they have a beau­ti­ful way of pay­ing trib­ute to clas­sic de­sign philoso­phies while in­te­grat­ing mod­ern lines and lux­u­ries,” Sena says of Sukyf. “The out­come is el­e­gant with an un­mis­take­able sense of in­tegrity and qual­ity.”

Turning the 10,700-square-foot villa into a home was no sim­ple feat. Sena de­scribes the project as a “tough mis­sion,” as the site is sur­rounded by a pro­tected green­belt and pierced by a river. In­stead of im­pos­ing their will on the wild land­scape, Sena and Paul Hus­band, a spe­cial­ist in re­tail real es­tate, wanted their home to complement the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

The river is now a fo­cal point of their home, run­ning not only through the ex­pan­sive gar­dens, but also through the villa be­tween the bed­rooms on the ground floor. “It is thought to be very aus­pi­cious in Ba­li­nese cul­ture to have a river run­ning through the home,” says Sena. The green­belt, too, is now one of their favourite fea­tures. “The view from ev­ery corner of the house is lush and of­fers a true sense of pri­vacy,” she notes. This rev­er­ence for na­ture con­tin­ues in­side the home, which is punc­tu­ated with nu­mer­ous large-scale Ja­panese bon­sai trees and show­cases a liv­ing wall of green­ery on the ground floor.

“The view from ev­ery corner of the house is lush and of­fers a true sense of pri­vacy”

When they con­cep­tu­alised Villa Suami, Sena and Paul were adamant that it should feel not like a hol­i­day house, but a home. “It was built to be lived in,” says Sena. “It wasn’t built for the pur­pose of rent­ing, or sell­ing, or with any other pur­pose in mind ex­cept to serve as a liv­ing space for a family. And it does so beau­ti­fully.”

When her young twins aren’t at school, they’ll be here. “I think it is spe­cial to have a reg­u­lar place to re­turn to grow­ing up, so our twins can build their mem­o­ries and friend­ships here. And for Paul and my­self, we love to travel, but we also love the sense of com­ing home to this spe­cial place at the same time ev­ery year.”

Sena’s per­sonal styling and shop­ping busi­ness takes her all around the world. The ma­jor­ity of her clients—so­cialites, celebri­ties and high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als— are based in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Lon­don. When she’s not deal­ing with clients face to face, how­ever, she loves the idea of work­ing from the villa. “There is a gor­geous of­fice on the prop­erty that will be a great way for us to be able to adopt a more mod­ern ‘re­mote ac­cess’ work­ing style. We both be­lieve that it is the fu­ture and that the con­ven­tional of­fice com­mute is evolv­ing. So this will be both a chal­lenge and test of this new style for us.”

The villa’s in­te­rior spa­ces are as dy­namic as its ex­te­rior. De­signed by Span­ish artist Mer­suka Dopazo, who is the wife of the villa’s ar­chi­tect Felipe Gon­za­les, the decor fea­tures

works of art, pre­cious ob­jects and cus­tom­made fur­ni­ture. “She has brought so much life to this home with her abil­ity to use the home as her can­vas,” Sena says of Dopazo. “The syn­ergy of this cou­ple’s tal­ents is very much the rea­son why the ar­chi­tec­ture, art and in­te­ri­ors all come to­gether so beau­ti­fully in this home.”

When it came to de­cid­ing on the decor, Dopazo was adamant that “all the colours, tex­tures, ma­te­ri­als and fur­ni­ture were in con­so­nance with the art.” Villa Suami’s walls are pep­pered with works by In­done­sian artists such as Story Kri­jono, I Gusti Agung Ke­tut Wi­ranata, Asep Loka, Bra­masto and Su­darso, as well as street artists from around the world. “The home is there­fore a very artis­tic space where ev­ery day you dis­cover some­thing new in the dif­fer­ent paint­ings. All of them to­gether re­ally bring the house to life,” says Sena.

Ev­ery piece of fur­ni­ture has its own story, hav­ing been bought in In­dia or de­signed es­pe­cially for the space. Take the patch­work Batik rugs in the bed­rooms, for in­stance. Dopazo stitched to­gether pieces of an­tique In­done­sian tex­tiles to cre­ate 6x5-me­tre “car­pets.” “These rugs ground each room and give them so much char­ac­ter,” adds Sena.

The heart of this home is cer­tainly the ex­pan­sive kitchen, which opens onto the gar­den and pool area via large slid­ing glass doors. Sena rel­ishes morn­ings sit­ting at the large din­ing ta­ble with a cof­fee, ob­serv­ing life go­ing on in and out­side the house. “Gath­er­ing for family meals is al­ways a spe­cial time. And this is where we usu­ally come to­gether to see what is be­ing cooked up and pre­pared for us, or to pop in for a snack, so it feels like a warm fo­cal point of the home.”

A good home pro­vides se­cu­rity, com­fort and a sense of warmth, but a truly spe­cial home ig­nites the imag­i­na­tion. “This home makes me feel free and in­vig­o­rated,” says Sena. “It is an in­spir­ing space that can re-en­er­gise you and awaken your ap­petite for life in such a full and di­verse way.”

Pho­tog­ra­phy Jaume al­bert marti

Cou­ple’s Re­sort De­signed in­side and out by a hus­ban­dand-wife team, the Villa Suami cap­tures the en­ergy of a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship

Sleek Aes­thet­ics The res­i­dence is no­table for its mul­ti­tude of airy, light-filled spa­ces that im­bue the home with calm­ness

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