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A holiday home called FABULOUS...

Abi here. I've just got back from five days in the Algarve – our lovely friend Jarod lives and works out there so we stayed with him at the gorgeous, but very traditional, villa where he's based. 

I did very little except read trashy novels by the pool (I did manage to drive a speed boat which was very exciting; I sang Duran Duran's Rio in my head) but one day we took a turn around the residential development Jarod has helped to design with another lovely friend Scarlett (who knows the kind of stuff I like). And it's about as far away from the trad Portugese holiday home as you can get...

Called The Keys, it's not exactly at the cheap end of things but, by crikey, it's fabulous. Now I don't imagine for one minute I'll be able to afford more than maybe a door handle here – those already down for a residence include celebs and VRPs (Very Rich People). But that didn't mean we couldn't have a snoop around all the delicious design moments my talented friends had created in the show home.

Inside it's a feast of sun-worshipping interiors and luxe fabrics and finishes. 

A très exclusive complex surrounded by its own man-made, über-eco lake, The Keys houses a mix of huge villas and apartments. They have a very mid-century, Frank Lloyd Wright-on-his-holidays vibe. My fave is the Sundance (above); it's that little sunburst window that hooked me... that and the two infinity pools.

Check out this palm wallpaper in one of the bedrooms – love it!

And the green deco lights in the bathroom complement the colour scheme perfectly.

And I'm always partial to a bit of steer skull fabulousness.

These lights hang either side of the bed in another bedroom – I love them; big, shiny and industrial.

And the living room is light and airy with some seriously Beverly Hills sofas going on.

The whole place has a muted base palette with shots of colour pinging out everywhere; like on these bucket seats, above, and the slightly saucy painting, below. I have also realised I need pineapple lamp bases in my life.

And the littlest things prove the most delicious: silk wallpaper with tiny dots of Swarovksi crystal?

Mother of pearl-covered kitchen cupboards?

Wall aquarium in the bedroom?

Rough white marble slivers of tile? A clear plastic bubble chair suspended from the ceiling?

All here, all suitably OTT and all rather fabulous and adding perfectly to the we're-on-holiday-let's-crank-up-the-glamour vibe. I had to be restrained from flinging myself into the top-floor infinity pool too. And here's Jarod himself, above, in the afore-mentioned bubble chair.

We reluctantly left all this sparkling loveliness behind and headed for the beach; yes, it's luxe and proud but I kind of want that when I go on holiday – I love a bit of escapism and the chance to Jackie O it up. You can keep your glampy camping thank you very much; a portaloo will never be acceptable. So I'll start saving my pennies and hope I get a very hefty mate's rate discount on my very own Sundance...


  1. Slightly saucy??
    Love the mother of pearl on the cupboards. What a place.

  2. Now that Jarod has managed to place all these amazing colours, textures and surfaces he'll finally be able to sleep at night.
    Looks like the quintessential FFP; 'family fun palace'. Everyone should have one if we were brave enough!
    Well done design team.