Cover Photo: Agnese Sanvito and Nick Worley

Take a closer look at Tatler Homes’ coverage of the most stunning Asian-style private residences across the globe

From Bali-inspired villas on the sunny isles of Spain and Hawaii to sprawling houses and apartments in England and America that pay tribute to Chinese philosophies, step inside these uniquely designed homes that were created with the cultures and architecture of Asia in mind.

In case you missed it: Inside 5 of Asia’s Most Extraordinary Oceanfront Homes

1. A Hawaiian Private Paradise Inspired by Bali

A stunning estate comprising six pavilions linked by a series of external corridors, Kauhale Kai in Hawaii is surrounded by beautiful water features, which cascade into a swimming pool.

Taking up 9,902 sq ft of interior space, the private residence was built from the ground up by owners who have a strong affinity for design, modern art and the culture of Polynesia, as well as an appreciation for Balinese architecture. 

The pièce-de-résistance is the “floating” glass-walled pavilion: designed for dining, it is a feature the owners had specifically requested. 

The hipped roof of this pavilion is supported on four structural corner posts clad in coral stone, explains Mark de Reus, founder of Hawaii- and Idaho-based de Reus Architects, who spearheaded the project.

Meanwhile, a coral stone wall houses a glass case, home to a collection of Balinese kris blades, which are considered spiritual objects in parts of Southeast Asia.

Read more about this home here

2. A London Apartment With a Unique Mix of Chinese and European Elements

When interior architecture studio Holloway Li was tasked to turn a 1,500 sq ft Edwardian-style London apartment into a home for an accomplished Chinese calligrapher and art collector, the firm’s co-founders Alex Holloway and Na Li unexpectedly found themselves musing about the art of living. Their client, a polymath who is a scholar in politics and history, is an ardent believer of ancient Chinese principles.

It soon became obvious that the design process would require much research to embrace this complex fusion of historical and cultural influences. And so, the designers embarked on a journey of learning in China. 

Having amassed an eclectic mix of furniture and antiques, he had wanted his home in Westminster to showcase these pieces while embodying the values of Chinese culture: the beliefs of philosopher and politician Confucius, the ethos of Yuan ye—a fabled monograph by Ming dynasty garden designer Ji Cheng published in 1631.

Hand-carved rosewood joinery details, traditional Chinese motifs and a set of rosewood bi-fold shutter screens separate the study and dining rooms. These carefully considered elements are inspired by Yuan ye, which advised that adjacent rooms should be connected but also demarcated with movable barriers without inhibiting access.

Read more about this home here

3. A Painstakingly Restored Chinese-Style Retreat in New England

This 200-acre property in New England was previously home to the late American philanthropist and society darling Brooke Astor, of the prominent Astor family. In the 1960s, she commissioned the late American architect and landscape designer Robert Patterson to build a variety of structures that were heavily inspired by Chinese architecture. Making use of the estate as a retreat, she named it August Moon.

Astor passed away in 2007 at age 105, and August Moon now belongs to a New York couple—though her spirit has lived on in the design of the property.

The owners asked Peter Pelsinski and Karen Stonely, co-founding principals at Span Architecture, to restore the Chinese-style tea pavilion and cottage from the Astor era. They also wanted the architects to build a 5,750 sq ft, six-bedroom, six-bathroom family home, as well as an additional one-bedroom guest house.

The process took 15 years. With their clients wanting to retain as many of the original features as possible, Pelsinski and Stonely extensively researched both Patterson and Astor’s backgrounds.

Read more about this home here

4. An Ibiza Estate Featuring a Balinese Cottage

Can Bikini, a traditional ranch on the Spanish island of Ibiza, offers a sense of serenity—something that architect Thomas Griem and his London-based architectural and interior design practice TG Studio intended to capture in his redesign of the home. 

The 2,700 sq ft main villa is surrounded by two hectares of lush gardens, and accompanied by two guest houses. “The brief was to bring calm and luxury to the finca [Spanish ranch], and [create] an easy flow that blurs the lines between the outdoors and the indoors,” says Griem.

The secondary buildings in this estate allow the owners to host more guests. Looking out to the lush foliage of the pine forest, the atmosphere in these rustic structures differs completely from the main residential building. One cottage, nicknamed the Bali house, is a hit with both the owners and the design team: it exudes a rustic charm with exposed wood, natural stone and rattan furnishings.

“Our client inherited the cabin from the previous owners, who actually imported it from Bali and shipped it to Ibiza in a container,” says the architect.

Read more about this home here

5. A Home in East England That Pays Homage to Malaysia

A Malaysia-inspired minimalist home may be the last thing you might expect in the fenland marshlands of East Anglia in England. But Carlos Gris, founder of London-based firm Carlos Gris Studio, has designed a home called Sayang House—named after the Malay word for “love”—for his aunt, who lived in Kuala Lumpur for almost two decades.

“She wanted to bring memories of her time in Malaysia, a house that was out of the ordinary that expressed those memories, but also reflected her clean and fuss-free lifestyle,” explains Gris.

The designer looked at how he could incorporate Malaysian flavour into the design, but was mindful about not making it too literal. He remembers seeing a photo shared by his aunt that she had taken during her time in Kuala Lumpur: “It showed a large glass curtain wall that brought the garden into the living space.”

He then “blended the flavours of Malaysia with the flavours of the local area in the fenlands,” he says.

“Because the surroundings are so beautiful, the hope was to create an invisible house—where the walls offer unobstructed views to the exterior.”

Read more about this home here

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