‘PRIVATE ISLANDS SIT AT THE PINNACLE OF THE LUXURY PROPERTY MARKET’
I s there a greater luxury than owning an island? Surely not. To have an entire, self-contained parcel of land to call your own (and to be responsible for safeguarding that little piece of the planet) could well be the ultimate achievement.
Private islands sit at the very pinnacle of the luxury property market. In our feature on page 30, Panna Munyal looks at some covetable options that are currently on the market, from the 11-acre Petra Island in New York State, to the 800-acre Lataro Island in the Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu, which is a steal for just under US$10 million (Dh36.7m).
We learn that the adage “less is more” is often applicable when it comes to island living, according to Chris Krolow, host of the HGTV show Island Hunters and chief executive of Private Islands Inc. As he points out: “If the acreage is massive, you’re not actually going to feel like you’re on an island – you may not even be able to see the water from your residence.”
What makes a private island so desirable goes far beyond its land mass or even its inherent promise of stunning topography and uninterrupted vistas. Islands are special because they offer an opportunity to retreat completely – a rarity in this hyperconnected, high-pressure, stress-infused age. You might still have Wi-Fi, but being on a body of land that is cut off from everything else has an immediate psychological effect, as anyone who has holidayed in the Maldives will probably attest.
An island of your own also allows you to reconnect with nature. And, perhaps best of all, it affords you complete and utter privacy, which could be the ultimate luxury for many. That is why a number of owners choose to keep their island abodes as uncomplicated as possible.
“Even when people have tons of money, they often keep their island homes simple because they are there to enjoy birdsong and sun sets,” Farhad Vladi, founder of Vladi Private Islands, tells us.
One man who does not keep his homes simple is interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who will be visiting the UAE to deliver a keynote speech at Downtown Design. The British-born, LA-based designer is a favourite with A-listers, and counts some of the world’s most fabulous (and, one would imagine, demanding) women among his clients, from Cher to Christina Aguilera, and Joan Collins to Sharon Osbourne. On page 26, Bullard tells us why Cher was “the ultimate design dream”, how Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have almost diametrically opposing tastes when it comes to interior design, and why he loves to introduce “Moroccan moments” into his homes.
Island or not, where we live, how we live and the things we choose to surround ourselves with are a reflection of who we are. Ultimately, a great interior is “a true extension of the owner’s style and tastes; a perfect window into their soul”, says Bullard.