Art for Art's sake

Submitted by admin on 2012/08/20 02:15:32 PM
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Villa Art Rattanathep

Some private villas in Asia offer far more than a luxury pad by the sea — they provide a chance to immerse yourself in artistic brilliance.

When you think of the perfect beach break, the colours and images that fill your mind's eye are generally indigo, crimson and tan (and various other shades of sand, sea and sky). It's not too surprising then that even in the most opulent private oceanside residences, practical design considerations tend to take priority over interior magnificence, with open plan minimalism making obvious sense to take advantage of the views and allow for barefoot drifters to pad around the property in their swimmers. In Southeast Asia's top resort destinations however, even the most contemporary private rental villas pay respect to their location in terms of architectural features and interior accessories. Towering Thai-style pinnacled roofs, carved Balinese bales and liberal smatterings of colourful fabrics and embroidery are all popular touches to bring a hint of Asia to the stay, and in some cases, owners just can't resist decorating their properties with wall art, statues and artefacts collected from around the region. Staying in one of these artistic residences is definitely a bonus for anyone with an appreciation eye for fine design. What's more, you can borrow a few ideas, then head out to buy some of your pieces to take back and enhance your own home.

Classics in the Thai Gulf

Although Koh Samui tends to cater more to contemporary design tastes, a handful of villas stand out of their heritage appeal. Tassana Pra is definitely one of the island's most striking Thai style villas where teak wood interiors and antique collection of antiques create an atmosphere of colonial splendour, with furniture and original art purchased by the owners in Thailand, Burma and China. Beautiful touches like restored teakwood desks and cabinets, carved four-poster beds and delicate, bejewelled picture frames make you feel like a royal guest. Another unique private residence is Villa M, a 3-storey holiday home in the heart of Bophut Fosherman's Village that has been thoughtfully furnished in an intimate colonial Asian style, with antiques and artwork from Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and of course, Thailand. The eclectic mix of collectables brings to mind a glorious past, but the heritage appeal is also juxtaposed with a range of distinctly modern luxuries and high-end home technology, offering guests a cool balance of traditional and contemporary comfort. Equally enchanting, Baan Rattana Thep offers up an eclectic mix of influences, both ancient and modern, with original works of art, hand-picked antiques and reconditioned teak furniture to complement its sophisticated amenities. Recognisable influences from a variety of countries in Asia create an inspired sense of location and the sheer variety of decor and furnishings on display makes for a uniquely creative beach retreat.

Andaman Creations

Over on Phuket, Villa Yin was actually built as a kind of residential gallery to house its French owner's private art collection. Every room demands attention; the walls are adorned with everything from giant paintings by contemporary Chinese artists to Andy Warhol's legendary portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Even the furniture looks like it was created for an avant-garde exhibition, but the contemporary show stoppers are also subtly juxtaposed with ancient Buddha statues to keep you grounded in Asia. On the mainland side of the Sarasin Bridge in delightfully untroubled Natai Beach, Villa Malee Sai is one of the more recent stunning contemporary villas to grace the Andaman beachfront scene. Located within the expansive Sava Estate, the villa's luxurious modern furnishings share space with fine oriental touches such as authentic wooden cabinetry and writing desks, hand picked Eurasian art and artefacts

The Essence of Bali

Many of the villas on Bali feature strong elements of the local design culture, mixed in with splashes of island heritage. Particularly wonderful examples include Villa Pangi Gita in Cangguu, where the owner’s impressive collection of Asian antiques and original furnishings offers a singular sense of distinctive style. Then there's Villa Sungai Tinggi, which offers a rare glimpse of traditional Balinese luxury and is located right on the beach near the seaside village of Pererenan. Local materials like timber and coral beautifully frame a galleryesque collection of hand-selected art, which is displayed throughout the residence and includes striking antique artefacts and weavings that bring the island's artistic legacy to life. Staying in a villa bedecked in fine art and collectables may not appeal to everyone, particularly those with boisterous youngsters or an urge to party without restraint, but the pleasure of creative surroundings is definitely a bonus for anyone with an appreciation of aesthetics. Even with nature competing for impression points, hand-crafted beauty can still inspire and soothe you, especially on holiday, when you have he time and freedom to enjoy art and creativity simply because its there.     by LVH Marketing