Many of the materials and building features of the home were selected and acquired in France, in order to create a character and aestheticism not often seen outside of the southern French countryside. The approach to the interiors globally, as well as in the selection and delineation of the interior finishes, millwork designs, etc. was to create a practical family home, and to let the interior finishes recede into a believable and simple backdrop.
The interiors are not wholly historical, but do utilize antiques to harmonize with the building itself. The color palette was created to be muted, and to resist trend. The finishes for all interior features are understated, and perfectly practical for a comfortable family retreat.
Photos: Werner Segarra
House Boz is a spacious and luxurious residence designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects situated on a hill within a secluded nature estate in Pretoria, South Africa. The clients requested that this stunning contemporary four bedroom house had an emphasis placed on the design of the living rooms. Ensuring that the magnificent views were optimized was of utmost importance and the design of this 8,288 square foot (770 square meters) house responds well not only to the client’s requirements but also to the context of the site.
The concept of a bush lodge arose from the vastness of the site and the natural setting of the stand within the estate. Werner van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects was inspired to design a house that resembled a bush lodge in the way it responds to nature and its immediate surroundings. Translating this concept into a contemporary home was almost effortless thanks to the location, orientation and natural beauty of the site.
Phia van der meulen and the M Square Lifestyle Design team strategically linked spaces through their use of various natural materials in the interior spaces. The design exposes the truth of the materials by using them in their purest form such as incorporating in situ-concrete, quartzite cladding and rusted mild steel in the design.
Regardt van der Meulen’s original steel sculptures were chosen for the project, as they fitted perfectly with the steel theme of the project.
Approaching the stand via a long driveway, you are afforded the opportunity to appreciate the design from a distance before actually getting close enough to appreciate its spaces. The striking square and rectangular forms are strategically positioned to capture your attention while the rusted steel boxes and stone-cladded walls aid in camouflaging the house creating a sense of unity between building and site.
The stretched screen walls seem to want to reach beyond their borders while floating steel boxes are gracefully suspended in mid air. The prominent east-west and north-south axes link and connect all the spaces while this point of collision and interception of the axes becomes the center of the home and it is here where we find the living room and covered patio. Thanks to the views being orientated towards North, the entire Northern facade has the ability to open up and live out onto the expansive views thus also naturally lighting and heating the house in winter, while carefully designed overhangs and brise-soleil keep the summer sum out.
The entrance hall positioned between the double garages is distinctively located alongside a partially covered atrium that gently introduces you to several views through the house as you’re welcomed in. The koi pond introduces water as you approach the front door while various podiums add depth and dimension to this space. An elevated sculpture podium and interlocking planters bring this atrium to life. At the same time it makes it possible to sleep with open doors as it is impossible to get into the atrium once the Mentis grating gate to the driveway is locked.
Every design decision communicates and reinforces the concept, as can be seen in the selection of materials used and the way the internal spaces relate to the outdoors. Limiting the choice of materials to predominately natural materials and earthy colors, it is evident that even the smallest of details make reference to the concept in a very unique way. Initially the site revealed itself as a mound of quartzite rock which was excavated and hand cut for the gabion walls and the stone cladding used throughout the house.
The double volume entrance hall is framed by a back-lit perforated skin of scaffolding boards bolted to a wall, creating the perfect backdrop for the sculptural looking concrete staircase with steel inlays and the sculpture under it by Regardt van der Meulen.
The interiors feature linear and monolithic forms that complement the architect’s vision for this house. Many of the functional elements were designed to become beautiful features that visually connect the spaces and create links throughout the house rather than just remaining purely functional. An example of this would be the way the staircase relates to the aluminum ceiling which features in both the main living room as well as in the main bedroom.
The selection of furniture pieces once again continued this theme where splashes of orange were used in the living room making reference to the orange seen in the rusted metal cladding. The overall charcoal color range used in this house complements the shades of grey found in the off shutter concrete walls.
The kitchen overlooks the lanai and garden while the frameless folding doors create an invisible threshold between the inside and out. These doors, when completely open, allow for the kitchen and dining room to overflow onto the lanai and bar, making entertaining effortless and enabling adults to keep an eye on children in the pool, a mere meter away.
The lanai with a sunken jacuzzi is snugly positioned between the pool on one side and a stone-cladded wall on the west which screens the afternoon sun to ensure the lanai’s temperature remains moderate. It is these design decisions that truly set this house apart from the rest.
All four en suite bedrooms are situated on the first floor with all of the bedrooms having their own private balcony. The three children’s bedrooms are situated on the western wing of the house while the main bedroom is located on the eastern wing. A suspended walkway with steel sheeting as floor tiles, overlooking the atrium links the two wings and creates a sense of privacy for the main bedroom.
Challenges arose during the construction process; however Nico van der Meulen Architects clearly pushed the boundaries on this design. This house prides itself in its design for luxury indoor/outdoor living in the heart of nature where internal spaces effortlessly expand beyond their often invisible borders to a world of beauty outside.
The variety and combination of textures used in this design create a synergy in this home which makes it truly unique.
Photos: Courtesy of Nico van der Meulen Architects
Wallace Ridge is a luxurious home with spectacular views designed by Whipple Russell Architects, situated in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills, California. This project began with former clients’ wish to move back closer to the city of Beverly Hills. At the outset the property was in disrepair; had a choppy floor plan, and gabled roofs that did not fit the client’s vision of a modern home. The goal, of course, was to maximize the views while creating fluid well-lit spaces that would both serve and reflect the lives of the inhabitants. Marc saw a way to stay within the Trousdale Estates’ single story 14 foot height restriction and still provide spaciousness and a spectacular view. To create a vantage point for the best view, a roof terrace was built atop the master suite, accessible from the pool area.
The entire core of the house was redesigned to feature an open plan, high ceilings and a sleek flat roof. The front door, flanked by large glass panels, opens to a wide entry and provides an open sight line across the living area, though 12ft glass walls and 8ft glass sliding pocket doors, to the patio and pool. Rooms are minimally defined using tall panels, custom stained in a rich coffee bean brown that contrast with the light walls. The warm modernism the clients wanted, and a home suited for entertaining, was achieved with a harmonious use of materials allowing kitchen, dining, entertaining and living room spaces to flow easily into one another.
In the living area a large screen television and fireplace are recessed into wall-sized expanse of Portico Slate tile by SOLI. In the kitchen, the island and countertops are Caesarstone in Lagos Blue and cabinets have an acrylic lacquered finish.
Large glass pocket doors open to the outside from both kitchen and living areas, where there is a patio bar, conversation areas and a tabletop fireplace all encircling the pool.
As there is a musician in the family, the clients wanted to find space for a full music studio; Marc found it by digging down and locating the studio beneath the motor court. It includes a separate control room, sound booth for vocal recording, and tracking room, a soundproofed oasis for creation.
The master suite also opens to the pool though large sliding glass panels. The master wing offers a library/sitting room, and a home theater. Next to the bedroom, the master bath continues the use of brown with the tile in the master shower – a basket weave pattern from SOLI. Adjacent is a roomy closet/dressing area.
To create a vantage point for the best view, a roof terrace was built atop the master suite, accessible from the pool area. Pool tile is by Ann Sacks, “ Promenade” in Eucalyptus and Heron.
The master terrace provides space for entertaining, sunbathing, a game of table tennis, and a view all the way to the Pacific.
Photos: Courtesy of Whipple Russell Architects
This newly constructed stunning French provincial home in the upscale neighborhood of Paradise Valley, Arizona was designed by Higgins Architects. The residence was meticulously crafted as a spacious single story property with several wings that are weaved harmoniously together. The finger like plan creates intimate courtyards that become the focus of interior spaces. Architectural antiques were incorporated into the home giving it a timeless appearance. Salvaged barn beams were used throughout the French provincial interior and exterior to support the rustic rural look of the architecture. The fixtures, materials and furnishings were carefully selected by Scottsdale-based interior design studio of Bouton and Foley Interiors.
The vanity is a found trough, made of limestone and imported from France. The lighting is also antique, re-purposed from a salvage yard and rewired for use.
Like many of the items in this house, the chandelier was purchased at an antique store and rewired and was not reproduced for the mass market.
The walls of the bedroom are finished with an integral colored plaster. The tone is a warm sand tone that adds a lot of warmth to the room.
The Wood is French Oak and there is not a colorized stain on the flooring. This is the natural look of the wood with a flat urethane finish.
Photos: Courtesy of Higgins Architects
This incredible lake house is nestled on Lake Okanagan, Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada. Designer Paul Nesbitt was given a blank check to use this unique setting to create a lakeshore experience like no other. Every detail from the artwork inside to the trim out was thoughtfully selected and painstakingly executed to create an environment of quality and comfort that maximizes the feeling of being on the lake. The residence is comprised of 7,572 square feet of living space, combining a nautical theme with modern architecture and the overall effect is beyond spectacular. The home features six hotel style bedrooms, a great room with a huge round window, and a canoe that seems poised to smash through the center. A curved bar continues the nautical theme and a shower enclosure is designed to mimic the ocean floor, complete with fish. The property also has a beachside cabana which emulates an ocean liner floating in water. Extensive landscape design includes water features, bridges of stepping stones and an outdoor kitchen and entertaining spaces. The scenic cove around the property offers complete privacy.
This incredible property is listed for sale at $8,999,000, from here.
This gorgeous Vineyard Estate is carefully sited on the edge of a sixty-acre vineyard in Sonoma, California. Designed by Aidlin Darling Design, this monastic 14,000 square foot stone structure establishes a temporal frame of reference for mapping its physical environment. The estate includes the main home, as well as a caretaker’s residence, barn, irrigation center, water storage, outlying garden rooms, sculpture gardens and an orchard. The main house incorporates stacked stone walls organized round a long reflecting pool, and large glass openings that obscure the boundaries between inside and outside.
Photos: John Sutton and Marcus Hanschen
This inspiring dream home, spotted on Skona Hem, is reminiscent of a knight’s castle with consistently beautiful and vibrant limestone floors and walls. The home is owned by advertising agency owner Morten Angelo and his wife, Tina Horsted who were looking for a summer home, far from the job meetings and daily stress in Copenhagen, but still close enough to go there quite often. Their choice fell on Italy, which directed their gaze towards the northwest Piedmont region. The couple ended up further up the “heel”, which is known for its sweet trulli houses from the 15th century.
The beautiful 3,229 square foot Italian estate was restored by interior designer Charlotte Johnson who saw a no-frills dream house with a colorless theme. She built up a history around the place, with a feeling that would be an adventure to come here. The designer added contrast without color, black and white with the only contrasting color for walls and floors by gentle gradation. Furnishings are modern classics from the 1960’s of a kind which fits most contexts, without disturbing.
Only two of the towers on the conical trullihus-ceilings, typical of Alberobello region, is of older date. The rest of the House is newly built.
This majestic estate spotted on Sotheby’s International Realty is located along of the waterfront of beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Comprised of 17,000 square feet of living space and 31 rooms, attention to detail has been meticulously featured throughout this Mediterranean style home. A grand entryway with voluminous ceilings welcomes you into the home, with quality details of marble, stone and wood floors, crown mouldings and wood beams throughout. An imposing stone fireplace is a main focal point to the spacious grand room that encompasses a main portion of the entertainment center of the home.
The estate features a gourmet kitchen with a breakfast nook, kitchen dining and formal dining area, den/library/office, family room, great room, media room, exercise room, wine cellar/grotto, storage room and utility room/laundry. The master bedroom features a sitting area with a master bathroom encompassing a separate tub and shower, whirlpool/spa. There is also a guest house with two bathrooms, two bedrooms, living room and kitchen. There is an intricate blending of indoor and outdoor living, a resort style 102 foot long pool with a water fall, water slide, in-pool bar and Jacuzzi, Spanish style verandas and gardens, complete with a summer kitchen. The home also boasts 650 feet of water frontage with three docks and incredible intracoastal waterway views.
This fabulous waterfront property is listed for sale at $22,000,000 from here.
Set in the stunning beauty of Bali, COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri is a destination with your peace and well being in mind. You believe in holistic health and the healing properties of meditation. You are inspired by the Indonesian landscape and its natural forests. Then, you belong at COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri. Take advantage of this place of beauty to detoxify, meditate, and recharge. The incredible residences and villas display Asian-meets-European decor. Alang-alang roofs shelter hand-carved furniture and Chinese antiques; baths are carved from Sumban stone. Each has a private butler and infinity pool.
Spend your mornings walking along the peaceful riverbank, practicing pilates, or participating in a restorative yoga class. A variety of daytime wellness treatments and cooking demonstrations will keep you occupied between nights relaxing in your private and spacious accommodation. Each suite is different from the next, with subtle shifts in mood, view, and spirit.
Bali is an extraordinarily peaceful destination and you’ll find COMO Shambhala Estate to be the pinnacle of the island’s character. This is truly a fitting place to realize your potential while reflecting on your dreams. All guests are assigned a personal assistant to help ensure a seamless stay.
Rates from this incredible retreat starts at $350 nightly from here.
Nestled in a privileged environment in the province of Cáceres, Spain the aim of Madrid-based firm Abaton Architects was to transform an abandoned stable into a family home through a comprehensive rehabilitation, with respect to the surrounding environment. The architecture firm solved the problems resulting from lack of supplies of electricity and running water through the systems of sustainability. The 3,465 square foot (322 square meters) home was designed with a system of solar panels with accumulators that allow the power supply in summer; settled turbines that exploit the channel of two streams that pass through the estate and that feed electricity to accumulators in winter.
Water can be observed through elements throughout the interior of the property as it flows naturally. The stone found in the surrounding area was used to build the house and the swimming pool. The supporting walls in the interior were replaced by light metal pillars, the haylofts in the upper area were converted into bedrooms, the water through became the fountain that is situated in the interior courtyard of the property and the enormous central lounge that serves different purposes took up the remaining area.
Take a look at the images of the beautiful Extremadura Estate and let us know what you think of this energy efficient home. Visit the website of architecture firm Abaton here.
Photos: Courtesy of Abaton