EDICIÓN: August - October 2012

Luxury in design

Text: Cat Weisweiller





 
Despite the difficult financial climate, it is heartening to see the luxury housing market continuing to prosper. IbiCASA caught up with Diederik van Maren, who is in the process of designing and selling 12 x c.1000 m² individually designed 6/7 bedroom luxury villas – all with 1600 m² outside spaces and private pools – and set within a walled community with 24-hour security. The scheme, which is the first of its kind here, is called DITA Estate. We were curious, through the eyes of this project, to explore what the latest list in luxury actually is:
 
SECURITY
DITA Estate is the first closed community on the island to have laser-triggered security systems and 24-hour security guard with a direct line to each household – meaning that no one will pass through its gate without an ID check and direct verification with the house owner. “This is not to say that Ibiza has a reputation for being particularly high in crime, but, for anyone, the peace of mind of knowing that they can leave their home unattended (whether briefly or for extended periods) without the slightest worry of it being violated, is definitely one of life’s greatest luxuries.”
 
LOCATION
“Everyone is different, and has their own feel for what location would be ideal for them. In Ibiza particularly, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the luxury of open space and stunning nature everywhere. In our case, we’ve chosen an area outside Jesús with views to the old town and sea one way, views into the campo the other. For some, the greatest luxury is living privately with no neighbours at all. However, to reach the level of security and ongoing maintenance we offer, that would take things to a whole new budgetary level. By combining the resources of 12 luxury villas, whilst ensuring that no one looks the same as another, we are looking to achieve a middle ground of more affordable luxury.”
 
LANDSCAPING
“In our wonderful climate, outside design is as important as internal design. With each outdoor area, we’ve opted for a Mediterranean feel with plenty of palm trees, flora and the added luxury of irrigated lawns. Not to mention two pools per household – one of which runs straight off the master bedroom, leading to an outdoor spa – the ultimate in luxury…”
 

 
ARCHITECTURE
“Nowadays, people look for modern and spacious designs that are still practical and homely – tailored to suit both the summer and winter months here. To me, true luxury, and thus the greatest priority, is creating a space that you never feel to leave.”
 
UTILITIES, FIXTURES AND FITTINGS
“Naturally, things like under floor heating and air conditioning are viewed as luxurious commodities. Not to mention reputable brand name designs like: Bulthaup kitchens, Gaggenau equipment and Steinberg rain showers – with shower heads that span up to 80 cm. in width.”
 
MATERIALS
“In our designs, we personally view luxury as keeping Ibicencan authenticity in all we do, favouring natural stone flooring and walls over imported marbles and stoneware. However, with any wood used, the price directly reflects its durability, fire resisting capacity and aesthetic quality – making this area of luxury one that affords itself no compromise. In our case, we only use ipe wood from South America.”
 

 
LIGHTING
“LED lighting – Philips being one of the leading brands – is a must-have in luxury modern design. Plus, as it’s lower in energy consumption and longer lasting, it is in fact far more environmentally-friendly and cost effective than standard lighting.”
 
HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEMS
“Domotics systems – a central computerised pad from whence all lights and electrical devices are programmed and controlled – are also expected of any luxury house nowadays. This automated theme stretches to having remote control devices for opening/closing curtains and controlling every other imaginable electrical gadget in the home.”
 
SOUND SYSTEMS
“Sound systems are a must in luxury design – Bose being a big favourite – with both centrally and locally controlled speaker systems in every room, so that music can be piped through to wherever you are at any given time.”
 

 
SERVICES
“I would say that the ultimate in luxury is not only being surrounded by said luxury, but affording its ongoing maintenance – something that is so often overlooked in people’s forward budgetary planning. For instance, at DITA Estate, pool and garden maintenance, housekeeping services, villa maintenance, postal delivery and daily rubbish collection from the door will all be managed centrally and included in a monthly service charge. Not only are these bulk contracts more economical in the long run, but it also takes away the hassle of finding and managing your own individual contractors, and – with thorough security checks for just a chosen few – reduces any security risk of lesser known outsiders accessing, and even casing, the estate. Carefree enjoyment – what could be more luxurious than that?“ •