BLINK breathes new life into Maldives legend – Huvafen Fushi

BLINK Founder and Creative Partner, Clint Nagata, walks us through the reimagined Huvafen Fushi, where the focus was on returning to the design roots of the resort…

palm trees and plunge pool in front of beach cabin at Huvanfen Fushi by BLINK

Huvafen Fushi is an icon of the Maldives and an enchanted hideaway at North Male Atoll, which required some fresh thinking and love to bring its 44 lavish above-water and beach bungalow dwellings up to date and into the future.

BLINK founder and Creative partner Clint Nagata outlined the challenge facing his team, designing a complete refresh of the resort’s interiors, while staying true to the brand’s essence of sophisticated island chic and effortless style and ensuring the disruption to a very loyal clientele was kept to a minimum.

aerial view of buildings and coastline at Huvanfen Fushi Maldives

Image credit: BLINK / Ben Richards

“Naturally enchanting was our mantra,” said Nagata. “Wherever possible we used handmade materials from nature and colour palettes inspired by nature, designed to deliver a crafted sense of sophistication”.

BLINK’s philosophy of placemaking requires a deep dive into the customs, culture, arts and crafts of a destination before pen is put to paper or fingers to touchpad. For Huvafen Fushi this meant an exploration of local textiles, building materials and weaving techniques to create a new vision of sophisticated atoll chic, and a design that complements but never competes with the stars of the show: the turquoise waters, azure sky and shimmering white sands of North Male Atoll.

double bed in guestroom with traditionally woven wicker headboard

Image credit: BLINK / Ben Richards

“Balance is key in a delicate refresh like this,” continued Nagata. “For each villa, it was about establishing a natural focal point and the interplay of subtle elements”.

The resort is rightly famed for its otherworldly overwater bungalows and palm-fringed beach villas, as well as iconic pavilions for those who truly want room to spread their wings. Sprawling overwater jetties offer complete seclusion and privacy.

“We wanted to instill a sense of returning to the roots of when the resort first started, and recapturing some of that magic, while elevating the design to be full of surprising details and spaces that impart a sense of wonder and tranquility.”

For the interior feature walls, handmade woven abaca fibre wallcoverings are utilised, along with ROA natural wallpapers from Java in Indonesia, where the weavers are of consummate skill.

“These woven designs are increasingly intricate and ambitious yet retain a natural beauty,” explained  Nagata. “Woven rattan material features at the bedhead, and Jim Thompson silks in shades of green add a restrained splash of colour for the pillows”.

guestroom designed by BLINK in Maldives resort using natural materials

Image credit: BLINK / Ben Richards

Rattan, timber and woven themes continue through the chairs, sofas and other furniture pieces, while timber panelled ceilings and bay windows add the the refined island vibe. Clean lines, restrained tones, playful textures and an outsized plunge stone bathtub create bathrooms to linger in.

Main credit: BLINK / Ben Richards