Sally Blackshaw has made a name for herself not only as a skilled interior designer, but also as a specialist in modernising and developing older properties in prime Marbella locations such as Las Brisas.

Words: Michel Cruz, Photography: Courtesy of Blackshaw Interior Design

Sally Blackshaw has made a name for herself not only as a skilled interior designer, but also as a specialist in modernising and developing older properties in prime Marbella locations such as Las Brisas.

Words: Michel Cruz, Photography: Courtesy of Blackshaw Interior Design

Among the large portfolio of interior design projects created by Sally Blackshaw in villas, penthouses, apartments and also commercial venues across the greater Marbella area over the past years, is also an important and growing collection of beautifully styled large-scale building projects, often consisting of older properties, usually in the finest frontline golf and beachfront or country club locations the region has to offer.

Sally has never shied away from large projects, focusing early on not just on interior design but also entire renovation and rebuilding projects. “I love the process and have built up a great deal of experience in it,” says Sally, who works with a consolidated team of highly skilled and creative collaborators, ranging from builders, technical engineers and architects to landscapers, lighting and home automation experts, technicians and craftsmen who make bespoke furnishings and help her to create beautiful, made-to-measure solutions for one-off homes of distinction.

The result is a streamlined redevelopment to decoration service that includes the sourcing and perfect, key-ready delivery of a fantastic new Marbella home, complete with licensing. “It’s an efficient, effective process and we’re very familiar with the practical and business sides of development, but we stand out by offering bespoke quality and added value, in addition to taking away stress from owners/investors and managing the project for them.” Those familiar with renovation and redevelopment work know exactly how much creativity, organisation, planning skills and expertise are required.

As a result, more and more of her clients are therefore requesting not just an interior makeover of their Marbella property but a complete transformation of an existing home. This has become an increasingly important part of the Marbella property market, partly thanks to the fact that older homes often occupy the choicest locations, and also because there is currently a shortage of modern properties ready to move into.

The result of this upgrading and modernising of older properties is in many ways the best of both worlds, with large plots and spacious interiors adding to top locations and delightful elements of Mediterranean architecture that give these newly rebuilt homes lots of character and charm along with the latest amenities and technological features such as Domotic home automation systems.

Villa Aura – Goddess of the Breeze

Las Brisas, the exclusive residential area that skirts the renowned championship golf course of the same name, lies at the heart of what is perhaps Marbella’s leading suburb, Nueva Andalucía. Tucked into the peaceful street near the luxurious Las Brisas clubhouse is Villa Aura, the ‘Goddess of the Breeze’ – a fitting name for a property situated within a leafy suburb whose Spanish name – Las Brisas – relates to the gentle sea breezes that caress this part of Marbella.

Having experience in sourcing, redeveloping and selling properties with investors and property owners, Sally found this gem in Las Brisas and realised its potential to become a beautiful family residence or second home in a top location. Initially, this older property situated between tall pine trees and with picture book views to La Concha Mountain seemed somewhat tired, but Sally saw what could be achieved here and entered into a joint venture with the owner to develop the property, not just refurbish and decorate it, but substantially redesign and reconfigure it as well as fitting the latest comforts and décor.

The home created in the process is a stylish contemporary villa that offers lots of visual and sensory beauty spots inside and out. Sleek white lines are given extra detail by hand-cut stone walls that were painstakingly positioned to add both visual and practical value to the house. The front door opens on to an open-plan living area flooded with natural light. Its modern high-spec kitchen, to the right, looks out over the terrace and immaculate lawn that descends towards the pool deck.

Divided into two intercommunicating spaces, the living area is ideal for relaxing and entertaining while the children watch a movie or sports enthusiasts the match. From here, doors open to a large terrace and lawn inviting you to sit, relax and enjoy a meal in the fresh air. The garden, split over two levels, offers a wonderful sense of peace and privacy, and it exudes a very positive ambience enhanced by Sally’s decorative touches and design flair.

Privacy In The Heart Of Marbella

Steps lead down to an even more secluded pool and deck area surrounded by manicured mature hedges, tall trees and natural stone walls. This sophisticated poolside space features pre-installation for an outdoor kitchen/barbecue, and indeed, with this villa Sally has created a wonderful canvas upon which the new owner can add their own style, amenities and details with the greatest of ease. “We love creating the framework for a lifestyle that the resident fills in themselves, according to their own taste and wishes,” says Sally.

This is also true of the home’s décor, which is not only attractive, refined and functional, but also designed to outlast the coming and going of trends and fashions. “These, by definition, tend to have a limited shelf life, so I find greater value in creating a more timeless decorative style that feels contemporary and fresh but ages well and doesn’t require regular updating or changing.” This sounds sensible, but requires the trained eye of a skilled designer to pull off.

The lower floor of Villa Aura contains the first of four bedroom suites, situated beyond the modern kitchen and laundry – whose appliances can be set to work remotely using Wi-Fi.

Like all rooms on the ground floor, it connects directly with the terraces surrounding the home. The first floor is reached by ascending an elegant marble and glass stairway whose tall windows illuminate a grand chandelier that links the furniture and art present in the home, for it transcends mere lighting to become a work of art in its own right.

The upper level too is bathed in natural light and lovely views of swaying trees, the manicured lawns and aquamarine allure of the swimming pool, as well as a perfect picture of La Concha Mountain. The attractive bedroom suites and elegant bathrooms reflect the sense of comfort, style and privacy that marks this stylish villa at the heart of Nueva Andalucía and indeed Marbella – showing in the process just what can be done with an existing home, and how a villa in a top location transformed into a home with contemporary style and luxuries is a highly alluring alternative to the new-build options in the market today.

So successful is this side of her business that Sally is creating Blackshaw Estates, a specialised division dedicated to the redeveloping of investment properties, which are transformed into successful commercial projects with a knowing touch born out of a combination of technical skill, creativity and market experience.


Blackshaw Interior Design
Avd. Canovas del Castillo 25, Marbella.
Tel: (+34) 951 403 787,
(+34) 681 662 000.