PrivatAir Magazine Interview
Posted at 11:09 AM (PDT) on Friday, July 13, 2012

Hot Property (For Sale)
By Sam Bayoumi
PrivatAir Magazine: July 2012

Five and a half years ago while en route to India she stopped over in Colombo, did a little travelling and liked what she saw. 'Sri Lanka is a paradise.'

'…this house was so beautiful and ridiculously huge… we flew out to take a look and I fell in love with it.'

Set in seven acres of lush grounds an hour's drive inland of Colombo, the house once belonged to a well-known aristocratic Sri Lankan family, one of whom was Justin Deraniyagala. One of the pioneers of Sri Lankan art, he studied at the Slade in London and then worked in Paris, a contemporary of painters such as Picasso, Matisse and Georges Braque; he painted Josephine Baker in the 1920s. When Anderson bought it, the house had been empty for over 30 years, and looked more like a haunted mansion than a liveable home.

Since then she has been flying out to Sri Lanka to oversee the renovation work being carried out by a local project manager and his team. The main house was reroofed, verandas and balconies were variously opened up and expanded, new bathrooms and kitchens were created, and several outbuildings were converted into additional accommodation.

'I've been working on it for four years - I don't think I've ever worked on a house project that long before. So there's a part of me that feels like it's time for me to pass the project on.'

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