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La Danse Des Etoiles

Ranks in the Top 10 of the villa rentals on island of St. Barts

Written By: Bob Brown & Bert Brown

 


Seamless Transition of Inside/Outside Living

Circumstances brought Bob & Lynne Grossman to St. Barthelemy, but it was their intuition coupled with design smarts that led to their first successful villa investment. After transferring their knowledge and years of island living they recently completed their second fabulous villa...La Danse des Etoiles.

 

Their new villa allows visitors to compare each day’s sunrise to its sunset, a feature that most houses, penthouses or even palaces don’t offer. Stand on the eastern side of the house in the early mornings, and you’ll capture the panorama of the rising sun. Visitors swim in the 70 foot solar heated infinity pool, enjoy the shopping of St. Barts, and sit in comfort on the higest peak of Point Milou. As the day winds down, they stroll to the west, recall the sights they soaked in as they sipped their morning coffee and decide if the sunset is better than the first light of day.

 

There were a number of well defined decisions that lead up to the final design and build of La Danse des Etoiles ...it did not happen overnight, but rather was an accumulation of real life experiences and challenges of previously owning a villa on a Caribbean island.

 

After careful planning and years of searching for just the right location, they were able to purchase an ideal piece of property that represented a poetic connection between the sun, sky, and the sea on one of the highest spots of Pointe Milou. Immediately they began to visualize building their new villa. This fantastic setting allowed for 270 degrees of visual inspiration as there are unobstructed views north, east, and west.


Designed Evolved as a Frame for the View

“The design of the villa evolved as a frame of the view. You feel like you are the only one in the world.” says Bob. There were some very basic core requirements Bob & Lynne wanted to incorporate into their new villa:

(1) Captialize on the view as much as possible from every location in the house

(2) Create a seamless flow from inside to outside living spaces

(3) Customize a balanced approach to equal size bedrooms with private bathrooms and outdoor showers

(4) Top-Grade materials that could withstand the severe sun, salt, and wind.

(5) Fabulous pool that would be the focal point of the villa

(6) Plenty of shared common space, but also individul quiet private areas

(7) Fill the villa with familiar, knowing, warm furniture that was a combination of great style, practical design principles in order to create the ultimate sanctuary, whether in the living area or on the deck out by the pool.


Rob Barnes & Chris Coy of BarnesCoy Architectural Firm Take the Challenge

There was a long list of discovery questions that needed to be answered before any design ideas were suggested. One of the first decisions was which architectural firm would be the “best fit”. Bob & Lynne had previously worked with Rob Barnes & Chris Coy of Barnes Coy, a Bridgehampton, a New York-based architectual firm they used to build their Montauck home. They were the logical choice. After many discussions and reviewing a long list of building code requirements, it was decided rather than build a four-bedroom villa to focus the design on a spacious common outside area.

 

Rob and Chris knew they had to pay very close attention to a number of critical factors when designing a villa on a highly exposed location on a Caribbean island, where it would be subjected to the natural elements far greater than most homes. The unforgiving sun, traditional heavy tradewinds, and salt air would certainly enter into all aspects of design and build. “The discovery and design process was much more effective because of the experience and knowledge Bob & Lynne had with their previous villa. Throughout our discussions their ideas and suggestions were extremely valuable and helped define the exceptional results,” says Chris.

 

BarnesCoy matched what works best in the Caribbean with the ideas of their clients. La Danse des Etoiles was positioned to take full advantage of the explosive views. The layout and floor plan gives views to as many rooms as possible and offers a “seamless” transition from indoor to outdoor living. Custom doors were built to allow the exterior walls to totally open up to create the extension of the inside living area to be part of the outside terrace.


Captivating Comfort Greeted By Striking Use and Balance of Space

Creating separate outdoor living zones for activity and tranquillity was a high priority. Bob & Lynne knew that they wanted to have their outdoor living spaces provide numerous environments for all activities they enjoyed outdoors. They wanted to be able to cook outdoors and have adequate dining areas that could host both elegant dinner parties and family gatherings. However, private spaces for both sun worshippers and shade seekers would have to be part of the mix. A stainless steel frame was built to provide the infrasture for a shaded area. To provide additional comfort from the sun and hot weather, a water misting system was installed. With a remote control device a very fine mist is sprayed in order to help gently lower the air temperature. Once again, this was a customized solution individuals may or may not chose to use.

 

The outside areas have two different levels and many private seclued spots where visitors can spend their time. The lowest level is located on the far west corner with the infinity edge of the pool to the east. Here visitors have complete privacy from not only the other visitors, but from the adjoining neighbors. The view is spectualcur as L’Orient and St Jean are off in the distance. Well positioned walls are on the perimeter of the landscape that provide not only additional privacy, but block the traditional trade winds. No details were overlooked and even for  ecreation an outdoor pool table was added. To add the covenience to the outdoor living experience a complete full bathroom and shower were built near the pool.


Sophisticated Design and Use of Recycled Energy

The pool, one of the largest on the island, measures almost 70 feet in length. Because pools are so important to villa renters they determined to make the pool the focal point. “We wanted a pool that was unique and sensual where people could swim and exercise,” says Lynne. The prevailing trade winds and cool evenings in the winter months often lower the water;s temperature. Solar panels and heat transferred from the air-conditioning unit warm the pool water. Dark lava rocks on the bottom of the pool and along the infinity edge exterior wall help retain the sun’s heat.

 

 

 


“Between a Rock & a Soft Place”


Built with top-grade materials the outdoor living space harmonizes with the environment. Natural vegetation surrounds the pool. Chris Coy and Rob Barnes subtly created a flow from inside to outside by centralizing the lines of sight within the villa. The perfectly centered infinity pool lines up with the view from the kitchen, dining room and living room. The pool and the ocean appear as one body of water. This striking sophisticated design invigorates the sense of mystery.


From the moment a visitor walks up the stairs and gravitates towards the pool they are immediately drawn to the striking seascape framing the glorious villa like a theatrical backdrop. A dip into the sumptuous pool leaves them living in the spirit of the moment. The scenery unfolds gracefully through the day and creates and abundance of combinations. The outdoor living space become a bona fide extension with the stairs and pathways running alongside the stone foundations with romantic lighting at all levels. Visitors simply want to pause between steps to yet capture another view from a hidden vantage point.


La Danse des Etolies enjoys considerable architectural distinction. BarnesCoy have transformed this breathtaking landscape to blend in with its natural surroundings with memorable and individual aesthetic distinction. Every moment is enriched by this extraordinary setting so visitors can relax and take
full advantage of this peacful environment. It has been defined as it’s own private hideway, designed for recreation, relaxation, and a fabulous place to reconnect with family or friends.

 

Returning to this villa every year could become a delightful tradition that every visitor would anticipate and cherish.


Innovative Use of Light

ADramatic and diffused lighting reveals this unique design at night and creates romantic spaces everywhere. The clever lighting style and position highlights the stone work, Relaxing colors of the furniture, vaulted ceilings and pool water reflections make every evening memorable.

The signature look of a BarnesCoy home is the use of stone and experience has taught them they would need to introduce good lighting. “Excellent lighting choices have certainly enhanced the moods and desirability of these spaces. It has contributed greatly to my sense of well-being”, says Lynne.


Illumination design has become a creative extension of their architectural projects - one in which Rob & Chris believe to be a powerful variable tha improves visibility and compliments the complete menu of shapes, textures, and color of their designs. “The medium of light is invisible until it strikes an object,” says Chris. It was the creation and implementation of these invisible patterns of light that has given the lighting an advantage overother design disciplines of La Danse des Etoiles.


The partnership of talents, experiences, and techniques of BarnesCoy and the Grossmans were used to create this innovative visual environment to compliment and amplify their project goals.


Bedrooms with Balance & Parity

“We conceived the interior decoration in parallel with the architectural design, right from the beginning,” says Lynne. Visitors come to the caribbean to be exposed to was created by using oversized glass windows and doors, dark wood floors along with only a minimal amount of soft inviting furniture. From years of renting out their previous villa, Bob & Lynne discovered that many of their villa renters were often couples that shared equally in the expenses and therefore were hoping to have parity in the bedroom selection.

 

Spending vacation time with other couples can be somewhat of a challenge so in their design of La Danse des Etoiles they decided to include equal size living spaces, king size beds, private ensuite bathrooms with overized showers, and a special feature, which seems to be the ones visitors remember the most...private outside showers for each bedroom.

 

Combine the high ceilings, individually controled climate controls, flat screen tv’s, his/her closet space, ipod docking stations, and one level living every visiting couple should feel they did not receive the short-end of the deal.

 

 


Practical Decisions with Intuitive Features

By combining in the use of materials such as wood, tile, and concrete with the perfection of form made fo a genuinely refined yet resilient experience. Large private bathrooms with plenty of counter space and double sinks were the part of the practical design. Easy to clean concrete countertops and resilient tile work throughout reduced the cleaning time and wear and tear.

 

Intutively Bob & Lynne have now come to realize that visitors enjoy the feature of having large bathrooms with plenty of space to hang their towels, bathrobes, and all other items that might need in the bathroom. Incorporate these features and then add some effective lighting and it created a wonderful relaxed environment. Not to leave any detail behind, there are also bathroom supplies from speciality soaps to shampoo and hair conditioning products.


What many visitors claim to be one of the outstanding features are the individual private terraces excessible from each bedroom that includes an outdoor shower and space enough for two full length outdoor lounge chairs. These private terraces blend in beautifully with the landscape grounds.

 

Every moment is enriched by an extraordinary setting. It combines a peaceful and inviting design with natural selection of materials in order for visitors to relax and revitalize their spirit.

 

 

 

Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

“I rely heavily on the nuturing of an intense emotional connection with my clients to design a home that reflects their imagination and comforte level,” says Chris. Every detail and suggestion Bob & Lynne provided Chris with the creative capability and tools he needed to successfully finsh this project.

 

The kitchen flows smoothly to the dining area and continues right into the living room. Because people love to congregate in kitchens it was important to make them inviting and spacious in a villa rental. The spectacular view of the rising sun and another captivating view at the end of the day make the villa’s kitchen irresistible. Plenty of resilient and easy to clean concrete counters and high quality appliances will please all cooks who come to the villa.


The dining room table has comfortable seating for eight and custom built cabintry has plenty of storage space. Extradordinary amenties throughout for relaxed dining or even for a gourmet dining experience.

 

State-of-the-art electronics include a 60” flat screen television with Bose Surround Sound along with Sat/TV, DVD player, and ipod doc station create the atmosphere of a theatre experience. For those visitors who just have to stay connected their is a private office space with a computer, printer/fax/copy machine and high speed internet access with Wifi connection throughout the villa.

 

 

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Sibarth Villa Rentals announced in June 2009 La Danse des Etoiles ranks in the Top 10 of their 250+ villa rental inventory on the island of St. Barts. “At first glance the alchemy of raw materials, mineral rock and rigorous concrete are palpable as they harmonize with the warmth and the nobility of wood and give birth to this unique and spectacular villa located in Pointe Milou....this exemplary villa is the result of meticulous attention to detail and modernity, but aslo at the same time simplicity, refined elegance and luxurious comfort,” says Anne Dentel of Sibarth Villa Rentals. Competition on exclusive St. Bart’s is keen. Achieving such success and recognition validates a job well done.

 

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