An Expat's Modern Yet Cosy Home in Valencia

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Known for their gorgeous show homes and modern yet comfy interior design work, Mastura Williams and her husband Joe have an eye for style and a serious commitment to their craft. Thus, it was no surprise to find their own house looking as though it had sprung from the pages of a brochure. There was, however, one important difference: it felt like a home.

This seven-bedroom family home is their second in Valencia – they have lived in the residential development for five years – and one that impresses and welcomes in equal measure. Art work and family photographs share prominence on the wide white walls, while sculptured chairs have a place alongside giant beanbags for sliding into after a long day. The dry kitchen looks like it should be the set of a TV show, while a huge sword hanging on the wall hints at the couples’ fun spontaneity – “It’s a replica of the sword from The Lord of the Rings,” explains Mastura. “It was just so cool we had to buy it!”

But the overwhelming sensation is one of sleek perfection, an ideal interplay of chic and comfort that marks out the couples’ professional work and makes them so admired. “Joe always wants to make it more modern,” admits Mastura, “but I try and resist. I like it to feel comfortable, too.”

Mastura also has a yearning for greenery, so nearly all of the multitudes of windows that allow light to flood in offers a glimpse of something living. “I wanted the landscape as my curtain,” she says, gesturing through the open blinds to the green that sits beyond every pane of glass.

The nose for nature is also what helped the couple pick which house on the large development to make their own. “We had the choice of a brand-new one that we could completely design ourselves or this one, which had been owned before,” explains Mastura. “But when I saw all this, I knew this was the right house.”

“All this” refers to the lush green that surrounds the house and offers a garden view of nothing but grass and trees as the golf course rolls off into the distance.There is no sound but that of the birds and the gentle gurgling of the swimming pool, and the wide, covered patio offers a sitting area and a dining area that invite outdoor living.

There is also a breakfast corner on another sheltered patio where the family of five enjoy their morning treats, nestled beside the wet kitchen that is the domain of Mastura’s mum. “Oh I never cook!” laughs Mastura. “Mum does all the cooking, usually local food.”

Mum is rewarded with a lovely bedroom of her own, while each of the three children has a spacious room designed to their own tastes. It is the master bedroom, however, that is the pièce de résistance: a large, two-level space includes a work corner overlooking the garden and a giant TV on the wall, while a secluded balcony allows Joe a space to create his art. They even have one walk-in wardrobe – each. “We had to have a walk-in  wardrobe,” laughed Mastura. “I love them!”

Aside from the swimming pool and their large rooms, there is also a music room for indulging their creativity. “They love the house,” says Mastura when she speaks of her brood – two sons and a daughter aged 21, 16, and 14. “When we have some time off and I ask them where they want to go, they are always quite happy to stay here. ‘Why would we want to go anywhere else?’ they say!”


It is the hard work of Mastura and Joe that has made it such an ideal home. Having bought the property from another family who had owned it for a decade, the couple have extensively redecorated.

“I really wanted to make it my own so I changed everything!”says Mastura. “It took eight months and it’s still not done. I’d say this is only 60% finished; I am not happy with it yet.”

Mastura may be a perfectionist, but it pays off, and every fitting and feature speaks of someone who knows good style and how to meld it with practicality.

The house’s splendour may be one thing, but the location is also a superb one for a family of five. “Valencia is so peaceful, so safe,” commends Mastura. Work brought the couple to this gated residential community, but it has become the perfect home environment, with a clubhouse offering all the leisure activities they might want, and a village square for shops and restaurants when they decide not to eat in.

“Most people have to plan what to do and where to go at the weekend. For us, we just want to stay here!”

Valencia will certainly be their home for the future, although the precise location may change in the years to come. Even though the current home is not yet up to Mastura’s unrelenting standards, she is already thinking ahead to the next project and property. “It would be nice to take some time off work,” she muses, “perhaps downsize to something smaller. I just love designing homes!”


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Source: The Expat June 2013
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