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