Sandy Koepke is a Los Angeles, California based designer who creates stunning outdoor rooms for her clients for entertaining, dining and the pure enjoyment of being immersed in nature along with beautiful interiors that are timeless design that radiates warm and comfortable family environments. “Sunlight. Space. Sophisticated comfort. These are the elements I incorporate into every home and garden design. Yet each project is as individual as the clients — compatible with the specific site and architecture, and reflecting their own style and needs.”
Sandy has a BFA from the University of Nebraska and an MFA from Arizona State University. She developed her incredible design style from living in sunny Southern California. Her style is fun and relaxed, combining the best ingredients in imaginative ways; creating seamless transitions from indoors to out. Twinkling layers of vintage lighting and masses of succulents in California pottery and salvaged containers add charm and color to her outdoor living environments.
“I love the design process: the attention to detail, partnership with my clients and collaboration with architects, contractors and artisans. Most of all, I love turning ordinary spaces into beautiful places that welcome you home. Timeless and effortless….a light-filled and light-hearted approach to interior and garden design.” Sandy’s work has been featured in national shelter magazines, design books and on HGTV.
Photos: Courtesy of Sandy Koepke
Villa Pearl is a charming blue-shuttered Provençal villa that enjoys a privileged location right on the edge of St. Tropez, yet is privately tucked away in the countryside amidst surrounding vineyards. The two story villa offers five lovely guest bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms. Shaded by olive trees and sweet-scented Mediterranean pines and surrounded by vineyards, the garden makes a tranquil and calming escape from the world. A covered terrace runs the length of the house, shading outdoor living and dining areas. The large pool is set in the private garden and provides lounging areas under over-sized umbrellas.
Indoors, the main floor hosts ample living areas as well as the open plan, fully equipped kitchen and dining area, elegantly furnished in a classic style. Light and airy, the living areas open directly to the terrace and outdoor living spaces. A cozy fireplace provides warmth on chillier evenings. The main floor also provides two of the bedrooms, a playroom, TV room, a convenient powder room and the laundry room. The roomy master bedroom is on the upper level, includes a sitting area, and opens to the balcony. The master bedroom hosts an en-suite bathroom. Two further double bedrooms are on the upper level and share an ample bathroom. A one bedroom staff quarter is also onsite.
An oasis of calm and tranquility, Villa Pearl is roomy, bright, and secluded, while remaining close to the culture, dining venues, nightlife and beaches of famed St. Tropez. Prices range from $4,668 – $6,785 per night or $29,567 per week, sleeping up to ten people, from here.
With a love for gardening and a desire to capitalize on the commanding views, the clients came to Laidlaw Schultz Architects with a request to create a home in the beautiful community of Cameo Highlands in Corona del Mar, California where the line between indoors and out is blurred. The design solution centers on the creation of two distinctive outdoor spaces. The first is an entry courtyard with an emphasis on activity space – some shielded while others open to the sky; the second is a series of lower terraces on the downhill side of the lot, with views towards the Pacific Ocean. A quiet veranda overlooks the terraces, which are dedicated to gardening.
The project’s strict budget yielded a creative solution of exterior materials developed around a simple screening wall composed of horizontal and vertical lpe planks, and smooth exterior plaster with a standing-seam roof capping the composition.
Internally, where possible, walls were removed to capitalize on views; and a composition of textured elements, both smooth and rough, are juxtaposed to add a richness often lacking in modern homes.
This luxury property is situated in the enclave of Smithcliffs, an exclusive and secluded gated community along the coastline of Laguna Beach, California. The masterpiece was designed by Mark Singer Architects and built by Prestige Builders, celebrating the open floor plan of contemporary style. The main house features close to 5,300 square feet, while the pool house features close to 700 square feet. The main house has a second floor dedicated to the master suite, and media room. The first floor has three bedrooms all en-suite and a flowing open floor plan that features details which received critical acclaim. The property is spread over three lots totaling close to 27,000 square feet. The grounds create the ambiance of living in a resort and include a large pool, spa, a quarter basketball court, and lush landscaping.
Photos: Courtesy of Prestige Builders
This amazing home nestled in a tree-lined cul-de-sac in Northcote, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia offers a private entry to Rubie Thompson Reserve. Designed by award-winning architect Robert Simeoni the residence presents an artful blend of contemporary style. As welcoming as it is intimate and sophisticated, architectural voids invite the environs in, over two floodlit levels, to a series of expansive living zones for a subtle, relaxed ambiance.
Seamless glass walls delineate a superb entry through exceptionally proportioned formal and informal living areas with open fire and custom in-built cabinetry. A palette of natural surfaces and materials echoes its Park setting. There are four spacious bedrooms, a master chef’s kitchen and an open plan living/meals area overlooking a large rear yard. A separate formal living area with an open fire place, large upstairs landing/study nook with tranquil views of parklands. Via
This beautiful four story row house is situated in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York. Designed by CWB Architects, the project entailed a gut renovation of the garden level and first floor of the 2,600 square foot residence. The program included a family room, guest room, play room, bar, mechanical space, new stairs and a new rear garden design. Exterior facade work included a new large opening in the southern facade facing the garden and an integrated sunscreen to shield the interior spaces.
Photos: Francis Dzikowski/Esto
Atherton Residence is situated on a peninsula south of San Francisco, California, nestled on an internal suburban flag lot. Designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, the previous 1950s house had to be removed due to structural problems, but featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve. They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inward on the pond, garden and pool.
Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace. The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows. The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence.
Photos: David Wakely Photography
Tucked away in the Tuscan hillside not far from the cultural centers of Florence and Siena, Borgo Santo Pietro is a luxurious thirteenth century private retreat set within 13 acres of enchanting gardens. A resting place for pilgrims en route to Rome 800 years ago, this ancient site continues to provide sanctuary to its guests today. Elegant and sympathetically designed interiors and grounds provide the perfect setting to experience sheer indulgence.
All of the rooms are unique and have been created to reflect authentic luxurious Italian style that gives the guests the sense of staying at an exclusive, ancient country villa. With fifteen guest room, eight of which are suites, each room provides a sitting area and a view to remember. The extensive grounds at Borgo Santo Pietro include an orchard, organic fruits and vegetable garden, tranquil lawns and a beautiful pool as well as a tennis court, basketball court and a bocce pitch for the more active guests. A playground is set away from the peaceful seclusion of the garden.
Innovative, world class cuisine created from the villa’s private organic gardens, a velar of fine international and Italian wines, spa treatments, impeccable service and passionate attention to details are set in a refreshingly relaxed and intimate environment. Borgo Santo Pietro offers ultimate quality with the personal touch for truly exclusive escape in the breathtaking surroundings of Tuscany.
Prices for guest rooms range from $488.79 – $1,166.58 per night, from here.
With each new project contemporary architecture is forced to optimize spaces and use the maximum of each square meter of the site. V4 House, designed by Studio MK27 is a rare anti-example. Its occupation of the land is very far from the maximum coefficient. Laws allow for much larger constructions. The solution adopted, however, dialogues with the dimension of the site, formulating an adequate relation between the scale of the construction and the site. Contrary to the surrounding houses, a garden neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil, V4 House is a ground floor and almost disappears when seen from the street.
The living room, positioned at the front of the house, is under a delicate beam of exposed concrete. Two rows of door frames, on both sides of the living room, can be completely retracted, constituting total integration between the front garden, the living room and the back patio. The living room, in this case, shelters from rain and sun, like a large veranda. And, under the beam, in one of the extremities, there is an open kitchen. On the ceiling of this volume, a large deck is an empty space that functions as a solarium. This terrace makes almost the entire project like a garden.
The concrete beam appearing from the wooden box, houses the two rooms that face the patio. In the wooden box from where the concrete beam appears, are the two rooms that face the patio.
The wooded shaded area enables to control the inner temperature and, simultaneously, offers privacy to the environments.
The bathroom of the master bathroom faces a small garden, removed from the rest of the house.
The program for the client’s needs and the dimensions of the site made it possible to do an unusual project: an urban ground-floor house. The house ends up, therefore, being very delicately inserted with the surroundings.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio MK27
Meadowview house, designed by Platform 5 Architects, is situated on the edge of a ribbon development village in rural Bedfordshire, United Kingdom and is surrounded by mature trees, hedgerows and arable fields. The first floor, clad in sweet chestnut, overhangs a solid masonry and glass plinth; from across the fields, it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. Internally, the living spaces are arranged to relate to different garden spaces and the wider landscape. The house incorporates sustainable technologies such as rainwater recycling, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and photovoltaics on the roof. The landscaping forms a transition between the domestic and agricultural environments.
The sweet chestnut clad box overhangs the ground floor so that from across the fields it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. The deep recessed balcony acts like a lens hood, framing sunsets over the countryside.
A meandering route through the house creates a sequence of gradually more private internal and external spaces. The entrance hall offers visitors views straight through the house to the pavilion in the back garden whilst screening off the living areas. As you progress though the ground floor, the space expands into a double height living room that is overlooked by the first floor study. From the living room, you can gain access to the courtyard garden where more delicate plants can grow protected from the wind and cold.
To the rear of the house, swathes of long grasses and meadow flowers are animated by the breeze giving the terrace a wharf-like feel. An area of the garden is given over to food production in raised beds, providing all of the household’s fruit and veg over the summer months.
The concept of a hovering building is continued into the details of the ash tread stair that is cantilevered off the wall in the entrance hall.
The house is well insulated, fitted with photovoltaic panles and also incorporates mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce heat losses whilst a rainwater harvesting tank supplies water to the WC’s and the garden irrigation system.
Photos: Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects