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
This Upper West Side Manhattan apartment has been designed by 1100 Architect, comprised of a neutral color palette, minimalist details, and refined materials, creating a warm, modern atmosphere. Throughout the space, sleek materials like concrete, marble, and white lacquer are complemented by accents of softer materials including Belgian linen and bleached wood. 1100 renovated this duplex apartment in 2008 and returned for a second renovation when the neighboring unit became available in 2010.
Careful detailing and a cohesive design approach allowed us to seamlessly combine the two apartments into a single home. A breakfast area was added to the existing kitchen, acting as a transitional space and opening up views across the apartment. Two new bedrooms and a utility room were also included in the addition.
1100 Architect is the New York- and Frankfurt-based architectural firm, best known for works of architecture that are timeless manifestations of place, at once distinctive and modern while always thoughtful about site, setting, and environment. Fundamental to this pursuit is the belief that building design is a progressive process informed by client aspirations, site, history, available resources, and time. We believe that design can motivate and inspire users, and make an affirmative, lasting impact on individuals and communities alike.
Photos: Nikolas Koenig
A home extension is an extremely effective way to make the most of your living space. You can improve the aesthetic beauty of your home, and increase its value. A home extension is a cost effective alternative to selling your home or building a new home. Home extensions can be used for living space, for work, or to accommodate guests. You may also add an extension to your home to accommodate extended family. Here are 7 inspirational ideas for a stunning home extension.
Small Project Extensions
The most common rooms that homeowners choose to extend are the kitchen, master bedroom, or the den. If these rooms are located in an outer area, it is easy to extend the space by knocking out a wall and making the room bigger. You can install large windows for more light, or glass in an entire wall. You can also add a fireplace with built-in bookshelves for a cozy seating arrangement.
Two Storey Extension
A great way to extend your living space is by adding a balcony. The balcony roof will provide a shady area outside the living room. The rear living room wall could be replaced with glass doors. Additional space for entertaining can be achieved by adding a deck or patio. A tall trellis extending to the second storey provides privacy and additional shade.
Victorian Home Dining Extension
Victorian houses were typically designed with a narrow, unused space at the rear of the house. Breathe new life into the space by adding an extension to use as a dining area, with a glass roof to provide natural light. A brick wall with recessed lighting adds emphasis.
Living Room Extension
A small living room can be made larger by adding a glazed extension to the room. This has the effect of bringing the outdoors inside. It is particularly effective when the view in the room is overlooking your garden. You can enhance it even more by adding a decked patio area and decorating the space with colorful plants and trees.
Add a Sunroom
A small sunroom provides extra space for relaxing, reading a good book, or enjoying some quiet time. It’s ideal for those cold winter days when you spend more time indoors. However, a sunroom is a wonderful area you can enjoy all-year round. This home extension can be an entirely new addition, accessible by a door in the house, or you could transform an existing room into the sunroom and use it as an additional living space.
Add a Home Office
A stunning home office extension makes working at home even more enjoyable. Renovating an existing room and extending it to add large, bay windows, a comfortable seating area, and floor to ceiling bookshelves provide privacy combined with plenty of space.
Add a Guest House or Studio
Additional living space or a studio can be constructed from an existing garage. This is a versatile way to add extra space for guests to stay or for you to use as an artist’s studio. The space outside can be converted into a patio for entertaining. A fire pit or outdoor fireplace is a special touch.
You will, of course, probably need funding to do any of these properly. Unless you are a skilled tradesman, these are well beyond the realm of a DIY project. You’ll need to get in professionals, and that means money. Fortunately there has never been as good a time to be shopping around for mortgage deals. For example, Clydesdale Bank have rates as low as 3.49% on remortgages. Rates are forecast to go up in the near future, so if you are thinking about adding a home extension, now is a great time to do it.
Photo Sources: 1. Moore Architects, 2. Gardner Mohr Architects, 3. Hufft Projects, 4. APD Interiors, 5. Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture, 6. Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects, 7. CHECA Architects, 8. Lake Country Builders, 9. Emilie Mauran Renovation, 10. Sevimli Mimarlik, 11. Shubin + Donaldson Architects, 12. Jim Murphy and Associates, 13. Shubin + Donaldson Architects, 14. Balodemas Architects, 15. Roundhouse Design, 16. AVP Architect, 17. Gort Scott Architects, 18. Anna Evans Architect, 19. Pinterest, 20. Schmitt + Company, 21. Karin Payson Architecture, 22. David Churchill Photography
Marin Bungalow is a 1950’s ranch house renovation by Feldman Architecture, perched on a hill in Tiburon with sweeping views of Richardson Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, California. This stunning residence had a casual charm and great potential. Even though it was tiny by neighboring standards, its prime location helped the architects to see an opportunity to create a striking space, worthy of the spectacular views.
Sensitive to the neighbors’ views, expansion of the house was limited to the existing envelope. Also presenting a challenge was the awkward floor plan without a formal entry space or a master suite. The firm expanded the living spaces into the garage to create a new front door and entry, as well as a master suite with South facing windows that capture the Golden Gate views. Interior walls were removed to create a more open floor plan with a larger kitchen and dining room, plus the addition of a family room and separate laundry room. The south facade was opened up to the backyard and the views with new windows and doors which also maximize the natural light in the formerly dark spaces.
The interiors received a contemporary facelift with a palette of mostly whites and light woods to keep the small house feel light, bright, and airy. The owner’s furniture and styling nicely complemented the house’s fresh new look. Custom metal sunshades were added to the South façade to shade the back deck while maintaining maximum views to the Bay.
Photos: Paul Dyer
C O N T E N T Architecture has designed the Southampton Residence, a modern brownstone renovation for first time homeowners recently transplanted to Houston, Texas from Chicago. The young family wanted their brick house to be designed as a modern interpretation of their beloved brownstone as viewed from the street, high ceilings and no visible roof surface.
Developed to maximize the size of the house while taking into consideration deed restrictions and internal views, the volume responds to the massing of neighboring homes and is carved to allow light from multiple directions in each room. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths and generous living spaces face onto a courtyard that is intended for a future swimming pool.
Sectional differences further serve to relate the program to the site by connecting the kitchen and guest suite to the exterior, elevating the living room above the court, raising the kid’s bedrooms into the tree canopy and sequestering the master suite in the rear of the lot.
Designed on a full brick module to limit material waste, materials shift to glass, cast stone, or wood where the masses are carved out. Spray foam insulation and a commercial grade air conditioning system discreetly and efficiently control the interior climate while the highest rated glass assists to limit the energy impact of the large windows.
Photos: Peter Molick
+2edison7 is a stunning renovated LEED platinum residence by Studio 27 Architecture, located at the corner of 27th and Edison Street in Arlington, Virginia. Before the renovation, the home was a modest, two-story colonial, built in the post-war moment when houses were small and cars were large. Today, this mid-century residence is a graceful composition of brick, glass and wood-accented rain screen known as +2edison7—Studio Twenty Seven Architecture’s playfully disjunctive name for this high-performing renovation with humble bones.
As the personal home of one of the principals at Studio Twenty Seven Architecture, this home was a design and research project that sought to revitalize a typical suburban residential building with modern amenities and sustainable retrofits while adjusting the building’s spacial program to account for site conditions and orientation. The renovation more than doubled the volume of the original building, from 1,300 square feet to 2,800 square feet; yet its systems operate at more than 60 percent greater efficiency than before.
The stairway draws inspiration from the way that light dapples down through two maple trees which were on the site. A photo of the maple leaves was adapted to a pixelated contrast pattern and then translated to a template for milling machine, which then milled the wood.
Despite substantially up-sizing the house, the architect’s research led the firm to maintain the neighborhood scale as a reference point. Working off of the existing masonry core, the architects realigned and expanded the home away from the public street and towards the quiet of its garden. The density and rhythm of the neighborhood suggested a design based around scale modulation and precise viewpoints. The house massing builds from the scale of the original core, and a new addition up top opens the house to the site situation. Each window was carefully located to mediate the public-private threshold of the site, focusing on the most compelling views yet allowing privacy and capitalizing on daylighting. The result is a house that is open, capacious and airy from the inside, but discreet and slightly introverted from the exterior.
Sustainable strategies further reduced resource consumption, including energy-efficient LED and CFL lighting, and ENERGY STAR appliances and ceiling fans. To minimize water use, dual-flush and low-flow toilets are used, and showers and faucets are equipped with low-flow aeration devices. Water usage for this single-family home has been cut in half. Additionally, the house’s original wood floors were salvaged, and supplemental flooring was provided by sustainably and regionally harvested forest providers associated with FSC. Countertops are recycled porcelain, glass and mirrors suspended within an epoxy resin. The exterior is a palette of durable, low-maintenance and high recycled content products such as integral color cement board and epoxy resin color panels. Reduced care requirements on products ultimately reduce continued chemical and manufacturing requirements, while also allowing the homeowners to spend more time in their garden.
The home has garnered multiple certifications, including USGBC’s LEED BD+C: Homes v3 Platinum and Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL, formerly the NAHB Research Center) National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Gold Level. It is also certified as an EPA ENERGY STAR New Home, EPA Indoor airPLUS home, and locally at the Gold level in the Arlington County Green Home Choice award. Finally, the yard is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Indeed, +2edison7 may hold more sustainability accolades than any post-war tract home in the mid-Atlantic.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 27 Architecture
This private house in the foothills of northern Italy was designed by Caprioglio Associati Architects for a couple who wished to trade a tiny apartment for a renovated farmhouse in the country. The couple wanted to move out of the city of Asolo to move to the country where they could start a family. They moved a short drive from Asolo to an area called Monfumo, or “silent hills.” After two years of searching and three real estate agents later, they found a crumbling and abandoned farmhouse with an overgrown vineyard, tucked away amidst the rolling hills. They were not able to raise the existing structure due to strict government protections of existing buildings. It would have been faster and cheaper to tear down the existing structure, yet the homeowners liked its character so much, they wanted to keep thinking their home would be the old structure.
After preserving the exterior facade, the interior was given a modern update. Because this was once a farmer’s house to store crops, the rooms were tiny and there were a lot of them. The homeowners wanted a luminous space to capture the beauty of the surrounding environment. They wanted their living areas to be at the very top to make the most of the light. The most defining element of the first floor is a massive central staircase and catwalk system composed of glass and steel. Due to the high volume of the structure, the team decided that the home would be comprised of four floors connected via an elevator accessed from an underground garage and wine cellar.
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Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
Boathouse Home Office has been refurbished and transformed by design studio Bean Buro into a live / work / play three bedroom apartment, located in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. The 1,200 square foot apartment is located inside a high-rise residential building. Designed in response to the growing trend of working-from-home culture, the apartment showcases large panoramic windows facing the sea boating sceneries in Aberdeen, as a balanced calm and dynamic home office for an expat couple with three cats.
The new concept demolished two existing partition walls to create a large bedroom and a larger lounge adjoining to an open studio space. The opened up spaces increases panoramic window views, thus allowing the external Aberdeen boating environment to be experienced inside.
The material palette is calm and refreshing, with a tranquil blue color chosen for the continuous blue wall to reflect the sea, while the timber finish for the floor and joinery brings warmth to the live & work space.
Drawing inspirations from traditional French boathouses in Brittany, the main architectural concept was a continuous ribbon-like blue wall that ‘floats’ and connects all the different areas of the apartment together. The blue wall starts from the lounge, with subtle computer generated display niches. It then forms the main circulation space with various shelves for displaying art. It creates an intuitive experience by linking up the lounge with the office and ending its blue color in the bedroom.
The main table, Bean Table, has two large pendant lights that form the centrepiece in the lounge. The bespoke CNC cut table shape is wiggly and playful, acting as a meeting table by day and dinning table by night.
Wrapping the entry space with full height hidden storage doors, it then falls to seat-height along the panoramic windows to create a an infinity-pool effect, and provides informal seating along the bay. Rising again as a half height timber wall, it partitions the office and the lounge while preserving open panoramic window views at eye level. On the other wall of the office is a full height bookshelf that acts as the main spatial element for storing and displaying personalized items.
The new timber surface was conceptualized as a ‘cats landscape’ that would rise and fall to provide different functions: it creates a beach threshold along the windows with an infinity-pool effect, an island dinning table to stage activities, a dynamic open studio, and a bed unit that faces the calm Aberdeen life.
The bed is an island unit that faces the panoramic windows, allowing the calm Aberdeen boating sceneries to be fully experienced. Full height mirrors are installed at the edges of each room’s end walls to create an infinity effect of the panoramic windows. The resulting experience is connected, intuitive and calm.
‘Boathouse’ Apartment was shortlisted as “Best 10 Living Space” for the APIDA 2013 (Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards). The project was also featured in the APIDA publication.
Photos: Courtesy of Bean Buro
Villa in the Sky project is the transformation of two separate apartments on the top floors of a derelict building into a refined contemporary penthouse by Abraham John Architects, located in Bombay, India. The two apartments were remodeled and combined into 3,500 square feet of luxurious living, made suitable to the favorable tropical climate & the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Bombay.
The existing apartments had very different characters and were not in keeping with the client’s requirements. The client wanted a villa in the sky, something more minimalistic, architectural and totally connected with the landscape. All internal walls were demolished to create an open plan layout and recapture stunning views of the Arabian Sea on the west and tree lined slopes of Mount Mary Hill on the East.
Being near the sea and on the 7th& 8thfloors of an existing building, there were many construction challenges, from the logistical point of view & the high velocity sea breeze, further, work had to happen with the consent of the neighbors. A brand new staircase cantilevered off the columns helped connect the two spaces without loading the cantilevered slab; the entire project took a year to complete.
The design approach took advantage of orientation: the sea is now visible from all rooms of the house, including the master bathroom. Previous cave-like rooms are turned into optimal, unusually large living spaces for Bombay standards. The main design principles followed were of orientation to the natural elements (sun, wind, water), openness and connection with nature at all levels (visual & physical), using natural & eco-friendly materials. Landscaped terraces and skylights created areas accessible from all rooms in the duplex. The kitchen is in the south east in keeping with Vastu, (the Indian principle of design) and is flooded with morning light.
The living area & the bedroom face the sea to allow for evenings spent with the sunset. Being a bachelor home, additional bedrooms were dispensed with to allow for a large master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, bathroom and terrace which could be made private. The project encapsulates cool, contemporary living in its modern design with equal attention to aesthetics and environmental sustainability, employing energy-efficient. Low consumption technologies and letting one appreciate all its thoughtful detail, inventive and practical ways of creating proficient storage and comfortable living spaces.
The living area:
The open floor plan makes the living, dining & kitchen areas merge into one big lounge connecting views of the lashing waves of the sea and the shore line on the west to the glittering leaves of the trees of Mount Mary Hill on the east. the shared vision of the client and the architect is seen in the minimal layout integrated with landscape, lighting, refreshing earthy colors & natural textures.
The kitchen & dining area:
The open kitchen with a brushed SS island platform is complemented by an enclosed kitchen specially designed for traditional Indian cooking. A teak tree forms the dining table and seating. The exiting pipelines were rerouted for easy access between the two kitchen areas, thus maximizing space utilization. The cold SS island contrasts with the otherwise warm colors and textures of the apartment. Visitors are encouraged to walk bare feet as is the custom. The dining table becomes the focal point for all activities in this relaxing apartment. The black kitchen cabinet forms the perfect backdrop for dinner conversations and parties.
The cantilevered staircase:
A balcony space was converted into a cantilevered wood & steel staircase set against imposing double height windows, visually & physically connecting the upper & lower volumes that were previously disconnected.
Automated blinds span the double height volume.
The master bedroom suite:
The master bedroom suite overlooks the sky lit terrace, with spectacular views of the Arabian sea.
The skylight and pergola protect from the tropical sun and the seasonal monsoon rains.
The flooring pattern enhances the line of sight and continues from indoors to outdoors: dark stained wooden floors and teak wooden deck add drama to each room, offering a personal elegance to everyday spaces
The master bathroom & walk-in wardrobe:
The master bedroom suite includes a private sea-facing terrace, a lavish walk-in wardrobe & an open plan spa bathroom – a fluidity of private spaces that retain total privacy while blending with the landscape. A spacious master bathroom is complete with a jacuzzi, shower, proficient storage, landscape, mood lighting and automation.
The media room:
The hi-tech glass walled media room on top complete with a large size projector screen, concealed ac, av & automation, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors to expand the home’s sense of space: it overlooks the sea as well as a spacious wooden deck with a walk-on glass skylight. the luxuriant terrace garden serves as an expansive outdoor entertaining area with artful illumination and an open bar – a real hotspot. automated roller blinds concealed in the roofing convert the open media room into a large, yet cozy home theater for movies, F1 & football matches.
Landscape, materials & contextual relevance:
The home fits within its tropical seaside context and encourages sustainability: reclaimed sleeper wood for garden screens & pergolas, natural stone, recycled tiles, high efficiency mechanical systems, durable engineered wood & natural fabrics; automation with mood lighting, power saving & curtain control, solar heaters & evergreen terrace gardens.
Interior solar shades & large double-glazed sliding windows allow natural ventilation, uninterrupted views & access to landscaped areas, while cutting down on solar radiation and air-conditioning load.
A limited palette of complementary materials ensures consistency in design & minimizes maintenance, adding warmth and texture through light & shadow. the interiors are finely detailed with custom-made furniture. materials used accentuate warmth & transparency.
Photos: Alan Abraham