Amber Developments: Bringing Bali to Ibiza without leaving the island
Creating a tranquil paradise was the brief for the latest project by Ibiza project management company Amber Developments. To take a previously unused area at the rear of a beautifully redeveloped finca in Ibiza, and transform it into a tranquil lush paradise – within budget parameters, with time restraints and without importing any decor and pieces from overseas. Sound tricky? If anyone in Ibiza could make it happen, it had to be Gray Gillot – Amber Developments founder and director (click here to view previous successful projects).
With an area around 150 metres square, the space to be redeveloped was quite small by Balinese standards, where usually you’d find plenty of open spaces, high canopies and tropical gardens, but with clever bespoke furniture design, using dark colours and tropical wood and stone elements, the effect was achieved on a smaller scale, to a perfect ratio. Today, the space incorporates many niches and hideaway spaces including a large day bed, covered pergola, outdoor seating and a meeting area, a yoga deck, a river running along the main pathway, a table tennis and pool table area, two large sun loungers and even a vegetable patch, yet feels spacious and free flowing throughout.
A common misconception in Ibiza is that you need to import Indonesian day beds, pergolas and furnishings via a large shipping container – a complicated process that can take many months, not to mention middlemen or trips to Bali yourself to select the pieces. With this project, where time was of the essence, Gray Gillot has proven that it is indeed possible to bypass this process by custom-designing his own furniture and decor, and having it made right here on the island by skilled tradesmen and joiners – under his watchful and expert eye. Each and every piece of wood was sourced here in Ibiza – using oroco and almond wood, that has been doused and treated with special mouldings and carvings to achieve that authentic and exotic look.
Working alongside Ibiza landscaping experts Terravita on the placement of very established, large leaf plants in the garden to create a lush, dense look, Gray also designed and implemented a small river-like stream that runs beneath the central pathway. Using micro cement and volcanic Indonesian slab paving stepping stones add to the area’s look of authenticity, with plenty of curved lines and textured surfaces adding to the feeling of zen. By night, the area is illuminated with soft, atmospheric and moody lighting – a dramatically beautiful transformation after dark.
The entire project, from concept to completion, spanned a swift four-month period (faster than waiting for a container of furniture from Bali!) prior to the start of the Ibiza summer season in 2015, with the design evolving organically as the project unfolded. The overall result is a totally peaceful, blissful space – with the sound of plants rustling in the breeze and water flowing, it is a long way from Ibiza, without the owners ever having to leave their own backyard.