Amber Developments – Expertly executed outdoor spaces
The outdoor space of a luxury villa, encompassing the gardens, spectacular views and swimming pool is generally the jewel in the crown of any Ibiza property, and this Mediterranean-inspired pool area is definitely a prized gem for its owners. The brief was to create a self-contained, user-friendly space, both visually impressive and completely functional, with a relaxed vibe and Ibicenco look.
Designed and project managed by island specialist Gray Gillot of Amber Developments, the area combines pleasure and serenity, creating the perfect alfresco space for lounging by the pool on hot summer days, a hub for entertaining and cooking on those starlit Balearic nights, and a private space to dance and party late into the night on special occasions.
Outside the imposing traditional Ibicenco style main entrance gates stand two rugged stone out-buildings. These classic style structures are a key design feature within the project, masking a multitude of modern necessities such as technical pumps, irrigation and essential storage inside farmhouse style buildings – think pool house meets ancient architecture.
The ornate oroco wood gates certainly make an impression – a deep mahogany colour and extraordinarily thick, it’s not unlike opening the gates to a medieval castle before stepping into paradise. Cast on wrought iron to stop the wood buckling in the island’s humid climate, the gate is lovingly handmade, burnt and beaten to create an aged look, then finished with antique fixtures and fittings.
Stepping through the gates into the beautiful pool area, the gorgeous garden comes into focus. Bonsai olive trees point invitingly, creating a centreline and drawing visitors toward the tranquil waters of the swimming pool or to lounge on the palatial daybeds beyond. Created in mainland Spain, the wooden pagoda structure is lined with rich fabric and ample cushioning, making it perfect for lounging and watching the world go by while taking respite from the glorious Ibiza sun.
Astro-turf is found underfoot in typical lawn green – at first glance, the faux grass effect is not obvious. “In all of our designs we try to optimise form and function,” explains Gray. “This astro turf is the most authentic available and in the arid climate it provides a stylish, low maintenance solution to the real thing, whilst considering the current water shortage crisis in Ibiza.”
A bar area inspired by Gray’s favourite chilled out hippy sunset bar, Kumharas sits in one corner, where a central stone tower houses a DJ booth (which can also be transformed into a spare room). A crescent moon bar, made from a patchwork of olive, sabina and carob, polished to a high-gloss finish that contrasts with the earthy textures of wood that surrounds the space is guaranteed to be the hive of social parties in summer. Sabina timbers extend from the central stone hub, creating a relaxed bar area with distinctive features including Hendricks bottle light shades – it appears the bar has already been in full swing! The whole outdoor area is complemented with surround sound speakers, perfect for relaxed daytime tunes, or pumping up the volume for a private party.
Behind the pool, an outdoor shower and toilet are once again disguised within an old stable – a completely new structure that has been built to look like a crumbling old corral in keeping with the aesthetic of the entrance area. Built from local piedra, the rich terracotta stone hewn from the ground during the base build, it exudes classic Ibicenco character. Around the pool, a selection of daybeds and sunloungers, made with grape vines from Borneo look extremely inviting.
The outdoor kitchen makes entertaining guests a piece of cake. Marinate and slow cook the best quality meat, fish or vegetarian treats on the huge coal BBQ, with a huge ceramic sink nearby for the lucky ones who draw the short straw for washing up! The open plan dining creates real warmth and a family feel with an impressive pine cut table with Sabina legs as the focal point. Another Amber Developments project expertly executed in time for the summer season.