A Dutch colonial villa, a tree house over-looking a riverbank, a renovated manor, a 1930s Art Deco chaletan enchanting portrait of Sri Lanka's faded grandeur, modern vision, and timeless beauty. The ancients called it the Island of Serendipity. Since 1972, it has been Sri Lanka, the "auspicious" (Sri) island to which King Lanka eloped with Rama's beautiful wife in the 2000-year-old Hindu epic. Through the centuries, Muslim traders, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British were drawn to rule this magical tropical island just off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent. Today in Sri Lanka one finds buildings of simple elegance and universal charisma: conversions and developments proud of the past, sensitive to present desires, prepared for the future, and displaying the best of multi-ethnic decoration with statues of the Buddha, Christian tapestries, Islamic footstalls, and Hindu sculpture. The discerning choice of houses is illustrated with over 200 color photographs of their interiors and of the breathtaking landscapes that surround them. Here are colonnaded verandas and wandering balconies, vast double doors, latticed paneling, and high ceilings. Engaging commentaries explore the dreams behind these homes and the impact they have had on modern architecture throughout the tropics. For those searching for a hidden paradise or seeking to re-create their own, this universal style book reveals the key to designing homes and interiors deeply in harmony with their environment. 250 color illustrations.