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
Villa Kishti is a meditative, Balinese-inspired private retreat in Anguilla, British West Indies, designed by Toronto architect Frank Alfred Hamilton, who spent four years on the project (2005-2009). The residence challenges traditional notions of shelter and nature as separate domains, with interior and exterior blurred in a seamless interplay of interior design, architecture and landscape design.
Villa Kishti’s tripartite design is composed of a central hub, master suite and three self-contained villas, arranged in fan-like plan. The central hub contains the principal gathering spaces of the residence – the living-dining area and kitchen – which flow into each other in a unified palette of natural materials, tones and textures. Spaces are uncluttered and carefully calibrated to enhance site lines. The living-dining area is detailed with custom furnishings and edited accessories while the kitchen is fitted with custom millwork and integrated Corian counters and backsplash. Toronto-based interior design firm Cecconi Simone Inc. was hired by the client for the selection of furnishings, finishes and fixtures.
The master suite, accessed internally from the living-dining area, contains a sleep area, lounge with outdoor terrace and en-suite with indoor and outdoor showers. The suite is appointed with custom millwork, custom furnishings and subtle Balinese accents.
Across the central hub from the master suite, each of the three self-contained villas encompasses a lounge area with outdoor deck, kitchenette, powder room and master bedroom with en-suite. Custom furnishings, custom millwork, finishes and accessories harmonize with the subdued, contemporary, Balinese-influenced expression of the rest of the residence.
This fabulous two-story beach house on Tybee Island in Savannah, Georgia was designed from the ground up by designer Joel Snayd of Rethink Design Studio. The first floor living space was designed as an open concept, which allows ample space for large family gatherings. Old recycled beams were incorporated into the design scheme to add visual interest and create natural divisions between the living, kitchen and dining room spaces. The crisp white butt joint paneling was offset using the cool gray slate tile below foot. The stairs and cabinets were painted a soft gray, roughly two shades lighter than the floor, and then topped off with a Carerra honed marble. Apple red stools, corky art, and fun colored bowls add a bit of whimsy and fun.
The second story features a sleeping loft, separated from the rest of the upstairs by white flowing curtains. Built in beds are adorned with a nautical reading light and built-in hideaway niches. The space is light and airy with painted gray floors, all white walls, old rustic beams and headers, wood paneling, tongue and groove ceilings, dormers, vintage rattan furniture, mid-century painted pieces, and a cool hangout spot for the kids. The rest of the bedroom and bathroom spaces are punctuated with bright bursts of color that gives an extra punch to the otherwise white interiors.
This magnificent island-inspired custom home, Hualalai Estate, features elegant living space with 4 bedrooms, each complete with garden outdoor shower lanais, as well as a fifth bedroom in an intimate guest house. Situated on a unique lot above the second fairway on the renowned Hualalai Ke’olu Golf Course, this masterfully-designed 6,300 square foot home enjoys unobstructed golf course, ocean and island views on the Big Island of Hawaii. Inside, the gourmet restaurant- style kitchen features dramatic custom mahogany cabinetry along with extensive integrated appliances.
A cornerless door system helps capture spectacular views in both the great room and master bedroom and brings the outside island world indoors. As the doors open and recede into the walls, the beauty of the Hawaiian outdoors merges effortlessly with the contemporary beauty of the interior space. That fine line between indoors and out becomes even more of an illusion as the glow of the setting sun fills the room. Overlooking the pool and golf course is the round dining room; conveniently close at hand is a temperature-controlled wine cave.
The master suite can be opened on two sides to the private end of the pool and the golf course. Poolside, guests will find an intimate breakfast table and chairs where one can watch the sun rise poolside. The master bath becomes a private retreat: a stand-alone Jacuzzi tub invites a leisurely soak, while enjoying a private view through the wall of windows, which reveals an oasis, filled with tropical flowers and an outdoor shower. All draperies and bedding are custom designed specifically for this home.
To stay at this heavenly retreat, prices range from $6,500 – $9,000 per night with a 7 night minimum stay, from here.
The huge infinity pool and whirlpool tub are the heart of this home. Whether sitting on the “yin/yang” settees around the custom-designed stone fire pit or lounging on a chaise in the shallow end of the pool, nothing says paradise with more eloquence.
The fifth guest bedroom is separate from the primary home, offering complete privacy. The suite has its own private morning kitchen complete with sink, dishwasher and microwave. Outside the triple wide glass doors are the outdoor shower and lanai, creating a sanctuary of tropical beauty. The indoor bath has double sinks and a large glass shower enclosure.
Nestled in a serene environment overlooking the emerald waters of the sea Dafni Villa offers a luxurious hideaway for a relaxing vacation featuring a number of unrivalled facilities and services for guests to enjoy on Mykonos Island, Greece. The villa captures the essence of the island’s spirit in its dazzling white interiors and natural stucco facades, while offering a warm welcoming environment. From the fragrant rose bay filled sand lot visitors can reach the main entrance and continue through the hallway passing the reading room.
A small staircase leads to the brilliantly white stylishly adorned living room on the left side and the dining area on the right featuring a cozy fireplace, a home cinema as well as all contemporary amenities for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. On the same floor a guest water closet is available for all villa guests. The spacious open plan kitchen right behind the living area is fully equipped with all modern conveniences. Staircases lead from the living area down to the play room and the 4 double bedrooms. The pool area is absolute private and furnished for enjoyable moments.
For a luxurious vacation at this stylish villa, rates range from $1,027 – $1,440 per night, from here.
Nestled high on the bluffs surrounded by a pine forest facing seawards on the beautiful island of Majorca, is this picturesque home spotted on Nuevo Estilo that denotes a great aesthetic sensitivity. At first glance, the greatest virtue of this house lies outside, with wonderful views to the uninhabited island of Dragonera, towards which focuses all the rooms of the building. The simplicity of the interior design by designer and owner Elena López Fonta respects the environment and blends indoors and outdoors with efficiency and style. Cement flooring is used both indoors and outdoors, providing a homogenous character of spaces.
The house is oriented westward, to contemplate the sunsets through large windows. As the designer explained, “we wanted light and air to circulate freely, so the spaces are wide open with high ceilings.” The interiors were designed with a fresh approach, comfortable and spacious in soft shades, using natural colors with hints of blue light. Tones and materials show great respect for the environment by repeating the chromatic model inspired by the landscape, the sky, the sea and the Mediterranean light that penetrates through the windows and floods every corner, enhancing every detail. Metal elements such as iron rails, stairways or doors to the kitchen in steel cutting and stainless steel fixtures are infused into spaces.
We fell in love with this unique home we discovered on Dwell, situated on Spain’s Canary Island of Tenerife, which has been built into the coastal rock. The humble cottage is used as an escape to the shore during the sweltering summer months. The dwelling is nestled on a rocky beach close to the town of Santa María del Mar on the Añaza coast. Not only does the volcanic cave offer its residents a natural shelter to keep them cool throughout the summer, it also creates a striking design feature with its whitewashing ceiling. The design of the cave dwelling has a no-frills vibe with the surfboard designed benches and tiki torches on the front patio. The rooms are small and cozy with all the modern amenities. The living room boasts all the trapping of a Spanish flat, except for the volcanic rock ceiling. The cottage offers a small rocky beach barely suitable for sunbathing, but the views make it all worth it!
Photos: Gunnar Knechtel