Magic in Marbella

As many of you know, Friday is normally At the Movies  but because I delayed my post intended for yesterday to include the wonderful Valentine’s selections from Assouline, I will be presenting that today. If I can, I will post an At the Movies entry over the weekend, especially since Oscars are fast approaching.

We are ever so slowly getting infinitesimal hints of spring. Even though there are still feet of snow on the ground, the days are getting minutes longer and the light just a hair brighter. With these encouraging hints, I was inspired to show you a house I’ve always admired in the lovely city of Marbella on the Costa del Sol. This house, in the hills above the city within a cork plantation, has spectacular views overlooking Gibraltar, Africa and the Ronda Hills. Built from scratch, it was designed by Hugh Henry of the well known and respected British firm Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi. Because the cork trees were protected, the house had to be sited around them, creating an intimate relationship between inside and out. The house is shaped like a cross with terraces surrounding on all sides and as you will see, the decor echoes the symmetry of the architecture. Here is the center hall running through the middle of the house, lit by a cupola

The decoration of the house, executed over 10 years ago, is as elegant and chic now as it was when new – a testament to the power of timeless design. Take for example the dining room. The Louis chairs with their faux suede front and checked backs, look totally contemporary.

And of course the exquisite de Gournay wallpaper is still a favorite of many

Although all the rooms are painted white, several are designed specifically to complement each other. Take for example the lovely light drawing room. Doesn’t that chandelier remind you a bit of the one in the Doyle auction?

The airy color scheme is in direct contrast to the darker more masculine design of the library. I adore everything about this room with all its fabulous tailored details – the gold inline on the dark bookcases, the busts, the amazing gigantic print. And that Claremont check is a fantastic graphic pop of color against the otherwise neutral coloration. You wouldn’t be surprised to see this room in a magazine now – great design stands the test of time!

The guest and master bedrooms are also studies in contrast. The guest bedroom is light and feminine with ornate references seen in the silver leaf bed and silk hangings.

The master is more austere with dark accents – the steel bed with simple cotton hangings, the painted bombé side tables and black framed prints. And did you see Joni’s post at Cote de Texas yesterday about the campaign beds? This would have fit right in.

The checks of the guest room are echoed in the charming bath

While the master is cool, elegant and sophisticated

There is a simple serving pantry with ample storage that accesses both the dining room

and the spectacular terraces that surround the house

All photographs by Simon Upton

Can’t you imagine lounging out here enjoying a glass of wine with some tapas? Hopefully soon we won’t have to travel to Marbella to do that!

47 thoughts on “Magic in Marbella

  1. What a beautiful home… I actually had to look through twice, just be sure I didn’t miss a thing! I really enjoy the care that has been taken in putting each space together—I would love to be transported to that blue bedroom—how heavenly it is… on the other hand, the library looks terribly inviting as well. Thank you for sharing this wonderful place with us…

    I hope you are having a great evening,

  2. This is a very beautiful house! A few years ago there was an article in, I might think, The World of Interiors, and I scanned all the pictures of it because I just loovveed this house! So thank you for reminding me about the house!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Gorgeous! reminds me of the many summers I spent in Marbella as a child, I don’t want to sound like a smart ass but Marbella is not an island it is on the Costa del sol, which is on the southern coast of mainland Spain.
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

  4. I could not agree more with you about great design stands the test of time. Still impressed about how many actual “trendy” Decó guidelines are just aggiornamentos of designs created a decade ago or more, watching this house interiors. Would you think that there’s a kind of repeated pattern, that every 20 years or so there’s a “refreshed” revival of the past trends? Thanks for this post, it was a pleasure reading it! Have a lovely weekend my dear. Xo

  5. What a terrific place. Each room is filled with designs that I have always wanted to do. Like the two banquettes on either side of the fireplace. I have always thought that was so smart.

  6. That’s why I love traditional homes. The ones that are made properly will last for decades and will not look outdated. Sure you can change this here and there, but classic design is the best in my opinion. Besides, you save money, because you don’t need to change things all the time.

    Lovely antiques… this house is full of charm!

    Have a great weekend, Q!


    Luciane at

    Post of the day: DEXTER INSPIRED DECOR. (warning: it’s creepy!!!) :-)

  7. This is my ideal home. Beautiful colors, balance, inviting and livable, but my favorite is the wallpaper….. have a great weekend Q!

  8. Now, that is a dream place! The elegance of every room is stunning. I would love to wake up in that bed and take my morning coffee on that terrace.

    Cheers to a fabulous weekend!
    xo Elizabeth

  9. Ahhhh, Marbella. I’ve always wanted to go. Once I heard Sean Connery had a place there it was one of my dream stops. One day. This is a beautiful home, beautiful post, Q. Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend. xx’s

  10. Yes, yes, yes! Oh spring we need you, so we don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to go to Marbella. Great images…lovin’ that entry table, so earthy, yet sleek! Have a wonderful weekend! xx Danielle

  11. Hi
    Thank you for your comment this afternoon. It’s much appreciated! My favorite in your photos is the table with the pile of rocks (I think?) in the foyer and the sea life print over the fireplace.

  12. Omg. Do u know that I havemthis exact house in my clip files!!!!!! Can u believe that? I’ve loved this house for years. Classic design always paus off in the end.

  13. This is a totally fabulous house, architecture, interiors, and landscaping.
    Thanks SO MUCH for posting it. I will look at it often and dream!

  14. What a home! I am speechless. Don’t even know where to begin… The de Gournay wallpaper is perfect in that dining room, the antique busts can move in with me any day, that vintage educational poster in the library is so pretty and the terrace – spectacular (not to mention the views).

    A lovely post.

    Happy Valentines weekend to you.


  15. this house reflects exacltly my taste as well and…I was looking to find exactly this wall paper and was searching where I could find it because I don’t have the exact references of it except that it is de Gournay! Could you maybe tell me more about it? Which collection it is and where I could find it? I went in the de gournay shop in London and couldn’t find it!
    Thanks and have a great day!

  16. a Paris il y avait une une boutique”de Gournay”. Moi aussi je cherche un équivalent ou une
    copie de ce papier peint photographié chez St Laurent, et qui vaut une fortune…

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