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Help me welcome our new traveling blogger, Allison! She will be visiting many different countries over the next few months and documenting the best designs from each location. Today she is interviewing the owner of the Oasis Club House in Buenos Aires. Take it away Allison...
When I found out I would be returning to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with my husband for work, I could not pass up the opportunity to catch up with my friend, and founder of Oasis Collections, Parker Stanberry. We chatted about everything from designing South American vacation properties to the ultra chic, members only Oasis Club House.
LAMPS PLUS: What brought you to Argentina in the first place?
PARKER STANBERRY: I had been in New York for 8 years and I felt I should go live internationally at some point in my life. I was planning on staying for 6 months, like a lot of people say when they first come down here…
LAMPS PLUS: How did the conception of a design-centric vacation rental agency come about?
PARKER STANBERRY: Along with investors, we purchased about 15 units and restored and decorated those units. After a few years of exploring the market, I began to reach out to existing property owners to create a network of individually owned properties that were exceptionally designed. We thought there was a market for a boutique hotel chain-like portfolio of rental properties around South America.
LAMPS PLUS: How would you characterize your design aesthetic?
PARKER STANBERRY: I think I could characterize my aesthetic as taking a cue from the uses of the property, what was it before, and what it has going for it. If there is a place that has exposed brick walls and is on the darker side, and it is never going to feel bright and modern, then go with that. I never come into a place and say this is exactly what I want, it's about working with what is there.
LAMPS PLUS: What would you say would be your design "calling card"?
PARKER STANBERRY: I like to include one bright pop of color, either through a painted wall or a large piece of art. I generally like to keep the furniture and the flooring in a muted, neutral palette so I bring character through the accent color.
LAMPS PLUS: What was the biggest design challenge with the Club House?
PARKER STANBERRY: We had to completely remodel the outdoor space. It was a gently rolling grass backyard, so, along with LA based designer Jon Padgett, we added in multiple levels to create more separation between the areas. We built the pool so that you could see across the top when seated below. We added in the tile flooring and steps, built the bar, carved out the shelving for the back bar, built the parilla (a staple in Argentina, it means barbecue) and built outdoor bathrooms from a storage room.
LAMPS PLUS: I notice a pop of burgundy around the Club House. What was the inspiration behind that color choice?
PARKER STANBERRY: A lot of times white and dark colors, like black or blue, are standard so we wanted to do something a little different. We used burgundy on the bar stools and the sofas on the terrace are in a burgundy velvet. The terrace is a transitional room, it is an outside space but the furniture is typically indoor furniture, so we used the burgundy to tie the spaces all together.
LAMPS PLUS: I love how you converted the garage into a warm and comfortable bar, will you tell me a little bit about the renovation of this space?
PARKER STANBERRY: The other big project aside from the outdoor space was the garage, which we use as our wintertime bar area. We had to build out the floor, ceiling and walls and we covered the walls in velvet curtains. We found the bar at the Mercado de Pulgas (Flea Market) and customized it to the space.
LAMPS PLUS: I notice the lighting of the converted garage bar is different from the rest of the house.
PARKER STANBERRY: We chose to have the space dimly lit, with recessed lighting around the edges and drum pendants over the pool table. We further accented the dimly lit space by picking out vintage furniture and accents and mixing them with custom pieces.
LAMPS PLUS: Why did you choose to decorate the Club House in the style that you did?
PARKER STANBERRY: One of the things I don't like about design in Buenos Aires is the idea that anything "high end" needs to be ultra modern and minimalist. Since the club house used to be a home, we wanted a more comfortable, vintage feel with polish.
LAMPS PLUS: How did you address lighting in the Club House?
PARKER STANBERRY: There is a different feel in the Club House than in a home. You are going for softer, mood lighting. We have all the lights on dimmer, so we can turn them down at night and outside we utilize candlelight and hanging string lights. We added all the hanging lights and floor lamps inside, but the track spotlights were already here. The owners of the property hang their Warhol series here, so they had the lights installed to accent the paintings. We are also working with a couple of local art galleries to have rotating paintings featured as well. It's a great way to incorporate local artists into the design.
Keep an eye out for Oasis Collections properties coming to Miami and New York within the next few months. If you have vacation plans in the future, it is an excellent, ultra design-conscious alternative to a hotel.
Images courtesy of Adrien de Bontin, Esteban Lobo, Oasis Collections
Beautifully designed Club House!