Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Pyrenees Mountains in Aragon, Spain and at the gates of the Ordesa National Park stands the majestic hotel of Casa de San Martin, a giant Sentinel of thick stone walls originating in the 18th century. The hotel is a former monastery and later a farm house, today has become a dream refuge of purist nature lovers and those who want to get lost between valleys and forests of conifers and forget about technology. The key to both charm and warmth lies in its careful reform, eco-friendly materials and typical elements of Aragonese architecture such as traditional fireplaces and wood slabs.
The spaces are designed to be cozy and comfortable with a warm ambiance despite the stone and strong frosts in the area. There are ten rooms decorated with care in an attractive rustic-chic style and incredible views of the endless mountains. In this place, away from crowds, there is no haste, only long walks, moments of reading and leisure and the enjoyment of nature. An old barn on the property was converted into a warm dining room with fireplace, providing a meticulous and creative cuisine cooked with products from the garden.
360 Ranch is a beautiful property developed by the patriarch of the family as a home base for family members spread out across the globe, enabling them a chance to recreate, reconnect, and relax over what sometimes could be trips of a month or more. Designed by Miller Architects, their large parcel of land is not far from Yellowstone Park, in Big Sky, Montana and a trout stream and several ponds are just a few of the prevalent water features.
The property encompasses the top of a mountain with a lookout tower, and down below, this approximately 7,000 square foot home delivers a sense of intimacy. Each bedroom is a master suite, with fireplace, private balcony, and adjoining children’s room, to ensure all generations have the space they need. The architects shared approach was to celebrate the romantic lodges of the past, leading them to choose small round logs like those used in Old Faithful Lodge, as one example. With plenty of space inside and out to decompress—but cozy, welcoming living areas as well—this lodge becomes the perfect family gathering place.
Photos: Courtesy of Miller Architects
This over 100-year old house on the Estonian island of Saaremaa was purchased by Finnish designer, Ristomatti Ratia. Abandoned for years, the charming place is surrounded by fruit trees. Locals thought the home would be better torn down and a new house built in its place, but Ristomatti saw something in it that challenged him to preserve the historic dwelling. Some of the materials used in the restoration of the old home were scraps gathered from the surrounding landscape. Stone was collected from the nearby river and laid on the floors, the ceiling in the kitchen has sprigs of chestnut tree and the walls are decorated with Juniper. The beautiful home was transformed into an extraordinary atmosphere, full of nature and charm. Via
This amazing cozy property we discovered on Sotheby’s Realty features a unique location, situated in a private complex of cottages “Pueblo Mio”, in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The spacious, modern house is ideal for large families and entertaining, with a land area of 12,000 square meters. The magnificent home features excellent architecture, construction and design with a large entrance hall, kitchen, living and dining room with access to a large gallery, with a spacious separate living area with entertainment room. The master suite has its own living room, large dressing room and bathroom. There are two children’s bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom and spacious living. The house has five guest suites each with its own terrace and large central living. Large terraces overlooking the meadow and the lake, an amazing lakeside pool, large barbecue grill with its own outdoor living room and bathroom.
This spectacular property is listed for sale at $5,500,000, from here.
Designed by Turett Collaborative Architects for a single owner, this 2,400 square foot triplex apartment in a new condominium development on the Upper East Side, New York is full of air and light. Working closely with the building architects, TCA has designed a soaring, dramatic space with double-height entry foyer and a large living room with a custom fire trough that runs along the length of the space. A unique feature of the condominium is the two-story Vals quartzite stone wall that runs along the west side of the apartment, with stones that were handpicked by the owner and architect from a remote Swiss quarry. Cantilevered built-in shelves create a table and night stand, while niches in the stone wall are reserved for the client’s various toiletries.
Other striking features of this incredible penthouse are the stairs, made of black oxidized steel, which tie the three levels of the home together. Near the top, the steps lead to a “bridge” suspended over three stories, providing a dramatic view of the space. A clear glass box containing a full bathroom resides between the master bedroom and the study on the second level; when privacy is required, an inner layer of the glass can be activated to turn the walls opaque. On the third level, a lounge looks out onto an idyllic landscaped roof terrace and sun-deck; the ultimate escape from the city.
Stair tread detail. They cast warm, orange-tinted shadows through the halls.
A detail of the faucets in the trough sink.
Photos: Travis Dubreuil
This steel-framed pavilion has been designed by GASS Architects, situated on the Westcliff Ridge within a wooded estate with stunning views of the Johannesburg, South Africa skyline. Westcliff Pavilion was constructed with a steel frame to take in the magnificent views from the cottage. It also created a minimal impact on the site, allowing the building to float above the ground plane, leaving most of the ridge intact. The steel frame also created an elegant, timeless aesthetic and allowed for the incorporation of sprung solid timber floors which blended seamlessly with the exterior solid decking.
The architect also wished to integrate a floating stone into the overall design of the residence. “Many of the houses on the Westcliff Ridge and surrounds are famous for their use of native stonework in their detailing, including works by architectural greats like Sir Herbert Baker. Georg was keen to continue in this tradition of using indigenous stone in the design, and so the as such, wanted to include a wall made from stone harvested on the site itself. However, he wanted to give this wall a twist, something that would differentiate it from all other walls in Westcliff,” state the architects. This stunning open plan living with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and floor to ceiling glass windows embraces the natural landscape and creates an amazing place to call home, what do you think?
Photos: Bernard Viljoen
A treetop house on the edge of a cliff; a forgotten house, in one of Johannesburg, South Africa’s oldest suburbs, was transformed for modern living by Slee and Co Architects. The tree house is a sanctuary in the middle of the city, a solid cliff-like structure, opening up like caves into the tree canopy. Dry-packed stonewalls, characteristic of the suburb, were used as the main design element. Bringing you in from the motor court, across a sandstone bridge to the front door, one experiences the outside forest room with the pool below. Stonewalls also intercept the existing structure, creating slices where sunlight is pulled in through slots in the roof. The main living space on the upper level opens up towards the north, to allow the forest in, like a stage set. To the east, the space flows onto a covered terrace, cantilevered into the treetops like a tree house, where different moods of the forest can be experienced.
With three centuries of history, this rustic holiday home spotted on El Mueble is located in Catalonia, Spain and has been rehabilitated by architect Nuri Vidal. Built at the beginning of the 1700s, the house has undergone many changes and extensions, now currently owned by a young couple and three children. Though the home is in the center of one of the most beautiful towns in the Empordà, it seems that it is isolated from the world. It is a place of calm, with a garden oasis and a perimeter stone wall that protects it. At the bottom, on the other side of the pool, a porch attached to the wall is home to a delicious chill out area, a great space to entertain friends and family.
Recovering the old character of the house, windows and doors were extended to let in natural light, and create clear division of spaces, conveying a feeling of spaciousness. From the dining room, one can view through to the living room and up to the porch and garden. There is radiant heat under the traditional terracotta floor. Painted cement beams in the living and dining room, vaulted ceilings in the front entryway and kitchen and pine beams in the master bedroom creates a feeling of serenity and balance, everything is in place and everything has a meaning.
Trying to blend in with the beautiful landscape, this stunning Aspen, Colorado house was built with 300-year old recycled barn wood, locally sourced quarried stone cladding and enormous picture windows by Chad Opeenheim of Opeenheim Architects. Owner of this 3,200 square foot vacation house nestled on a quarter acre of land with a stream meandering through it; Opeenheim purchased the home for $3 million, which was built in 1971. In the interior the architect used invisible doors, fixtures, door openings and drains. Achieving this look, he used unframed doors and doorknobs that are narrow bronze strips, known as “knife-edge pulls”, which both seem to disappear. The light switches are also minimal, and the drains have narrow slits in the bottom of the sinks. The renovation cost $2 million, with four bedrooms for his wife and two young children. The home features five floors, which are mostly split-levels, creating a sense of intimacy. Some of the windows are as high as 14 feet, boasting views of the mountains, stream, and garden. The furnishings have also been minimally designed with a neutral color scheme of mostly gray, taupe, black and white, all hues that do not compete with the exterior landscape.
Most of the floors in the house are split-levels, creating a sense of intimacy.
The sofas are slipcovered in white during the summer, and gray during the winter.
Like the architecture, the furnishings are intentionally low key.
The library, which is tucked behind the dining area on the third level, is furnished with 19th-century French industrial steel chairs and shelving where artifacts collected on trips to Japan and Cambodia are displayed.
The abstract art in the dining area is actually moss.
Windows inserted between beams in the kitchen let in extra light.
The architect does not like visible light fixtures, so the staircase is lighted with concealed cove lights.
Oppenheim’s bedroom on the top level of the house is furnished simply.
The sink in the master bathroom is made of locally quarried stone, with nearly invisible drainage slits at the bottom. The cabinets are built out of 300-year-old barn wood.
This gorgeous two-level stone house is burrowed hillside on the Bodrum Peninsula along the Aegean coast of Turkey. The home features staggering views of the surrounding craggy hills, an international yacht marina, beaches and the Aegean Sea with Greek islands visible on a clear day. The rear windows, sliding glass doors and terraces overlook the sea, as do the back garden and pool. The owner built the four bedroom, 5,543 square foot house a couple of years ago with salvaged stones from nearby villages of demolished houses, as well as from the property itself. The home represents the architectural vernacular of the surrounding area while mixing modernism into the design scheme.
The interior walls are comprised of either plaster or stone, whitewashed or natural. Most of the ceilings displace oak beams, while most of the flooring material is cedar except for the hallways, bathrooms and the kitchen, which are travertine. Upon entrance to the home, which is on the upper level, is a grand foyer showcasing an arched stone doorway into an open and airy living room with a polished travertine fireplace. Sliding glass doors spills out onto a stone terrace with a seating area and panoramic sea views. Also on the upper level is the fully equipped kitchen with sleek, custom-designed, dark-gray cupboards.
Both levels host two bedrooms with en-suite baths, with the upper floor suites having walk-in closets and stone terraces. All rooms in the home have been sited to take advantage of the surrounding views, with the master bathroom being no exception, boasting a freestanding contemporary bathtub adjacent to a window. The lower level also has a snug study with built-in bookshelves, a TV room, and several doors that leads out to the meticulously landscaped backyard, which features a 45-foot swimming pool with the Aegean as its backdrop. The 1.85-acre property has a separate 753-square-foot two-bedroom house for household staff as well as parking.
This stunning stone house on the Bodrum Peninsula is on the market for $2.6 million, from here.
The foyer has a double-height window to the left, overlooking the Aegean Sea. Beyond the arched doorway to the right are the master bedroom and a guest bedroom.
The living room has cedar floors, refurbished oak ceiling beams and a travertine fireplace. The foyer and front door are visible through the arched doorway to the right.
There is a terrace off the dining room, seen through the window to the left; the living room is beyond the arched doorway.
The downstairs study has built-in book shelves and cedar flooring.
The kitchen countertops are of marble. The oven, stove and refrigerator are made by Gaggenau.
The master bedroom has an attached bathroom and a walk-in closet.
The master bathroom has a freestanding VitrA bathtub and a floor of untreated travertine tile.
The downstairs hallway connects two guest bedrooms; one is seen to the right through cedar doors.
The upstairs guest bedroom has glass doors opening onto a private terrace with a garden.
The saltwater pool has a view of the surrounding hills.
The covered living area on the terrace outside the living room overlooks the sea. Greek islands are visible on clear days.
A pier extending from Camel Beach.
Photos: Jodi Hilton for The New York Times