In 2022, Ambience Home Design celebrated their twentieth anniversary in designing and creating luxury interiors. Having begun as a small operation out of San Pedro back in 2002, the team, led by founder, German-born designer and curator Andrea Böck, has boldly and decadently evolved to become a leader in international interior design. Having completed some incredible projects in over ten different countries including St. Lucia, Switzerland, the UK, and Hong Kong, and of course on home territory in Spain, the Ambience name and reputation has spread to every corner of the globe. They now have over thirty employees, including in-house designers and architects, combining to create a dream team in developing high-end turnkey homes all over the world. The combination of excellent client service, attention to detail, an extensive network, vast experience, passion for creativity, quality craftsmanship, and overall dedication have all marked the expansion and worldwide success of the Ambience brand.
We spoke with Andrea Böck to discuss the effects of the pandemic, how Ambience has adapted to unpredictable times and technological advances, her personal style, and current projects in various locations.
Have you noticed an increased demand for home improvements and renovation since the pandemic began?
"Everyone is so busy at the moment, from builders to architects to interior designers. It seems like people are keen to either renovate the home they already own (but couldn’t get in to due to restrictions and lockdowns), or others who feel that the pandemic may strike again and next time want to be prepared - those who would rather be in Marbella, should that happen, are keen to update and adapt their place here accordingly. New purchases are abundant, and so right now we are busier than ever which is fantastic."
How have you adapted to the rising demand for home automation?
"We need to carefully consider any previously installed systems when designing a project - before we could simply send our electrician to move any sockets or adjust electrical wiring, now we need to contact the company who installed the domotics to ensure that they alter everything accurately.
Many of our clients are loving the new options and opportunities to automate their homes, and so are happy, but others avoid it as, like with every computer, there are potential failures. There is a great demand for this at the moment, and it is very important to hire a professional company to install the systems to avoid problems in the future."
How would you describe the style of Ambience as designers?
"We don’t have a signature, that is our signature. If you go to our website, you will see that we have a vast range of styles; Ibiza chic, Contemporary, Wabi Sabi, elegant, traditional, British heritage, and more - we can turn our hand to any style that is required by the client.
I like that we always reinvent ourselves for every project to meet each one’s demands. I feel a signature means that you are repeating designs. Starting from scratch and really concentrating on the individual project in hand is what we pride ourselves on."
What is the process, when taking on a new client, in discovering their personal style and requirements?
"We have an extremely extensive briefing where we have a questionnaire and multiple style guides for clients to choose and complete. We put a lot of time and effort into the briefing phase so that we really get to know what the client wants and, as importantly, what they don’t want so we ensure that is left out of the equation.
This has had to be done remotely at times, especially during lockdowns, then once we have our presentation ready, and they could travel to us, we had everything prepared for the client to then see everything we had discussed for themselves, feel and touch all the fabrics, etc. Although some clients who couldn’t be there in person, and did not want to wait, were actually fine to go ahead just by seeing the presentation digitally. At Ambience we also produce high quality 3D renders of the rooms so our clients know exactly how it will look."
You mention that you travel a lot which has inspired some of your design work, where would you say your greatest influences have come from?
"Personally, I love so many different design styles; for example, the Wabi Sabi look such as at the Casa Cook Hotels - a really raw feel with a laid-back spirit. Another amazing place for me was the Bvlgari Hotel in Bali. Just breathtaking."
Do you often incorporate traditional or cultural style - relevant to the specific location - in your work?
"Sometimes yes, depending on the clients of course. For example, the English traditional home we are working on factors in a strong element of heritage, but certainly there are contemporary twists involved. This wouldn’t probably happen in a place here in Marbella as much, but then again, we designed an apartment in Hong Kong where the client wanted nothing Asian at all, so it always comes down to the individual requirements of the property and the client."
Are there any interior designers you aspire to, or, who is your favourite designer/design influence?
"There are many amazing designers but if I have to name one it would be the American designer, Kelly Wearstler. She has an eclectic, colourful, crazy flair and gets to do things we simply can’t – it is rare to find a client who would want something as wild as this!"
You have been successfully growing Ambience in Marbella for many years now, what would you say is the secret to your success in the area?
"To recognise our clients’ needs and desires is our priority so that we can completely accommodate their personal style rather than influence them too much. For me, the best moment is when you get a client who walks in to their newly finished house for the first time and starts crying! That is a feeling you can’t put a price on. That is what we aspire to for any project.
Another key to our success is consistency, our services must always meet a very high standard. I demand a lot from the people who work with me, we have to strive for the same heights and if something is not good enough, or up to my standards, then we redo it and redo it until it is perfect."
What would be your absolute dream of an interior design project?
"I would personally love to design and create a huge boutique hotel, including a beach bar club, on a really big scale. Somewhere like Bali, Ibiza, L.A, or even here at home. Anywhere with a beautiful location and lifestyle with frontline beach property would be perfect."
Can you tell us a little about some of your current projects? What are you working on right now?
"We are currently working on a really beautiful renovation project in Istán which has incredibly stunning views. We will completely refurbish the house and then redecorate it. This is something we have become experts in - turnkey projects with in-house architects and in-house designers. It really produces better results to work as one team rather than dealing with multiple firms.
We are also working on a beautiful Villa in Herrliberg, Zürich, and a new-built traditional house in Wentworth, U.K., as well as several local projects for clients coming from all over the globe."
Tell us about any recent projects you have worked on in collaboration with Atlas.
"We are currently working on four projects with Atlas Group; one is a conversion of a big existing office building in Puerto Banús, turning it into a modern and high class co-working space which features a gym and a spa area. Also we have two apartments which we refurbished in Puente Romano and a total refurbishment of an old villa which is currently my own (and thrilling) project."