THE FIRST INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN BARBADOS WERE AMERINDIANS WHO ARRIVED FROM VENEZUELA AROUND 1623 BC, AND HOLETOWN, ST JAMES WAS WHERE THE FIRST SETTLERS TO BARBADOS LANDED IN 1625. FAST-FORWARD TO THE 21ST CENTURY AND HIGH UP ON A HILL NOT FAR FROM THIS LOCATION

It would seem the owners of De Gully were destined to establish roots in Barbados. By coincidence, both owners’ parents honeymooned here, and continued to visit often over the years. So began the owners’ long-standing love affair with the island. Following a similar path to their parents’, they vacationed here often, until finally deciding to make Barbados their permanent home. While half of the husband’s family hails from Spain, both partners share a Venezuelan heritage. The Spanish and Latin-influenced style of this unique tropical home reflects this cultural blend, creating a warm and welcoming haven full of character and charm.

At the end of a small residential enclave, a long and lush driveway leads upwards through towering trees until glimpses of a buttercup yellow house peek between the stately palms and a large bearded fig tree in the centre of a circular driveway. Two Balinese stone lions seem to beckon you to follow a coral stone path to a pair of ornately carved Indonesian temple doors, where an iron bell rung by rope is an old spin on a doorbell, alerting the occupants that guests have arrived.

Upon entering, an internal courtyard unfolds, with a covered hardwood bridge leading into the foyer. On one side, a waterfall flows gently into a Koi pond which runs beneath the bridge. On one of the walls, a Buddha-like face carved out of an old tree trunk watches over this serene garden oasis of beautiful and fragrant plantings. The four bedroom suites surround the courtyard, each opening onto the reclaimed brick pathway which wraps around this focal point.

The bedrooms feature beautiful hardwood floors and shutters, with pickled white pitched ceilings, and walls painted in warm saturated colours like emerald green and tangerine, not often seen in villas in Barbados. Furnishings vary from hardwood to ornately painted Indian pieces, and a carved four-poster day bed lends an exotic feel to the burnt orange bedroom. Whites and neutral tones give the bright, spacious bathrooms a cool and crisp spa-like effect, while the feeling of luxury continues in the master suite, where a walk-in closet cum dressing room add a further level of privacy and comfort.

Built in 2005, the brief to the architect was to design a house where there is a seamless connection between the in and outdoors, where all of the rooms open to the gardens or courtyard. An infusion of distinctly Caribbean style can be seen, as intricate gingerbread trim edges a series of cedar-shingled roofs, and the louvered windows so commonly found throughout the island are a recurring feature, allowing natural light and breezes in even when closed.

The sitting room is a spacious and inviting area with plush seating and furnishings. The décor, which the owners have acquired throughout their travels to Spain, Venezuela and India, along with some locally purchased Indonesian pieces, lends a very ‘collected’ aesthetic. Also in the mix are prints and ceramic pieces from famous Venezuelan artists and vintage pieces such as Amerindian woven baskets, while an antique Mariner’s compass and model ship are from Spain. This house, while beautiful, is not a ‘showpiece’ – it is very much a home, with an eclectic collection that the owners have garnered on their world travels over a period of time.

From the living room, French doors open to reveal an outdoor patio and De Gully’s true pièce de résistance: mesmerizing views straight out to the horizon. On the lower level terrace, the pool deck and an inviting aqua and cobalt blue freeform pool enjoy the same spectacular views.

As the name of the house implies, the property overlooks a gully and the interesting topography of this land allows for the enjoyment of multi-leveled spaces and gardens. To the left of the outdoor patio, a bridge leads to the formal dining gazebo, octagonal in shape, with seating for eight and romantically lit by a chandelier and candle sconces at night. On the other side is the private terrace of the master bedroom. Beyond into the gardens, a yoga/meditation gazebo accessed via another wooden bridge seems to literally float in the trees above the gully below.

The lady of the house is an avid gardener and this is evident. The gardens are not only beautiful, but carefully laid out to enhance the beauty of this unique house. All around, the gardens are vibrant and tropical with various species of palms, variegated hibiscus, heliconias, alocasias and pops of bright red firecracker flowers, a favourite nectar of the hummingbirds.

Although this property is located in a residential area, there is an overall feeling of solitude and tranquility. The only sounds are the gently knocking bamboo chimes and the wind in the casuarina trees which grow up from the gully floor below. Circumstances now dictate that the owners must make their home base overseas and De Gully is waiting for a new generation of settlers to fall in love and settle on our shores, to write their own chapter in history.

De Gully is for Sale through Altman Real estate.

Call 246 432-0840 for more details or email us today on realestate@altmanbarbados.com, or visit altmanbarbados.com

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