Eagle’s Nest is a striking Mediterranean summer house that was completed in 2010, designed by Sinas Architects, situated on Serifos Island, Greece. Serifos perhaps, is one of the last Cycladic islands that has only recently started to develop. Some call it “wild and inhospitable.” For the few faithful who visit it consistently, this “roughness” is the key element that made them fall in love with it.
On the south side of Serifos, near the lovely beach of Kalo Ampeli is an area known as “Chomatovouni”. Here steep slopes, cliffs and rock formations dominate the scenery. Within this seemingly inhospitable landscape only the eagle could build its nest.
The house has a total size of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters) and is spread over three levels. The main house, with three dormitories, is located at the lower level. The house is accessed through the backside, through a staircase that seems to cut through the building, to lead visitors to the main terrace, a balcony with unobstructed views of the sea, the bay of Kalo Ampeli and the picturesque island Garbis. Another terrace has been created that adjoins with the kitchen on the west side of the building.
The main guest house has been placed on the top of the main house. It includes its own bathroom, kitchen and fireplace. This way the guest has complete privacy and access to the view.
Finally, a small cell like building, the “keli”, also a guesthouse, is positioned completely independently at the highest level of the complex.
The peculiar shape of the house serves two needs: on the one hand it creates multiple terraces protected from the sun and the winds of the Aegean and the on the other it breaks the volume of the building into individual smaller and irregular ones. The basic building material is stone that came entirely from the excavations. Stone in combination with the color of mortar achieves a color corresponding to the landscape. Thus the building is fully and naturally integrated in its surroundings.
Outside, the house combines all the structural elements of the island such as stone, ground, the reeds, wood with its natural colors, creating a traditional atmosphere. Internally cool white was selected as the dominant color and a modern aesthetic. The floors, all of which are smooth industrial, invite you to walk barefoot and forget the need for shoes.
One week of isolation in this house will certainly function as the lotus to the crew of Ulysses and make you forget all your ties with the city and need to return to civilization!
Photos: Nikos Stefanis
Mercer Island Residence was designed to be an open and functional home by Stuart Silk Architects, located on Mercer Island, Washington. The goal of this project was to turn a house with little or no connection to the outside into an open and functional residence. Originally designed by an engineer who designed office buildings, the house had an introverted presence and grand scale. The owners wanted something contemporary and functional and most importantly, usable.
Our concept was to re-center the house around the central living spaces. We carved out a formal dining room and restructured the stairs to be more efficient and effective in organizing the circulation through the house. Windows replaced glass block and doors that reflect the grand scale of the home become transitions and views from the beautiful views overlooking the yard and the lake. A new kitchen with an open plan transforms the kitchen into the hub of the home that provides the space for gourmet cooking and still be a place for family to gather.
The exterior of the house received architectural upgrades that broke up the massing and scale to be more residential and visually organize the facade. The interior went through a large transformation as rooms were realigned with current needs of the owner. The master suite was enlarged with a new bathroom and a large skylight over the tub to flood the previously dark space with light. Interior finishes, lighting, and updated plumbing turn into well appointed rooms that are refreshingly comfortable and light-filled.
Photos: Alex Hayden
This colorful Captiva Island, Florida beach house has been designed by Stofft Cooney Architects in conjunction with interior design firm Diamond Baratta. A blend of post-modernism and tropical decor, the home includes a 6,700 square-foot main house, with a 2,400 square-foot two story guest house with two full living/bedroom suites and a gazebo that was constructed on the property. The home is a grand-scaled Florida beach home cottage, with the traditional cedar clapboard siding and large expanses of glass to reveal the panoramic views of the ocean. Outdoor pavilions have been built to sit outside and relax with shade from the sun. The home’s main color scheme is turquoise, white and chartreuse, with punches of other bold colors splashed throughout the home to add vibrancy and give the home character.
The property includes seven bedrooms, seven and a half baths, two family rooms, a study, a master suite with spa retreat, a media room, an expansive fitness room, a private elevator, a two-story guest house with two fully-equipped studio suites, a freestanding garage with two bays and room for lifts (in addition to the parking bays available to the main house), a gazebo for seaside meditation or contemplation of the koi pond, and a saltwater pool and spa surrounded by a multilevel, coquina-stone lanai. The use of Tischler und Sohn windows, doors and hardware throughout assures the use of the very finest materials and guarantees the ultimate in storm protection. A whole-estate generator serves all structures.
Relax on the multiple outdoor loggia and covered balconies serving both the main house and the guest house. Grand, sweeping views, as well as privacy, were both considered in the design of the estate.
The beach house is situated on over two acres, with over 200 feet of water frontage and soft sand beaches. The lushly landscaped grounds draw the residents and their guests to the natural beauty and serenity of island life. The soothing sounds of the waves from the Gulf of Mexico are heard from nearly every room.
In the family room, custom-made wicker sofas and club chairs are paired with custom-colored portieres.
The family room has a custom-made sofa and rug by firm Diamond Baratta Design.
The kitchen overlooks the gazebo, the koi pond, and the Gulf beyond to the south through immense picture windows; views of an inviting loggia with fireplace to the west connect you to the many moods of the sea. The kitchen island countertop consists of lavastone.
Circles and curves define custom-made pieces in the breakfast room. The table sits on a Pucci-inspired rug by Tai Ping. The steel chandelier has lacquered wooden balls.
Trellised walls and ceilings, designed by Diamond, Barratta and handcrafted by Connecticut artist, Paul Flammang, provide a magical backdrop for more formal evenings; views from this room to the formal, beautifully planted and luminously lit allow guests a vista of a different sort.
Vintage Italian Pagoda tulipières sit atop a custom trellis credenza in the dining room.
The home’s exuberant turquoise, white, sun yellow and chartreuse interior color scheme is set against a backdrop of classic white millwork, jewel and silver-toned lighting fixtures and reflective surfaces. Inspired by leading artists and craftsman like Ron Seff, Dorothy Draper, Murano, Scalamandre, Beauvaix, Stark and Charles Edwards, and executed by renowned designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, the home’s interiors and finishes allow lovers of light and nature to experience those things inside and out.
The entry hall’s palette is pared to white and turquoise. The runner and portieres are custom made.
For the master bedroom, designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta used a lamp originally designed for the Eden Roc Hotel lobby in Miami. A niche wall and headboard in custom-colored velvet anchor the bed.
Seating in the master bedroom of a Florida beach house takes advantage of the Gulf view.
The magnificent mahogany and limestone staircase ascends through the core of the main house and is wrapped in Eric Beare murals that conjure up whimsical, tropical images of Gaugin’s South Sea islands.
The designers chose a bright turquoise for the entry to the home, evoking the color of the Gulf of Mexico.
Royal palms lead to a Florida beach house built by Stofft Cooney Architects. Inspired by the sea, the interiors boast invigorating colors and distinctive design.
Each house, with its standing-seam metal roofs, references Old Florida, while outdoor pavilions, loggias, siding details and architectural features executed in “high tech” materials mimic that style’s authentic appeal.
Photos: Jason Schmidt
Lopez Island Residence is the remodel of a stunning seaside home by Graham Baba Architects on Lopez Island, in Washington State’s San Juan Islands. The remodel involved the removal and recycling of the original 1960s split-level house and the design of a home that’s more connected with its location. The island residence is comprised of several natural materials associated with the Northwest vernacular, including exposed wood, iron, glass, and local fieldstone. Exterior windows provide a continual view of the San Juan Islands region, while the architectural elements and materials reinforce the Pacific Northwest locale.
In keeping with GBA’s practice of employing reused and sustainable materials, metal destined for the dump has been reclaimed to form the divider between kitchen and dining space, and beautifully weathered Australian gumwood from Sydney Harbor’s wharves has been repurposed as exposed trusses within the house. Custom ironwork was fabricated by Seattle-based Gulassa and Co.
The transition from interior to exterior space is minimal with the use of a panelized glazing system that easily folds and tucks away to allow nature in. Deep overhangs protect the interior spaces from overheating during the summer while letting in the much-needed low sun during the winter. The open floor plan allows for amazing views from all positions, making the Puget Sound environs a constant in the residence and tying in beautifully with the physical elements of the house.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
Surfside Chic Nantucket is a beautiful family beach house retreat designed by BPC Architecture together with interior design firm Donna Elle Seaside Living in Nantucket, an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The colors of morning mist, foggy late afternoons and clear days adorn the interiors of this very hip, architecturally designed beach home still lending a presence of the old. A collaborative adventure with BPC Architecture and Cross Rip Builders, Rhett DuPont features visual and sensual forms. The textures, furnishings and lighting lend a style of casual elegance with a flair of femininity juxtaposed to the strong lines in the architectural field.
Front entry way featuring rough hewn timbers hand pickled with 8-10” reclaimed quarter sawn oak flooring hand rubbed white washed floors with a custom closet door out of driftwood.
Classic Kitchen with a twist of modernity! glass and marble mosaic tiled wall with slate counter tops and window sashes painted in marine blue for a pop of emphasis!
Feast your eyes for a wonderful tale of old fishing folk lore and whale etchings hand atop this custom bar, designed by Mary Emery, friend and artist of Donna Elle’s
Dining in this space underfoot with a silk rug from Stark on the infamous Louie ghost chairs on a weathered plank top table with shimmering lights and horizontal ship lap on walls with hand rubbed painted floor boards.
Master bath adorned in marble and mirror and glass for pure relaxation of all senses.
Guest Wing with bar, washer, dryer and 2 bedrooms with private baths.
Sea artifacts adorn this board and batten wall.
Custom designed bar of a ships hull featuring up lighting under frosted glass inset adjacent to old folk lore and sketches of whales on bar top.
Photos: Courtesy of Donna Elle Seaside Living
The Brick Bay House has been designed by Glamuzina Paterson Architects, situated in Snells Beach, Warkworth, a small coastal town in the north of Auckland Region in the North Island of New Zealand. The dwelling is an enquiry into where a site begins and ends; how to define the edges of the project; and the way landscape may be inhabited. Firmly dug into the earth and composed as a simple L plan, its low form recollects modest farming buildings and the idea of an ‘Elegant Shed’. The house was designed for a family of five, with the clients wanting a house that responded to the contours of the land with a relaxed sense of connection to the rural surroundings. The house is located on the road to Snell’s Beach on a 4 ha section, that’s steeply rises to the west with views to Kawau Bay and a main road along the south western boundary.
The house negotiates the contours of the site with the private areas staggering down the hill to the south, creating a courtyard, and providing protection. The L plan forms a barrier to the road above on the south west boundary, blocking noise and giving privacy. The north deck opens to the east and west allowing afternoon sun to penetrate the living areas. The open plan living areas under the gable roof have porch enclosures to north and east that frame views to Kawau Bay.
The facade of Macrocarpa board and batten wraps the house with a beautifully textured grain that gives a natural warmth to the facade, registering time as its color changes. The louvered frame to the walkway gallery provides shade in the summer and protection in the winter. The environmental benefits of timber was vital to the project, with timber being locally sourced and milled in small runs from Riverhead shelterbelt trees. Waste was dealt with on site with sawdust used for the garden and farm, and off-cuts for firewood and furniture.
Photos: Courtesy of Glamuzina Paterson Architects
Blackpool House is a unique home situated on Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand, standing as a black monolith in a densely populated native landscape. Designed by Glamuzina Paterson Architects, the brief was to design a house that was at home in the tree canopy. The architectural solution created a tower that vertically responded to the topography and allowed choreographed connections to the landscape. Entry to the steep site is from above and you descend through dense native trees, along a winding path where you are presented with an entry porch cut into the austere form. The southern wall is conceived as a defensive wall anchoring the building into the site, and setting up a layering of the space within. The entry compresses you on arrival, followed by a sense of expansion offered by the interior double height space beyond.
The tower is a one bedroom house for a couple, and was completed on a very modest budget. The house consists of four interior split levels and two decks that allow for varying connections to the landscape, with kitchen and dining on one level and living 900 mm below. The second floor has a bedroom and bathroom with a mezzanine library on the stair landing. Ground floor footprint is 505 square feet (47 square meters) with 365 square feet (34 square meters) across the second floor and mezzanine. The chiselled roof form, shifting floor plates and deck follow the contours of the land. The undulating north-west face responds to the enclosure of the tree canopy, negotiating the connection between interior and exterior conditions. The dining room looks across to a deck to the east and back into the double height volume of the living room.
To achieve a singular and continuous form in the landscape, black metal cladding for the exterior skin and aluminium joinery for the apertures was chosen. Recycled totara floor was used for the flooring with pine with a clearcote finish for dinning ceiling and void walls. The void ceiling has dark stained Meranti ply and black rafters.
The interior is seen as a poche cutting of the internal volume generating a series of surface conditions which articulate the program within the house. The volumes accentuates the verticality of the site, and allows differing spatial parti; from intimate to vast. The library rises up through the space to the intimate mezzanine becoming a vertical- expose of programmed structure which terminates at the ceiling rafters. The irregular and undulating north face responds to the enclosure of the tree canopy.
Photos: Sam Hartnett
This beautiful Mediterranean home is situated on the island of Formentera in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain. With rustic modern charm, this home exudes warmth and invites you to sit down and stay awhile. The summer home features white washed walls, lots of wood and rattan and natural textures, decor and accessories. This sensational property was discovered in the portfolio of the talented Barcelona based photographer Enrique Menossi.
Photos: Enrique Menossi
This island estate spotted on Sotheby’s is nestled on Key Biscayne, Florida, offering serenity and privacy. Unique in beauty and design, this modern contemporary home was created with precise attention to details as per materials and decoration. It offers 6,542 square feet of grand spaces for entertaining and cozy alcoves for intimate gatherings. High floor to ceiling windows with streaming natural light provide Zen-like views of beautifully landscaped grounds. The home also features a custom kitchen, a chef’s paradise, library, media room, six bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms, an expansive master suite with “Hers” unique closet, in-home fitness center, private elevator, spa/hot tub and outdoor pool, terrace and plenty of outdoor living space and a private dock.
This stunning property is listed for sale at $13,800,000, from here.
Kukio Residence is a tropical getaway overlooking the breathtaking lava-rock strewn Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. A real estate developer from Eugene, Oregon originally built the house along with Maryl Pacific Construction, with the intention of selling it off, but he and his wife ended up falling in love with the spot and decided to keep it for themselves. Before moving to the sprawling, fully furnished property, consisting of 4,000 square feet of living space, with one-bedroom main house and tow two-bedroom guest houses each at 1,800 square feet, they wanted to swap out the furnishings and redesign the interiors to reflect their personal design aesthetics.
They contracted California-based designer Jacques Saint Dizier, who has helped the couple with the interiors of their other properties. The designer set forth on revamping the home from floor-to-ceiling, including the furnishing and even curated an impressive Hawaiian art collection. Using the ocean to inspire his design, he first brought in lavish mother-of-pearl walls and built out from there. The design style reflected the owner’s personalities, casual yet glamorous. The designer used a lot of copper accents throughout the house to play off the stone floor and wood tones. Then he added scoops of blue to correspond with the natural greens hues from the outdoors. He used rough, primitive pieces such as the coffee table to counterbalance with the clean aesthetic of the wood cabinets and clean architectural lines.
The swim-up bar entices guests to spend the entire day in the pool. The area is surrounded by lava formations that, by law, are not allowed to be touched. Incorporating those into the landscape became important to the view.
The living room featured a continental hutch from 1895 that mimics some early Hawaiian antique pieces. Modern furniture was mixed with local art to give this tropical retreat a glamorous comfort. The chairs were chosen for their high backs to create the feeling of an intimate space.
Open to the gardens on one side and the ocean on the other, it’s hard to find a less than stunning view from the Media Room chairs. Though the living, dining and media spaces are all connected, the designer used furniture pieces and a smart layout scheme to make each area feel intimate.
The designer wished to bounce light off the table so it shines upward on guests’ faces. An old trick, it helps to get rid of dark shadows underneath people’s eyes, making everyone look beautiful. The table has a bronze copper-finished lazy Susan in the center.
The corner game table is often used for breakfast and reading the morning paper. It’s views of the Pacific are unobstructed.
Ebonized wood creates a wonderful contrast to the shimmering Mother of Pearl paneled walls in this Bedroom. Vintage lamps with custom shades give it a playful touch.
The garden becomes a part of this tropical Guest Room. The walls are covered in woven fiber.
Tropical gardens surround the Master Bedroom with it’s mother of pearl paneled walls.
The designer found this painting in someone’s garage in Bali, covered in dirt and ripped. “I could only see the woman’s face, and I was so charmed by it. I had to restore it.”
The Master Bath opens to a lush tropical garden. A copper soaking tub sits on black ili ili stones, which conceal a drain, so the need for an overflow valve is obsolete. It is the central visual feature and also a great place to relax and enjoy the sweet Hawaiian breeze.
Guest House Entry with a wood trunk bench carved in Bali.
The simple, almost primitive entry gate belies the glamour of the expansive estate that lies behind it, allowing the house and its views to unfold in a restrained progression.
Photos: Mary E. Nichols