Christopher Noto, an American art and antiques dealer based in Singapore, owns Villa Uma, the house of his dreams. Designed as a luxurious, private tropical retreat in Ubud, the villa boasts an enviable location- a ridge high in the mountain jungle. With no way through to the other side of the gorge and the only access along a narrow 100-yard (90-metre) path through rice fields (see above), solitude is guaranteed. From the house, the tropical scenery stretches as far as the eye can see.
The exterior and deck of the house.
Designed in the modern tradition of American rationalism, the house, with its geometrical simplicity and spare use of ornamentation, is set among such abundant foliage that it could almost be called a modern tree house. Emphasis is on inside-outside living where the transition from the lounge and dining areas, to the deck and swimming pool, and to the tropical wilderness beyond are seamless and natural. The bedrooms, too, have been built to capture the same natural ethos, so the en suite facilities include, unsurprisingly, open-air baths. The overall feeling is of peace and connection with the environment.
An ethnic-eclectic feeling characterizes the upstairs living area. Arranged around a wooden “new art deco” coffee table are a colonial Javanese bench, a sculpture-like standing lamp, made out of one piece of coconut tree trunk, and a simple â€™70s teakwood cabinet. An ancient wooden grind-wheel mounted on the wall, a dried coconut leaf on the cabinet, and an 18th-century Burmese bronze on the coffee table complete the decor.
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