Benahavís: a bedroom, and much more, with a view
A comprehensive rebuild of a tired, traditional house has produced a clean, contemporary home, finished to exacting standards, that benefits from stunning views over the surrounding area down to the sea.
Susanna Jones has lived in El Paraíso Alto in Benahavís for 15 years, in a home she and her husband built, and was walking around her neighbourhood one day when she noticed a house for sale.
It had four small rooms on the ground floor, with another two upstairs that opened on to a terrace, all overshadowed by pine trees that occupied most of the plot and all of the view.
“It was a traditional home,” she says. “It had carpet, but no pool, no terrace, and no garden.”
The first thing Susanna did was cut the trees back, “opening up a beautiful view,” and freeing up her vision of what could be done to transform a tired, older property into a luxurious, modern home.
Working closely with Lidia Ramales and her brothers at Barme Architects Design, Susanna came up with a design featuring light-filled, airy spaces that are “semi-open-plan, but flow together.
“We stripped the house back, almost, to the shell and started again,” she explains.
As soon as you step inside, it’s all about views that reach to Gibraltar and Africa: “I wanted you to see the sea from the front door,” Susanna says, “and you can even enjoy the view when you’re doing the washing-up.”
The ground floor features a 13-metre sitting room, flooded with light from full-length glazing to three sides, that opens onto a terrace, complete with pergola, overlooking the pool.
This, in turn, leads into a dining area, adjacent to an island kitchen, with breakfast bar and Silestone surfaces, that is tucked away behind a wall, “so you can sit in the living room and not see the kitchen.”
There is a guest bedroom with its own bathroom on the lower level, while the other three en-suite bedrooms are upstairs, including a boutique-style master suite, with vaulted ceiling, free-standing resin bath, floor-to-ceiling windows, and to-die-for views.
The finish reflects Susanna’s eye for detail: “We selected the limestone from Portuguese quarries,” she recalls, “imported the bathrooms and put in underfloor heating, Kömmerling windows, and custom carpentry, like the pivoting front door.”
As a garden designer, Susanna had lots of ideas for outdoors, including planting two centennial olive trees at the side and rear of the house, to make the garden feel mature and consolidated.
“This is a safe and quiet community,” Susanna adds, “with good international schools, all the amenities, no community fees, and low taxes.”
Adam Neale | January, 2015