This incredible penthouse apartment is located in Sant Cugat del Vallés, just outside of Barcelona, Spain. Both the interior and exterior decoration is the work of interior designer Mireia Masdeu, who knew how to apply for each environment light, harmony and relaxation. Stairs connect the terrace with the interior of the house, whose reform was also conducted by Mireia. The outdoor terrace provides sweeping views of Montserrat and the Collserola mountains. The amplitude of its surface was enough to create two distinct areas, the dining room is unified by a magnificent awning that covers all of the terrace and the platform floor of oiled ipe, a type of wood that is weather resistant.
The living room consists of a sofa with chaise lounge and a fiber armchair, which seems to glow thanks to lacquered shelves of the same color as the wall and built-in lights. A metal trunk inherited, on which rests old magazines, serves as a coffee table. The designer demolished the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room to create a unique atmosphere in the dining room with a unifying element: the generous container table with wooden top and legs and lacquered iron plates in white forming the cabinet storage.
The sofa was made with recovered pallets, as well as the coffee table with wheels, created on the spectacular terrace lined with wood.
The master bedroom was conceived as a space for rest, providing only the essential elements to this: a large bed, closet and a stool and a folding table that acts as bedside tables.
The bathroom is covered with porcelain tiles in anthracite grey, and stone in a horizontal format and cream tones. The same tone was used in the countertop resin basin and shower curtains.
Photos: Mi Casa
The Southlands Residence is nestled into a mature, heavily vegetated corner site in lovely Vancouver, BC, Canada’s historical Dunbar Southlands district. The home was once a neglected bungalow that has been transformed into an urban oasis by DIALOG. A year-round fresh water stream divides the irregularly shaped site and the lush basin resulting from long-standing environmental forces sets the stage for this dramatic residence.
The house is designed around the structural grid established by an earlier residence. While remnants of original footings and columns remain, the Southlands Residence reinterprets the competing notions of privacy and exposure facing the well-traveled location. This is done in part through the use of concrete walls in the landscape, meticulous interior millwork objects, and substantial feature skylights.
Access to the private outdoor environment is provided on the north side of the house through an integrated garden storage and potting area. A concrete path crosses over the slow moving water and threads south under the sculpted wooden belly of the house. Where previously the landscape had bounded interior volumes, the building skin now frames entry into the luscious outdoor realm.
A perimeter network of decks covers outdoor areas and blurs the line between interior and exterior. Surrounding bamboo, rhododendrons, and Japanese maples become as much a part of the interior living areas as the client’s carefully selected pieces of furniture.
Photos: Kristopher Grunert
This beautiful home overlooking the Menorcan Bay connects perfectly between the interior and the landscape of the island, designed by studio Codo a Codo Arquitectura. The Sicilian country house features walls that soar between secular carob, olive and almond trees. Dating back to the early 1800′s, this property features architectural wonders of the rural tradition of Ragusa, in the southeast of the island. Full of history the home was inhabited for centuries by a single family that had a very close relationship with the land and with the people of the area.
The current owner fell in love with the house ten years ago, when he first visited Sicily and slept in what was still a stable. One of the things that fascinated him was its magnificent location, with the Hibleos mountains, succeeding tirelessly over the plateau to go into the sea, a surprise that is not found anywhere else on the island.
Inside, the various rooms were once haystacks, warehouses, stables and accommodation for the lads, shepherds and laborers. The owner wanted the reconstruction to stay close to its roots, a project of the architect Arturo Montanelli, scrupulous with the characteristics of the area, that reuses local and sustainable materials. On the outside, the courtyard is paved with cobbles of limestone, and there is a cistern for collecting rain water located in the center. The home is now like a luminous ship, full of harmony and serenity.
Terrace and swimming pool were projected on the top floor to enjoy the panoramic view of the Bay.
Photos: Courtesy of Codo a Codo Arquitectura
Bacopari House has been designed by UNA Arquitetos, located in a neighborhood with abundant forestation in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The flat ground, surrounded by houses and no distant views, is longer than the standard. The project intends to build a large garden that permeates the 5,425 square foot (504 square meters) house and builds the landscape, in continuity with the existing vegetation. The tall trees (pau ferro, with 8 meters height) were brought in the beginning of the works. Parallels concrete walls, with 10 meters away, define the supports of the suspended plans.
At ground level, the idea was to allow transparency from the street to the end of plot. The access is made through a covered square were cars can be parked. The bound is marked by gardens with a reflecting pool, the first patio, which precedes the double-height living room, and the dining room, extending to the terrace. The second courtyard has gardens and swimming pool, for which the playroom is open too.
Stairs connect wine cellar, in the underground, to the upper floor, at the treetops level. On this floor there is a library in a horizontal gallery, which opens onto the patio and the living room.
After the walls concreting, construction is an assembly: the upper labs supported by metallic beams between gables. Facilities are located in accessible shafts in each concrete plan.
All bedrooms have the best insulation, northeast. The succession of open and closed spaces, associated with glass facades, water tanks and dark panels generate series of reflections and transparencies diluting the boundaries between inside and outside.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti
If you’re seeking inspiration to spruce up your small patio or balcony space, we have some fabulous design tips to help you get started. During the warm summer months, we tend to spend a lot more time outside, so it’s time to design or re-design your veranda to create a cozy ambiance that will encourage you to spend more time in the great outdoors. Try to make the most of your space without spending a lot of money or time by using plants and accessories to your outdoor space. From re-arranging furnishings to increasing your small space with the use of a mirror to even adding an outdoor area rug, these practical tips should help to spark your creative juices. Be sure to let us know which outdoor patio was your favorite!
In case you missed it, we posted an article last week with an incredible collection of inspiring outdoor room design ideas, be sure to have a look here.
Fresh, vibrant plants can transform the look and feel of your patio, so any investment you make here is well worth your while. Give existing plantings a little TLC, remove dead leaves and spent blooms, and water well. If you have empty pots to fill, make a trip to the garden center and choose new plants. Be sure to select healthy plants that are suited to the light levels of your patio — and don’t hesitate to ask for advice if you need it.
Add a small, charming note
Sometimes, especially on a small patio, all you need is one just-right accent to make the whole space come to life. A potted lavender plant (or any other outdoor plant with colorful flowers) on a small side table may be all you need for that extra burst of color.
Add plump pillows
Fresh throw pillows can freshen up the look of a space in an instant. Outdoor fabrics are best, because they are designed to resist sun bleaching and mildew. If you can’t resist using indoor pillows on your patio, simply keep a storage bench in a protected spot at hand to throw them into, and they should last outdoors for a long time.
Define the border
Edging your patio area with plants can help your space feel more inviting and intimate. Planters filled with shrubbery make an excellent border. In a patio that is open to a larger yard, they can stand in as a fence alternative, but even in a small space, they can soften the fence line.
Choose a color scheme
Sticking to two or three colors throughout the space will help your patio look polished and put-together.
Use an indoor-outdoor rug
An outdoor seating area instantly becomes cozier and more welcoming with the addition of a rug. For a dining area, the rug should be large enough to fit beneath the chairs when they are pulled out slightly. For a couch seating area, the rug can fit either under all of the furniture or just beneath the coffee table and reach to the front feet of the furniture.
Add a freestanding umbrella
On an uncovered patio, an umbrella is a must. The freestanding type gives you much more flexibility to place it where it is needed, and will work with any table or chairs.
Create a focal point
Think about what you use your patio for, and what you would like to use it for in the future. Is the furniture arranged in a way that makes sense for your needs? Just as in your living room, it usually looks best to pull the furniture away from the walls. Experiment with different arrangements until it feels right.
Make a fresh start
Giving your patio a top-to-bottom spring cleaning can do wonders. Sweep away leaves and other debris, clean patio furniture, wash exterior windows and hose down the floor. Throw away any junk that has accumulated in the area.
Soften corners with plants
Sharply angled corners are not only a challenge to decorate, but if left empty they can make a space feel cramped and uncomfortable. Fill in tight corners with potted plants to soften the angles — tall plants and topiaries work especially well.
Think about the style and mood you wish to create
Sleek, modern and cheerful? Moody, lush and eclectic? Try to nail down the look and feel you want in a few words, and use them to help you make decisions when you are out shopping.
Hang a mirror
Hanging a mirror on an exterior wall or fence is a great way to create a feeling of spaciousness on a small patio. Choose a mirror frame that can stand up to the elements, and hang it in a covered area.
Photo Sources: 1.-12. Alvhem Makleri Interior, 13. Ana Williamson Architect, 14. Anders Johansson, 15. Anthony Brancato Landscape, 16. apartment f15, 17. Bf Konsult, 18. & 19. Busybee Design, 20. Chioco Design, 21. Designscapes Colorado, 22. ESNY, 23. & 24. Fantastic Frank, 25. & 26. Fastighetsmäklarna, 27. Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture, 28. Katie Leede & Company, 29. Kirkpatrick Design, 30. Magnusson Mäkleri, 31. & 32. Molly Wood Garden Design, 33. My Romantic Home, 34. Notting Hill Gardens, 35. Outhouse Design, 36. Rugo Raff Architects, 37. -39. Stadshem, 40. Stone Acorn Builders, 41. Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, 42. Tomaro Design Group, 43. Victor Myers Custom Homes, 44. Vidabelo Interior Design, 45. Wanda Ely Architect, 46. Wrede, 47. Bethany Nauert
Villa Ercolano is nestled high above the ocean in the town of Ercolano, in the province of Naples in Southern Italy, designed by Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors. The villa dates back to the 1970s and had an excellent structural base on which to build. The internal distribution, especially at the ground level, did not need substantial changes, however it had to be updated and relieved. A dark and disharmonious atmosphere existed due to the use of tiles, stonework, dark wood frames, custom-made dark wooden furniture, fabrics and decorations of every kind. Moreover, the interior of the villa did not reflect the exterior, which denoted a typical Mediterranean style with its form and the white stucco of the walls. The main objective of my project was to recreate the harmony between the interior and the exterior. I brightened the ambiance with the use of waxed, white terracotta at the ground floor. At the first floor I chose bleached oak wood, more suitable for the sleeping area, which combined the candour of white with the warmth of wood. The window frames themselves have been bleached and modified to let as much sunlight as possible filter through.
The lighting coming from outside, reflected by the sea, the white of the stucco and of the floors, the pastel-colored linens in the bedrooms, and the deep purple velvet sofas in the living room, are the background for the family’s antique furniture and for the pieces exclusively designed. Selected family furniture, as the armoires and a large dresser, were rediscovered, whitened and finely decorated with gold patina giving the rooms a harmonious retro feeling. The elegance and simplicity of the house can also be found in the bathrooms, where the white predominates in the stone sinks combined with modern polished steel accessories. The choice of the white has given brightness to the terrace, where the sole colored elements are the blue of the swimming pool, the sky and the sea and the dark wood of some furnishings. The white, built-in chaise lounge at the edges of the swimming pool stands out against the surreal landscape of the city of Herculaneum in the background dominated by the imposing Mount Vesuvius.
Photos: Courtesy of Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors
Villa Anacapri is exposed to both the north and the south on Capri Island, Italy, designed by Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors. The house, despite its small size, has two units within which are distinct and separate from each other. The small size of the rooms compounded by the fact that the light could not come inside because of the fixtures in the English style, with little glazed area and the fact that outside there was a heavy arbor wood which threw a shadow on the terrace and windows.
The exterior, however, with coverage at times and white plaster walls, was typical of Mediterranean architecture. Two major objectives of the project: create continuity between inside and outside, thus creating a typical Mediterranean inside and try to redouble square meters through a rationalization of the environments and routes internal, use of appropriate materials and open as possible to those on the outside terrace.
The structure is developed along the North-South axis, and it is along this direction which have been distributed to key environments, such as kitchen, dining room, living room, which go to form that ‘unique’ with the external environment through the use large glass surfaces and the use of the floor inside and outside. Thus, the small size of the villa, only 75 square meters, it doubles and the outside, the terrace which overlooks the living area, is experienced as an integral part of the house. The same material used for the floors, a stone made up, with dark gray, designed and made by hand to achieve, is also used for the bathrooms and kitchen, where sinks and showers are made to measure as small pieces of design, it always continued to give color to the surroundings.
While maintaining the appearance typical “island” with the white of the times and the walls, the project is for the design included a more modern, elegant and minimal at the same time with the furniture designed by Italian personally. The furniture in natural oak wood, fabrics and dark gray color complements vermilion red, which characterizes and contrasts the environments, introducing vibrant color to the unity of housing.
Elegance and design is the core of the project, every single object, from the smallest to the largest reflecting research and innovation. Wood, stone, brick and glass blend with each other through form and function giving soul and warmth than the built and natural beauty that surrounds them. The long sessions of masonry terrace, covered with mattresses and pillows, sinuous move along the perimeter of the villa offering a joyful view of the sea and isolation of Ischia.
Surrounded by a beautiful garden, this vacation house spotted on Nuevo Estilo is located in the residential community of Sotogrande, Cádiz, Spain and designed by the architect Enrique Johansson representing the image of the contemplative life. Designed for an extended family that receives many house guests, the home was designed to be comfortable, spacious and very modern. The gorgeous interiors were designed by Carmen Brujó. Both professionals got the goals set by the owners who wished for a place of rest and relaxation, modern architecture and quiet interiors. The designers had full freedom, with the work being executed in nine months.
The home was new construction, designed as a succession of volumes in an L-shape “closed” to the adjacent streets and set flush into the garden. This relationship with the outside intensified opening horizontal holes to the South and East which it filled with light and creating generous porches. In addition, the social areas with the installation of a living area and a dining room outdoor have doubled. The combination of white facades and exposed concrete produces an effect of dynamism between the varying heights and structural elements.
Cubic volumes and different levels make up the elevation of the facade, which highlights powerfully the greenish blue door.
Throughout the home are Turkish limestone floors, providing a sense of cohesiveness. The interiors are committed to freshness and lightness mixed of warm notes. The eclectic, but balanced, selection of-vintage, contemporary design and family antiques furniture, the skillful use of color to give continuity or prominence, the choice of textiles… Everything contributes to create the pleasant climate of a relaxing holiday home.
The interior designer Carmen Brujó selected from her showroom many furniture and objects that furnished the house.
This orientation of the House mitigates the noise of the adjacent streets. The concrete plasters and paint in white are the dominant finishes.
A previously restored wooden board and industrial legs form this large dining room table.
The dressing room features plenty of natural light with the skylight above.
The top floor terrace offers magnificent views of the garden and the swimming pool.
Prime Nature Residence has been designed by the Department of Architecture in Samutprakarn, Thailand. The owner’s brief for his residence seems at first rather simple – his bedroom on the ground floor, another bedroom for his mother and sister on the second floor, a large interior living space, and an outdoor terrace for the mother who enjoys outdoor leisure. However, a great challenge comes with the site location. The plot is situated at a busy 3-street intersection in an up-scale residential estate that forbids the use of any kinds of fences. This constraint poses serious questions on privacy of the residents living on ground level as well as the problem of trespassing car headlights at night.
In order to cope with the site limitations, a conventional linear fence is broken into series of smaller vertical planes. These planes are projected onto a grid at varying distances from the house thus blocking out intruding views and simultaneously permitting ventilation into the outdoor area. The planes continue horizontally above the entire terrace creating a well-defined semi-outdoor living space.
The planes are made from two materials: metal lattice screens and sheer canvas panels which both allow partial vision from looking through them. Lattice panels and swaying trees cast delicate and moving shadow patterns on terrace floor, building elevations and canvas planes. A large shallow pond further adds intricacy of reflective shadow to the scene.
At night, periphery trees catch trespassing car headlights and cast their shadows on deliberately-placed canvas planes. The shadow images appearing on series of canvases fade in and out and move from one side to another depending on direction and speed of passing vehicles, reminding us of some black and white animations on movie screens.
What resulted from this are an al fresco space that is in constant flux during days and nights – a space where its qualities are defined autonomously by external forces; the wind, the sunlight, and the car lights.
The 5,166 square foot (480 square meters) project welcomes the constraints of site and program as a framework to which molds the Shadow House into a living place filled with playful and imaginative shadow and reflection, and into architecture unique for its location and for its owner.
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya
The ultimate barefoot beach paradise destination, Vamizi’s Private Villa Collection has been designed by South African architects who have are renowned for their commitment to creative design, sustainable development and responsible tourism, creating a unique style of architecture that draws on the multi-cultural influences of Mozambique. The Vamizi Villas are two brand new private villas, each with five en-suite bedrooms, a sweeping private deck for utter relaxation, and direct beach access for those wishing to dip their toes – and more – in the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
As with Vamizi Island lodge the service is impeccable, the food is surf-fresh and delicious and your days are your own to choose what you wish to do. Each villa has its personal hospitality team, on hand to talk you through all your options – from exciting and adventurous scuba diving and big game fishing to the more relaxing beach picnics, dhow excursions and whale watching (at certain times of the year). Other activities on offer include snorkelling, salt-water fly-fishing, mountain bike trails and bird walks. The local guides are very happy to lead fascinating walks to explore the island and find monkeys or birds.
Exclusive to the Vamizi Private Villa Collection is the Vamizi Retreats. On selected dates through the year, a four night retreat is offered, led by yoga instructor Claire Finlay. These are the ultimate in get-away-from-it-all relaxation, and are designed to rejuvenate both body and soul. In addition to morning and afternoon yoga sessions guests will enjoy a diving trip, a fishing trip and a luxurious massage during their stay. The perfect option for those wishing to retreat from everyday life, and spend a luxurious few days – guests are guaranteed to leave reinvigorated!
Book your luxury vacation getaway from here.