5 elegant villa designs custom built to the owners’ lifestyles

The best villa designs are those that put the owner at the forefront and revolve around their lifestyle.

That’s why Eco Vida Homes is an architect in Spain that prides itself on going above and beyond to deliver luxurious, energy-efficient homes. Whether your villa design ideas demand rooftop parking, a basement cinema, or a special button to press when leaving the house (more below) we can make it happen.

Here are a few of our favourite modern villa designs we’ve been involved with that suit the owner down to the ground.

Villa design with health and budget concerns at the core

A villa design realised in Mijas, Spain
William and Jo’s villa makes life far easier for them

William and Jo* had spent their entire lives dreaming of a warm place in the sun, but their home needed more than just natural light. Due to a medical condition, Jo would need a villa design that included heated floors throughout, as well as mechanical ventilation and a heat exchanger, so every room had a constant supply of fresh air.

On top of the heating and sophisticated air-conditioning, the couple were also hoping for extra-thick insulation, high-quality windows that prevent overheating, high ceilings and sea views from all the main rooms. 

Having set themselves the goal of creating something out of nothing, the couple worked hard to make the money they needed for their dream home. But once they had drawn up the specification necessary to make their dream a reality, there was a hitch. The budget William and Jo had laid out for their modern villa design and build wasn’t going to cover everything they’d planned for. They needed help.

Eco Vida Homes was able to help them evaluate the land before they bought it to confirm that they could build what they wanted legally and within their budget.

Working together with Eco Vida Homes, they were able to trim back the specification to accommodate everything on their wish list. Not only did William and Jo get every one of the features they were looking for, they got it all for the budget they’d set.

Their villa design definitely has the “wow” factor. When you walk in the front door, you’re greeted with gorgeous views of the Mediterreanean through the glass walls and an open-plan kitchen bathed in natural light. The entire house has an A-grade energy efficiency certificate, so it’s not only perfectly suited to their lifestyle, it also lowers their carbon footprint.

And as a bonus, William even managed to get the greenlight from Jo for a putting green on his land, making everyone involved seriously happy with the end result!

All the mod cons, carbon zero, and a lot of red tape…

A villa design that fit the client's lifestyle
Villa Ligera is light on energy usage, not features

Our client Svetlana was tearing her hair out after meeting with wave after wave of bureaucratic red tape blocking her ideal carbon-neutral villa design in Las Chapas.

It seemed like the lawyer – and her renewable energy expert husband – had bitten off more than they could chew and would have to say goodbye to their modern Marbella villa dreams.

But after several weeks evaluating the legal status of the building licence, weighing up the financial risks of the build, negotiating the price for the land, adjusting the villa design to make it energy-efficient, Eco Vida Homes was able to help her turn the situation right around.

We dealt with all the problems relating to water and electricity supply, from liasing with the neighbours to managing the suppliers. A timber-frame roof was added, as well as the installation of photovoltaic panels and a battery system that provides all the villa’s energy needs – even though it has all mod cons installed.

Now the couple are the proud owners of the carbon-neutral home they wanted, which is a huge selling point to the tenants they rent it out to as a holiday home.

Perfect sunrises and a rooftop kitchen

A villa design for perfect sunrises
Turning around a villa design to face the other direction is not the easiest of challenges

Villa Aurora was about 75% finished when Alice and Hugo* agreed to buy it. The couple had been looking for a home for some time and they were now thrilled they had found something close to completion, but still with enough room for them to add their own villa design ideas.

Meanwhile, Javier* – an executive with one of the largest property development companies in Spain – was looking for an opportunity to invest some of his own money in real estate and provide someone with an ideal villa. With the help of Eco Vida Homes, he found and evaluated a plot in El Madroñal Benahavis near Marbella. 

But while the plot was very reasonably priced given that this is an exclusive gated community and the views were fabulous, there was a problem. The aspect of the plot faced south-west, but the views faced south-east. This, together with the significant gradient, presented some serious design challenges, especially if Javier was to bring the scheme in on budget. Happily, Eco Vida Home’s head architect Domingo Cardenas was up to the task. Javier put his own money at risk, and the project went ahead.

Some six months before completion, Alice and Hugo found out about Villa Aurora and were in time to buy it and still decide all the finishes for themselves from the natural stone rendering to the wood and LED lighting in the bathrooms.

Their dreams were big: they wanted an outside kitchen on the roof, a lift to all floors from the roof terrace down to the basement car park, a cinema in the basement – the works!

Now the young family wakes up to breakfast in front of the beautiful sunrise facing east across the Mediterranean every day, exactly as they’d imagined it.

Secret wine cellar and private car park – on the roof?

Eco Vida Homes works hard to resolve any budget or regulation roadblocks

Mike and Maria (not their real names) were struggling to make their dream villa design a reality. Not only was the project more expensive than they imagined, they were also attempting to buy land in Spain from Australia, where they were living at the time.

Their dream was to return to Spain, where Maria is from, and enjoy a home designed with the kitchen as the main hub – a place where the family can gather, cook and look out over the Mediterreanean.

Mike and Maria had to stay both within budget and within building regulations. Eco Vida Homes was able to solve these problems by coming up with several innovative solutions to keep costs down and the local authorities happy, like rooftop parking for day-to-day use (long-term parking in the basement garage), and turning the villa design around so it faces east across the valley. The villa is no more than two stories high at any one point, in accordance with regulations.

And after solving all those problems, Eco Vida Homes, Mike, and Maria saw the opportunity to create a secret wine cellar out of the space between the house and the rock wall. Eco Vida Homes was able to make this a reality. It’s a totally enclosed cave lit up with energy-efficient bulbs, with a small bar added – beautifully cool in summer!

Special switch for leaving the house fast

Villa design in Marbella
Energy efficiency and convenience go hand-in-hand in this villa design

Even those of us not cursed with obsessive compulsive behaviour have at some point left the house with the haunting feeling that you’ve forgotten to turn something off.

Not only is that niggling feeling quite inconvenient (especially if you were right), leaving appliances on unnecessarily when you walk out of the house can be a massive drain of energy, leaving the owner with huge bills and a large carbon footprint.

Eco Vida Homes is all about designing luxurious villas that are also energy-efficient – and not sacrificing one for the other. So this villa design was very much in our wheelhouse.

We installed one super-useful button by the entrance that closes all the security shutters and turns off all appliances (except the fridge and freezer). Not only can everything be safely shut down upon leaving, the house can also be controlled remotely so the owners can make sure everything is ready when they fly over from London.

Additionally, this Salobreña villa design features underfloor cooling that cuts off before the condensation point is reached. The effect is one of entering the cave of a cathedral in the summer.

But it’s not just cooling and energy efficiency that makes this villa a cut above: the infinity effect on the swimming pool offers the most spectacular views over the sea, the timber frame roof gives a chic finish using sustainable material, and the low-maintenance garden and natural stone tiles on the terrace really complete the look.

Got a very specific villa design idea you want to see come to life in Spain? Contact Eco Vida Homes and we’ll talk you through how we can help you make it a reality.

*Names have been changed in the interest of client confidentiality.

Get in touch
Contact us to discuss building your villa in Spain.