In an area dominated by residential areas and country clubs it is refreshing to work on something a little more urban in nature – so interior designer Bijan Laufer rose to the occasion and created a city townhouse in downtown Marbella where urban meets chic.

Words Michel Cruz, Photography Courtesy Of The Art

In an area dominated by residential areas and country clubs it is refreshing to work on something a little more urban in nature – so interior designer Bijan Laufer rose to the occasion and created a city townhouse in downtown Marbella where urban meets chic.

Words Michel Cruz, Photography Courtesy Of The Art

When Bijan Laufer made Marbella his primary abode he already had a world of experience as an interior designer and project manager, quite literally. “I have owned décor businesses and worked on design projects in places as diverse as Munich, Miami and Ko Samui, Thailand, and they together with my travels and life experiences have greatly enriched my sense of style, art, decoration, and materials,” says the affable designer.

Marbella added to his range of experience with its own unique brand of style built around rich golden light, imposing sea views and a subtropical outdoor lifestyle. “Each location is subtly different in style, culture, and the feeling it creates, and these are the kind of details I love, as every new experience adds to your sensitivity and perspective as a designer.” This is of course also true of different property types and actual settings.

An Urban Challenge

From dressing classical homes in the historic quarter of Munich to adding cachet to Dubai and Miami penthouses or creating tropical villas on the Thai coast and sleek contemporary homes in the hills of Marbella, Bijan’s work has so far been highly diverse in scope and nature – a fact he is very grateful for. “I love it when projects are rather unique and pose a fresh challenge, giving the opportunity to work on something very different from your last design.”

Marbella is not best known for urban properties, but they do exist, so the team at The Art – the interior design and project studio founded by Bijan – were all the more excited when the chance arose to apply their creativity to a city centre townhouse and transform it into a luxurious downtown home right by the beach. “Views, location and a touch of sophistication were key elements of this project, and they got the ball rolling.”

Classical Inspiration In A Modern Home

When it comes to comfort, amenities, and technology we all want a fully up-to-date modern home these days that makes the most of a new era of luxury, but this doesn’t mean that there can’t be classic inspiration in its styling. “In the end, it is the property, its setting, and of course the owner that defines a project and the course it follows in terms of the design choices made,” says Bijan, “and from this moment the creativity can flow.”
Indeed, it is once the parameters have been set and the main objectives determined – as to what kind of a house it should be and what functions it should fulfil, both practically and aesthetically – that creativity comes into play. “Form follows function, so creative ideas have to flow from a clear concept of what the end product will be, and this is both the difficult and the fun part.” He refers specifically to the challenge he sets himself to create a home that is not only beautiful but also unique to itself.

The result is something refreshingly different to the mainstream. The latest project by The Art is full of personality and inventive touches. Step into this home and you immediately sense the Art Deco inspiration with a contemporary feel. The elegant television salon has a touch of yesteryear combined with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and a wall unit that slides open to reveal the projector screen but is otherwise part of the room’s décor.
Black and white tones with red details and the linear language of Art Deco set the scene for a space that is both playful and stylish, and where modern furnishing forms a surprisingly impressive home. “It is a fun room, but with that element of urban sophistication that creates a sense of occasion,” says Bijan, who continued the theme with Art Deco inspired lighting and wall treatment, to which a suitably chic all-black billiards table adds the finishing touch.

Being Daring And Playful Is Rewarded

Monochrome also works wonderfully well in the bedroom, where it creates a sense of calm and refinement with continued hints of Art Deco. Its use adds a sense of space in this house on four levels, but if you thought the entire home was black and white you’d be wrong. Enter this urban property’s spa area and the sauna emits a rich tone of warm light set within a bold black structure. It is a hint of more to come as you explore this amazing Marbella home.
The style remains soft and simple in a comfort oozing bedroom whose soft-toned break with grayscale is as effortless as the latter’s stylishness. Take a peak in the adjoining bedroom and the colours become bolder, with wallpaper that bursts with life. Another creative touch that adds dimension and space to the room is a crystal-fronted built-in wardrobe with smoked glass – the five-star dressing room blends into the bedroom.

Matt stone in light grey offers a fresh look for a bathroom accompanied by wood detailing and it has to be said, the devil is in the detail – even the dressing room and sliding doors carry a certain big city feel. The rooftop terrace is a delightful private patio made for relaxing and complete with an impressive skylight, but another highly fun and chic use of blanc et noire is found in the dining room, whose ‘candle lighting’ brings a little drama along to accompany the city views.
Colour reappears in the immaculate living room, and it is a joyous feast for the eyes where tones and forms match with textures as diverse as cut glass and cut flowers. Now you may expect that the kitchen would be a solemn black affair, but it isn’t. Here Bijan has opted for a beautifully sleek and fresh look in shiny white and aluminium grey to match the sunlight and views over the harbour, whose sky and waters are reflected in the beautifully marbled splashback.
Vertical gardens and flowers add vibrancy to the patios and terraces of a rooftop townhouse that has been transformed into a city abode deserving of New York, London, Sydney or Paris. This is a Marbella home at its very best, and Bijan Laufer’s creative team at The Art have outdone themselves in its making.

“A special home in a special setting deserves only the best in design and furnishing, and that was our aim for this urban chic makeover.”


The Art Interior Design
Blvd. Alfonso de Hohenlohe,
Centro Expo, Local 1, Opposite
Marbella Club Hotel, Marbella.
Tel: (+34) 952 905 161.