There are very few times in a person’s life that you get to step inside a house that will become a testament to architecture, a celebrated building and truly a work of art. I can’t predict the future, but I’ve seen enough architecture in my lifetime to know that this house is no ordinary house. It is, in fact, history in the making.
I’ve been wanting to photograph the work of the celebrated architect Alexis Dornier for some time now, but had never had the chance. Having the privilege to finally photograph his work was elating. This kind of house doesn’t come often.
This 5-bedroom/bathroom suites + tv room + spa room + study is a really a mansion. And that doesn’t include the butler’s room or the maid’s quarters! Owned by property developers Drew and Amy, this very cool and equally sophisticated piece of outstanding modern architecture is walking distance from Pererenan Beach and sits on 1440 m2.
The incredible thing about River House is that you cannot see it from the street. Once you drive up the private lane, you get a taste of what you are about to experience. That moment when you go inside, you see all the layers, the gardens, and the brutalist cement and wooden block floating over the long swimming pool. When you get close, the massive scale of the house is clear. Everywhere you look, you grasp something that surprises you, that invites you to see more, and that draws you in.
The house has been built with quite simple materials. Kerobokan stone is found in every room, as well as teak wood and black iron framing the soaring glass. The teak adds warmth to the stone, while the broad windows let in the light and the views of the surrounding jungle.
This house required tremendous thought to decorate. With its 8 + bedrooms and huge living space, the amount of work and detail in the décor department is obvious. Everything was made to order. From the beds and the linen to the side tables, couches, benches, sofas, coffee tables, and chairs. The amazing interior design by Chelsey McPhedran from Somewhere Concepts is evident. Chelsey went for a mid-century look and worked closely with furniture manufactures to create the perfect home for Drew and Amy.
But not only that, they even got Art Curator Mersuka Dopazo. Alongside the owners and Chelsey, they chose to decorate the house with all original pieces from different artists to enhance the unique beauty and style of the house.
The lavish gardens are something else. I’m not sure how they were able to create this incredible amount of lushness in such a short time. The garden overhanging the extra-long swimming pool has the most beautiful plants. The fully grown coconut trees at the end of the garden are the perfect backdrop. They even have a full-time gardener to take care of the perfectly manicured grass which I’m totally jealous of. This beautiful landscape design is thanks to Anton J Clark from Bali Landscape Company.
The most stunning area, aside from the Master Bedroom which also contains its own living space, is the main living area. With a double-height living room overlooking the pool and the garden, the sense of grandeur and luxury are exacerbated. Gigantic doors integrate the indoor living and dining with the outdoor deck and swimming pool. This space has the wow factor! Everywhere you look is beautiful. So much love and thought have gone into this incredible space. This is one special home!
Architect: Alexis Dornier
Interior & Decor: Chelsey McPhedran of Somewhere Concepts
Construction: Bali Construction
Lighting: Somewhere Concepts & Studio Nimmersat
Landscape: Anton J Clark- Bali Landscape Company
Words By Sheila Man
Photography: Sheila Man
Styling: Sheila Man and Chelsey McPhedran
Special Thanks to Cisco and the Sun for lending us some props.