Ibiza living: Amber Developments – Reinventing Can Basso
Amber Developments boast a well-deserved reputation as the company who delivers effective project management when it comes to villa redesign and development in Ibiza. Known for the ability for fast-tracking results, working precisely to a brief, ensuring maximum efficiency onsite and sourcing the highest possible craftsmanship and materials means Gray Gillot and his team are an asset to anyone looking to breathe new life into an Ibiza property.
Can Basso is a recently completed project that ticked all the above boxes. The six-bedroom villa, set on a lush hillside in San Jose, was purchased as a holiday home by its UK-based owner, who wanted to inject his own style and personality into the property, while also updating some of the more tired elements hailing from its original construction. The house itself needed a major overhaul – needing all-new tiling, flooring, plumbing, interiors and bathrooms, plus contemporary treatments to bring its traditional hacienda style aesthetic up to date with current trends.
Amber Developments finalised the redesign of the project and the budget, based on the client’s brief to modernise and update, within four weeks, and then it was action all stations, with the aim to have Can Basso ready for summer 2017. In March, Amber Developments enlisted the services of five subcontractors to work simultaneously on the property, ensuring its timely completion. “This is how we were able to get the job done so quickly,” explains Gray, who was onsite to make sure everything ran smoothly and each team could do their jobs without running into any issues with others, while his client was travelling extensively with his own work.
An external contractor was called upon to transform the exterior, re-paving all the walkways and external surfaces, installing an all-new barbecue area and refitting the pool. An internal fit-out contractor worked on all the interior finishes such as floorings, plastering and joinery, while a plumbing contractor took care of heating, insulation and water services. Electricians were in charge of air conditioning and all general electrics, and finally, a joinery expert was commissioned to create and install striking purpose-built furniture, wardrobes and cupboard doors.
And while you’d think organising five teams onsite daily would be the biggest challenge on a project of this size, Gray says it was the logistics of getting all the materials needed to the site that proved most difficult. “The house is accessed via a tiny little camino,” he explains. “We had around 40 lorries of materials we’d ripped out of the old site to dispose of… that was tricky!” And for everything that was removed from the house, there would need to be replacement materials brought in, requiring serious logistics work to guarantee its success.
Standout elements at Can Basso include stone flooring imported from Egypt, a polished terrazzo tile that looks like an almost seamless layer of cream terrazzo flooring and the custom-designed barbecue area that harks back to traditional Ibicenco design elements. Much of the sanitary and plumbing materials were imported from the UK due to the extensive, more cost-effective selections available there, while anything else was sourced locally utilising Amber Developments suppliers list.
“My client had a very good eye for detail,” says Gray of the interior decorating process. “Much of the furniture was his own, or chosen by him for the redesign.” The style is contemporary, fitting perfectly with the new modern finishes of each room. Low-slung sofas in muted colour palettes are offset with patterned cushions and striking bronze wall lamps and statement chairs, while wooden detailing contrasts with sleek tiled floors and contemporary lighting.
Outside, the finishing touches were put in by a well-known UK garden designer, who used succulents and cacti to enhance the home’s established Mediterranean garden – the perfect solution to adding beauty while also reducing the need for maintenance during Ibiza’s current water crisis. Surrounded by tall trees and lush green mountains, the feeling of being surrounded by nature is abundant.
Just four months after the contractors entered Can Basso, the project was completed in June 2017 – just in time to celebrate the beginning of its new life as a summer home. Completely reinvented, the villa is a testament to the design skills of Amber Developments, and its execution yet another example of their ability to get the job done, on time, on budget and to the highest possible standards.