What are the characteristics of a villa?
British ears, the word ‘villa’ is almost always associated with a
detached holiday home in sunnier climes. These large, relatively
luxurious dwellings are where we stay (if we’re really
lucky) when we visit the Mediterranean or Florida, but can also be
found in Scandinavia or Germany. During Roman times, however, villas
were an architectural staple even in Britain, usually denoting
substantial wealth and power. Nowadays, similarly spacious, grand or
ostentatious homes in the UK tend to be known as mansions, or,
simply, detached homes. The typical characteristics of a villa today
are terracotta or clay roof tiles, whitewashed or earth-coloured
walls, a generous tropical garden and probably a pool. Palm trees,
pillars and a balcony or two will complete the look. Due to the fact
that the weather is generally terrible in the UK, these homes are a
rare occurrence back in Blighty - unless you’re a footballer or
some other such crass celebrity. If you’re keen to know more about
villas, check out homify’s visual library - there are hundreds of
homes to inspire and delight!
are some villa styles?
you’re keen to build yourself a villa, it’s important you do some
research in order to find the style that’s right for you. As these homes evolved in warm climates, the typical features reflect this and
therefore may not suit every UK location. One of the most popular
villa styles out there, and probably the one most coveted by holiday
makers or retired expats in Spain, is the Tuscan or Mediterranean
example with its distinctive clay tiles, arched windows and
well-manicured grounds. Traditional-style villas tend to veer even
further into the realms of palatial, with multiple storeys,
symmetrical design, columns and balconies. As many villas are used as
international holiday homes, they tend to be built on the coast with
dazzling sea views. These dwellings tend to feature such typical
beachside characteristics as whitewashed walls and open terraces.
Tropical and Arabic-style villas offer thatched roofs and palm trees
or epic palatial proportions respectively. You could even opt for a
modernist contemporary-style villa with a less rustic and more
are the pros and cons of villas?
you’re seriously thinking of investing in your own villa, there are
some practical considerations to bear in mind first. First and
foremost, remember that you live in the UK where a) it always rains,
and b) house prices are extortionate. If these two things don’t put
you off - you’re good to go! One of the main selling points of this
type of home is that they’re fundamentally designed for relaxation
and luxury. You’re bound to have a lovely time if you’re holed up
in a multi-level, palm-fringed abode with ostentatious balconies and
columns. Other advantages are the same as for any large detached home - plentiful outdoor space, lots of room on multiple storeys and
decent views from the upper windows. On the flipside, a potential
drawback to these types of homes are that they may not be practical
for year-round living. Being sizable properties, they’ll also set
you back a hefty sum when you buy or build, and maintenance costs and
bills won’t come cheap, either.
much will a villa cost me?
long’s a piece of string? If your heart is set on acquiring a fancy
villa, first up you’ll need to do some thorough research and enlist
the help of an architect to guide you through the process. Start by getting yourself a free
consultation on homify - this should answer your preliminary
questions and set you on the right path. In terms of ballpark
figures, the average price of a UK home is now around £300k. This
will vary hugely depending on the location and type of house you’re
interested in, but gives you a rough idea of what you’ll need to
spend. As villas are towards the luxury end of the housing scale,
they’re likely to cost more, not less than this figure in reality.
If you’re looking to build one yourself, you’ll need to take into
account land costs, plus labour and materials. Again, ask around and
compare your quote to that of other local projects to make sure
you’re on the right track.