Sometimes when you are so involved in a project or a process it can be hard to step outside of it and see the beauty and the magic in what you have created. My name is Clare and I work for Jodie, the incredible designer behind 353 Degrees North. I recently stayed at the villa and to say I was inspired, is an understatement. If we are lucky, we all get to stay in a beautiful hotel or villa once in our lives. That place where you just stop, look around and appreciate the luxury you are in. But something about 353 Degrees North just ‘spoke’ to me. Now I’m more than aware a house can’t speak… except it can when you look around and you can see the love and careful consideration the owner and creator have put into every bespoke cushion, every antique light fitting, every curve of the wall and every angle that catches the light just so.
And so I spent my weekend at the villa, messaging Jodie and asking all sorts of questions. In the end, I decided that if I’m ever in a position to build my own villa, Jodie can just come on in and do her thing. I started talking to Jodie about how she found the land, why this particular hill on the island, what was it about the place that made her heart sing. Sometimes a place calls to you and Jodie, of Jodie Cooper Design, said that’s what happened to her. She came to Nusa Lembongan on a holiday and stayed at Villa Nusa. There were no ‘for sale’ signs. You just let the island chatter know you are looking for land and suddenly the land owner is there. The land that called to Jodie was just down the road and along the hill from where she was staying at Villa Nusa. Jodie recalls jumping with excitement and feeling like she couldn’t believe it when she realised the land was available. Interestingly that feeling is replicated when guests now stay at the villa and can’t believe the views all around them.
“Once I knew the size and dimensions of the land, I sketched my first draft idea. The dropped floor level in the living area in the main villa was to create a design element to hopefully gain uninterrupted views from the bed in the master suite. I was so excited when the slab was poured and I stood in the bedroom and my vision was becoming a reality”.
Jodie wanted the spaces in the villa to flow into each other and not be hindered by large pieces of furniture. With the exception of the wall lights in the master bedroom and the rugs from Morocco, everything in the villas was sourced in Bali as the villa grew and developed so Jodie could ensure the flow was maintained throughout the building process. Jodie is also mindful that while there are still a few pieces she is looking for, she feels they will present themselves at the right time and will fit with the aesthetics of the villa so that they don’t obscure from the incredible view. I asked Jodie how she felt being designer and client – ” I can say with good authority that I am my own worst client. The big decisions I can make in an instant, it’s the tiny details that I procrastinate about.” I think a designer always considers whether their vision has been captured and “will people understand the simplicity and enjoy the space? Have I done justice to the land and the view?” You only need to look at the images to know that Jodie’s designer side and client side have created a perfect living space to unwind, relax and enjoy the environment around the villa.
I’m never really sure what comes first – the inspiration to create a place, or a place that creates the inspiration. I think in the case of 353 Degrees North, the designer had the inspiration in creating the villa, the land created that inspiration. And now, the inspiration continues for everyone who stays there. Inspiring more ideas, more creation, more magical moments…and don’t we all deserve those magical moments in paradise?
PS It was because of how the villa inspired me that I ended up working for Jodie… I told you the villa ‘spoke’ to me.