La Suite Sans Cravate is an historical house that has been converted by Véronique Bogaert into a luxury guesthouse with four guestrooms, located in Bruges, Belgium. The success of the owner’s restaurant was the inspiration for the guesthouse, and with an expanding family, there was not enough room for them to continue taking up residence above their restaurant. Have a look below for the owner’s inspiring story of how the project transpired into what was once just a visionary dream.
We (Veronique 37 years and Henk 34 years) have a restaurant (1 Michelin star) in Bruges since 10 years. We’ve lived above the restaurant until now; it became too small with our 2 kids (6 & 7 years). We were looking for a private house but didn’t find anything which was close the restaurant and enough space. Suddenly a great opportunity came along, the historical house in front of our restaurant came free and we take the shot… Result it was too big for us, so we aid to each other “why don’t we make some guestrooms in the building?”
We ourselves had enough ideas how to separates the places in that big house. We of course needed an architect to draw for us. There was one big rule!! We wanted to have absolutely a private house were our guests couldn’t come, let’s say a red line for them not to cross. Therefor we provided 2 very high luxury rooms and 2 suites. The house is separated is 2 parts, one for the guests and one for us. We’ve put an extra stair especially for us. It’s a very ancient house; we have information that leads until 1450! A house with a soul and character!
The whole decoration we did ourselves, till the smallest detail. We didn’t use the help of any interior architect or someone of that kind. We ourselves are creative minded people the name of our guesthouse is called “La Suite”, for us it has several meanings, first, it means if you translate it, the following, it is the following step of our lives, it also means like a kitchen name, that reply’s in the kitchen that the next dish can follow. Like the people who are in our restaurant, they can go to their rooms for the next step of their evening.
Why a French name? That’s because our restaurant is called “Sans Cravate”, now we’ve changed our logo to La Suite Sans Cravate, it match very well together. We have a very personal style in our kitchen and interior of the restaurant, now we have that also in our new guesthouse. The rooms have the name of wine grapes, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Each guest receives when they arrive a glass of bubbles with a personalized macaroon biscuit with the flavors of their room that they booked.
The renovation took three years in total but the result is magic, we are of course very proud that we realized something like that. With only one month open and already nominated for “Best design hotel”.
Photos: Courtesy of La Suite Sans Cravate
Hamersley Road Residence is the conversion of an early 1900’s Australian workers cottage into a modern family home by Studio53, located in Subiaco, an inner western suburb of Perth, Australia. The external timberwork, moulded plaster, handmade tiles and flannel flower glass of the existing house give the home a distinct arts and crafts aesthetic. The house had been untouched for many years. The owners, architect and interior designer from Studio53, wished to provide a functional home for their family with flexibility for now and into the future. They also wanted to respect and enhance the existing craftsmanship.
As we were designing a home for our family, we wanted to optimize the space of the relatively small site area. We were able to do this through the use of pure forms such as the ‘courtyard’ and the ‘box’.
The conception of the ‘box’ is integral to the design of this house. Internally, the box is its own zone; bedrooms, bathroom and play room for the children. Externally the box defines the character of the extension, highlighting the change from existing house to contemporary home in a sympathetic but contrasting manner.
Throughout the design process, we re-used and recycled elements of the existing home to create a story of restoration. This included recycling bricks, light fittings, and even the old laundry trough, which is now a thriving herb garden. The original tin awning on the front of the existing house was resurrected with a coat of Dulux Weathershield in ‘Happy’ to match the ‘box’.
The upper level addition is delineated from the existing house by taking the form of a pure yellow ‘box’ gently placed on top of the ground floor behind the gable of the existing home. The Box is then further wrapped in a perforated screen to shade and protect it from the sun.
To the rear of the existing home we constructed a ground floor extension that envelopes a landscaped courtyard. Building to two boundaries and focusing the new ground floor rooms into the courtyard assisted in the creation and then blurring of the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. The intent was to provide multiple spaces of differing character, to be used at different times of the day and year, some inside and some outside.
The intricately patterned and visually permeable screen envelops the box on all sides. The pattern is inspired from the floral motif of the original carpet and fireplace tiles; although given a contemporary edge. This screen provides visual richness, shade and protection to openings whilst offering opportunities for passive surveillance of the street. At night, the screen is illuminated, glows and provides a moment of joy for the neighborhood.
Despite being untouched for over 90 years, the existing home was rescued and rejuvenated. The honest values of the house have been maintained, continued and extended into the new addition, to breathe life into the existing cottage and to create a “happy” and contemporary family home.
House at Neil Road celebrates the traditional charm of Peranakan shophouses with the addition of new spaces sensitive to the building’s rich heritage, by ONG&ONG, in the conservation district of Singapore. Akin to traditional shophouses, the spaces are interspersed with courtyards that serve as visual focal points. The original courtyard forms the heart of the common areas while a newer courtyard marks the transition from the old structure into its new extension.
The shophouse walls tell a similar story of progression from old to new, with paintwork along the forecourt’s boundary walls stripped and left unfinished, revealing layers of paintwork and the shophouse’s history. Exposed brick walls reveal old bricks manufactured with local clay that are no longer in production. This creates a stark contrast when juxtaposed with the original courtyard wall – its original blue paintwork and folklore-inspired fresco restored to celebrate the shophouse’s Peranakan heritage.
Other preservation efforts include the restoration of the facade; the original red cement flooring of the five-foot way, living and dining spaces; the original timber flooring and exposed floor joists of the upper levels; and the terrazzo finish for the bathrooms, which highlights an age-old craft that is becoming a dying trade in Singapore. Details such as bathroom vanities accented with glazed Peranakan tiles, the old iron main gate and the “pintu pagar” (Malay for “door gate”) demarcating the master bedroom’s entrance further enrich the authentic tonalities of the shophouse.
With its blending of old and new elements, this house not only preserves a unique cultural heritage, but also acts as a storytelling device that narrates the histories of its past and present occupants.
Photos: Courtesy of ONG&ONG
The Cube House project is an old Victorian home that has been re-imagined by John Maniscalco Architecture for a family of four, located in San Francisco, California. This dilapidated 1895 Victorian with a historically protected facade, abnormally long building footprint, and zero lot-line configuration was transformed into a light-filled home. The introduction of a two-story atrium (which is open to the sky) brings the exterior into the very center of the urban dwelling becoming the spatial organizing gesture, allowing all areas of the house to partake of the light, air, and landscape (both earth and sky) that this protected garden provides.
Utilizing both the transparent and reflective qualities, the glass cube acts to both define each distinct space and extend it. The Jarrah stair, which is framed by the cube, cantilevers from the wall, adding to the transparency and lightness. A wall of Sapele cabinets transforms to respond to the changing requirements of each space, while maintaining the scale of the larger space.
The house maintains an appropriately formal programmatic element – a library – in the room behind the preserved facade. The dining room and living room flank the garden, which a large kitchen opens on two sides to the rear garden and views to the north. Above, the cube is surrounded by two bedrooms and a master bedroom suite with a large rear deck.
The lower level features a media room/guest suite, exercise room, laundry, and a three-car garage.
The solution maintains and restores the historic facade, while adding an additional floor, set back from the street, which utilizes an abstraction of the cornice and fenestration patterns of the existing house.
Photos: Courtesy of John Maniscalco Architecture
Greenwich Village Townhouse is a landmark Greek Revival townhouse from the 1840’s that has been designed by Axis Mundi, situated on a charming street in New York’s Greenwich Village. The four floor building (plus sub-basement) was gutted to the original brick building envelope. All new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were installed, and the garden was redesigned. Axis Mundi was responsible for the complete architectural, interior design and decorating of this home.
The goal of the project was to respect the charms and scale of the original historical style without mimicking period details, and create a suitably modern context for the owner’s collection of artwork by Warhol, Haring and Basquiat. While restrained, the interior resolves certain contextual issues related to the site, yet is decidedly modernist in its attention to details.
A sculptural bronze and mirrored screen was designed by Axis Mundi to create an entrance foyer, using cast glass that was salvaged from Gio Ponti’s Alitalia showroom on Fifth Avenue. A chandelier was created with glass from the same project, all superbly fabricated by Urban Archeology.
Various surrealist touches, such as a painting by Matta, and furniture by Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi, add a touch of humor to a formally rigorous design scheme.
Most of the details were custom designed, from the marble mosaics in the bathrooms, to the millwork and Prouve-inspired shutters on the kitchen floor.
A custom bronze staircase, anodized aluminum metalwork, and overall spatial concerns relate to a contemporary sense of materiality.
Photos: Adriana Bufi, Andrew Garn, and Annie Schlecter
This striking farmhouse renovation project was designed for the 2012 Southern Living Idea House by Historical Concepts, located in the tiny town of Senoia, Georgia. The project was Southern Living Magazines first ever historical renovation project. Over a period of seven months, a tired 19th century home located in this historic town south of Atlanta was transformed into a charming and up-to-date farmhouse. Multiple renovations had masked much of the historic character, so the restoration began by peeling back generations of changes to uncover the essence of the 1830s home. The design team then set out to salvage what remained of the home’s original materials, retaining heart pine floors and hand planed wall boards. Additions sympathetic to the style and massing provided room for porches, a laundry room, mud room, office and carriage house, accommodating modern living while staying true to the home’s architectural heritage and rural roots.
Photos: Laurey W. Glenn (Courtesy of Southern Living)
Four Floors consists of four couture apartments dispersed over four floors of an historic 19th century stone Galata building that was immaculately restored in Istanbul, Turkey. The contemporary renovation was carried out by it’s owner and designer Sema Topaloğlu, one of Istanbul’s most original designers, and her team of furniture designers and craftsmen. Inspiration for this small and sleek boutique hotel came from the historic culture of Istanbul and the deep-rooted Istanbul traditions of handcraft. The spacious interiors of the 4 Floors contains furniture from Topaloğlu’s own unique collections and other leading contemporary designers such as Marc Newson, Ingo Maurer and Marcel Wanders. These stylish interiors feature sweeping views of Istanbul, combining the new and old to dramatic affect that represents the new contemporary culture of Istanbul.
Features includes a peaceful environment within the busy city is created by the personalized service of Murat Topaloğlu. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and panoramic views of the famous skyline and Bosphorus, unique design and furniture by Sema Topaloğlu Studio, contemporary amenities including fully outfitted kitchens, music players, high-speed internet, in-room coffee makers and selected international and Istanbul magazines. The top floor Penthouse features executive accommodation provides striking views across the Sea of Marmara framing the old Istanbul from atop the living loft and terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of Four Floors Istanbul
Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
Connect With Us!