- Article by Jan Henderson
Nestled in the heart of Seminyak, there is a villa that perfectly encapsulates the ideas of luxury and relaxation and stands out in design, form and function from the many homes that are located in this chic district of Bali. With the major thoroughfare of busy Jalan Raya Semanyak just a two-minute walk away, Villa Lansell is located in a most desirable area and is a hidden oasis far from the madding crowds of locals and tourists that live and visit the Indonesian island.
Villa Lansell was designed and completed by Ray and Sally Butler, Australians who live in Bali. The couple purchased the land some years ago and built their vision of their ideal home. They have extensive knowledge of creating homes and designing interiors – Sally as principal of Windsor House, a company that supplied furniture to the trade for many iconic interior projects, and Ray as a furniture importer and designer. In Villa Lansell they have used all their expertise to create a unique home in which to live and enjoy the local environment.
Villa Lansell has a spatial footprint of some 300 square metres and, cleverly, the four-bedroom home has been designed north to south to catch the east/west on- and offshore breezes that flow throughout the day and night.
The entrance to Villa Lansell is discreet. The large hand-carved timber doors open onto an 11.5-metre rectangular Sukabumi stone-lined pool that is both glamorous and dramatic, especially when lit at night. At the pool’s end an antique door has been reworked into a feature mirror and set above a traditional antique Javanese bench that showcases flat turquoise and white cushions (Sunbrella). This outstanding view upon entry sets the scene for the rest of the interior.
The colour palette throughout the two-level home is white and cream with turquoise, beige, chocolate and black highlights. Materiality is cool, with marble the stone of choice and rattan utilised in furniture.
Beside the pool the ground floor has been designed as open plan to make the most of the weather and the relaxed living experience. To the side of the pool are the kitchens, large living and dining areas and a powder room. One bedroom is set on this floor, positioned to the side of the entrance, with an en suite, an outside shower and a freestanding bath that has been set in a landscaped garden alcove.
This is an entertainer’s home that accommodates a crowd of people and so the inclusion of two kitchens ensures catering is an easy affair. The main island kitchen bench at the back of the floor plan has been clad in Emperador and Trotol marble and the monolith sits on a Trotol marble floor, which has been polished throughout the living areas and left raw around the pool. Adjoining the main kitchen is a wet kitchen cleverly hidden from view behind cultivated foliage.
The dining area in front of the island bench is spacious and features a glass-topped table with cream painted rattan base and chairs (vintage Maguire) for eight guests. Adjoining this space is the living area with sway-back lounge chairs (Grange) and two sofas (client’s own design), ottomans and coffee table, which have been positioned to create an intimate setting. The choice of turquoise fabric for the soft upholstery (Sunbrella) is striking and recurs throughout the furniture design on the ground floor.
Stairs lead to the upper storey and the master bedroom, en suite and dressing room. There is also a separate lounge with a bespoke 1.8-metre diameter pendant light (designed by the Butlers) and the furniture is vintage Grange. The third bedroom and its en suite are also located on this level, as well as another suite of rooms that can facilitate a bedroom or office. With a private entrance to the street these rooms can be utilised in a variety of ways – as a separate space for conducting business or another bedroom to accommodate guests or staff.
The large balcony that runs the length of the house allows for extensive views of the surrounding rooftops, sunsets and landscape as well as the turquoise water in the pool below.
On both floors there has been extensive landscaping that is both sensitive to the local environment and beautiful to the eye. Wherever there is space, banana trees have been planted, passion-fruit vines climb the walls and ferns flourish. This landscaping contributes to the cool aesthetic, but also helps to literally maintain lower temperatures.
Local art and objets have been used in every room, sometimes reimagined and redesigned in unusual ways. For example, the coffee table and the ottoman in the upstairs private lounge have been made from keranjang bebek, or duck baskets.
The baskets have been turned upside down, painted white and topped with glass for the coffee table or flat cushion for the ottomans.
The architecture of Villa Lansell is strong and simple with clean lines that complement the sophisticated and luxurious interior design. The villa is soon to be sold and the lucky buyer will be purchasing a slice of paradise that is all the more appealing as we approach winter in Australia.
Travel to Cognac with co-editor of inside, Jan Henderson.