Carcary Residence is a revamped dream cottage by Nest Designs in Bayshore Beautiful, an oak-filled neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, just steps away from the bay. The 1940’s home is owned by Shona and Shaun Carcary, natives of South Africa (she is a personal trainer and he is a real estate investor), who saw past “the huge workload involved but could see the home’s charm and good bones,” Shona says. The couple spent six years renovating the 1,500 square foot, two bedroom, two bathroom home. They painted floors, gutted and remodeled the bathrooms and the kitchen, converted the detached garage into a fitness studio and “man room,” and gave the entire house a dreamy, all-white makeover.
The couple ripped out the dark brown carpeting throughout the house to reveal hardwood floors. Shona is a huge fan of white, and painted the floors, pink walls and wood fireplace mantel all the same color, Ultra Pure White by Behr. The couple also replaced the original windows.
Most of the living room furniture, including the sofa, side table, tree trunk coffee table, lighting and decorative accents, are from Tampa’s Blue Moon Trading Company.
An area Shona uses as her home office is visible through the French doors. “It’s where I gather my thoughts and organize my days,” she says. She converted a former garden table into a desk by adding a custom glass top.
Painted stairs and risers sporting house numbers lead upstairs to the couple’s bedroom. Shona purchased a different number every time she went to a hardware store, accumulating a collection over time. “I added them because I always count steps as I go up and down,” she says.
The couple fashioned a stair railing from a birch branch they purchased at Michaels.
A local artisan made the dining room pendant light using materials salvaged from a chicken coop. “I love the eclectic feel of mixing old and new, repurposing items and using them in unexpected ways,” Shona says.
The Carcarys completed the kitchen remodel themselves, inspired by compact kitchens with open shelving that they saw during trips to Italy and France. The tin ceiling proved to be the most challenging element, as each tile needed to be laid individually. The countertops are marble, while the kitchen island was made from barn wood floors. The overall cost of the kitchen renovation was $20,000, including appliances and materials.
The first-floor guest bedroom was kept light and airy, with both the floors and walls painted entirely white.
Shona’s love of an (almost) all-white palette mixes well with the earthy, nature-inspired accents. “I have found that natural elements like wood, stone, metal and shells are what I’m drawn to,” she says.
Vintage French armchairs add a touch of elegance to Shona’s office. To provide some privacy from the living room, the owners added French doors, which they painted the same shade of white as the rest of the interior; they create a smooth transition between rooms.
In the master bedroom upstairs, the couple removed a closet to create the shower, which they enclosed with a glass wall to make the space feel larger and appear more open.
Shona painted the master bedroom floors black but stuck to white with the linens. The nightstand is a birdbath that Shona fitted with a custom glass top.
Shona splurged on this vintage-style shelf from Anthropologie, and uses it to display her collection of platform shoes and travel knickknacks. She’s particularly fond of the leather handbag, which she purchased on a trip to Ibiza. “I love to spend time on the weekends looking for one-of-a-kind finds,” she says.
Shona and Shaun did all the labor on their bathroom remodel. They sourced both the bathtub and the emerald-green and gold mosaic tile on eBay.
Shona and Shaun use the family room the most and love to unwind together in front of the TV. The number 7 is particularly meaningful to Shona, as her brother passed away on December 7. This numerical accent is a small way of honoring and remembering him in one of her favorite spaces.
The outdoor areas, like this deck that Shaun built, extend the interior with natural surfaces and touches of white. The couple loves to entertain guests here, and hosts parties and evenings with wine often.
The desk, café chair and cart bench are all vintage and from Blue Moon Trading Company.
A climbing plant shrouds the arbor leading to the converted garage, which now houses Shona’s fitness studio and Shaun’s home bar.
This farm table on the back deck gives Shaun and Shona plenty of opportunities to host al fresco meals.
The couple divided their detached garage into two separate rooms. To the left is Shona’s fitness studio, where she works from home. These French doors lead to what Shaun calls his “man room,” where he spends time lounging in front of the TV.
The bar in Shaun’s room is made from a kitchen door that the couple salvaged during their remodel. The back shelf was made from a headboard they brought over from South Africa, while the walls are decorated with building materials from the school in South Africa where Shona used to work as a nursery teacher.
The couple created a backyard bathing oasis with a salvaged claw-foot tub.
Hardwood floors grace the home fitness studio, where Shona tends to clients as a personal trainer and nutrition expert.
The cottage is nestled behind grand oaks on an old brick-lined street just steps from the bay. When the Carcarys moved in, the exterior featured a mix of yellow siding, blue trim and exposed brick. The couple painted the entire house the same shade of white as the interior. Since they converted their garage into living space, they now park their cars in the driveway.
Shona is shown here with their four playful Chihuahuas, Dinky, Peatri, Bumpy and Dobby.
Photos: Mina Brinkey Photography
Casa Carrara is a minimalist design by architecture firm Andres Remy Arquitectos situated on an irregular lot in Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 7,104 square foot (660 square meters) house sits at the back of the lot and is parallel to one of the streets to open the best orientation and capture the best views. The idea of this journey was to discover the entrance as we follow the exterior stone wall. The rustic and crafted stone defines and separates the entry zones from the living spaces and is inside and outside, proposing a counterpoint to the pure white that dominates the inside of the house.
A blind and evocative entrance makes a strong impression on the house. The white of the carrara marble dominates the interior architecture. With the white walls and ceilings, the house appears to arise from within the water. The touches of color are used for small details and decorative objects, dominating the white color and the turquoise of the water.
The water that surrounds the house penetrates it in the form of the mirrored surface of the water whose novelty results in the interior cascade that emerges from the top floor and falls while painting reflections via a pane of glass. This mirror of water is reproduced outside blurring the boundaries between one and the other. Finally, emerging from the hall dispenser of the top floor, the glass cascade drains musically into and through the heart of the ground floor. These elements give the project the distinct mark of Remy–bold, creative and perhaps provocative, but always unique.
Photos: Alejandro Peral
This renovated and spacious apartment, spotted on Alvhem, is located in a quite courtyard on the popular Kastell Street in Linnéstaden, a busy city center of Gothenburg, Sweden. The stylish 1,119 square foot (104 square meters) home features charming details from the early 1900s, with a newly renovated open plan living and kitchen area, perfect for entertaining. This home, demonstrates a perfect subtle mix between new and old. The living room offers a rounded wall with a tall window that looks out into the inner courtyard, offering abundant natural light and bestowing charm to the apartment. It’s nice to sit on the couch and be able to communicate with the guests that can be both in the kitchen and the living room. The walls are smooth and painted in a white color that harmonizes with the furnishings and decor. From the living room, are the private spaces of the home, offering two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The Glass House is a modern renovation and extension designed by AR Design Studio in Winchester, England. The home was originally built by the Earl of Airlie in 1856 while he served as Camp Commandant at the nearby Peninsular Barracks military base and split into two more modestly sized dwellings in the 1950s. Since then, the servants’ quarters had fallen into a state of disrepair after the unfortunate passing of a sole elderly owner. It remained vacant for a number of years, until the long-time occupants of the Manor House sought to retire and move into the more manageable servants’ quarters which overlooked the surrounding grasslands and turn it into their dream home.
From the architect: It is not every day that a body is found buried on your building site, but on a summer’s morning in 2012 this is exactly what happened while builders were laying foundations for RIBA award-winning architects AR Design Studio’s latest project. By 6pm they had found another 2.
After the initial astonishment, the Police and later a team of Archaeologists were brought in who thankfully identified the remains as being of Roman origin. After a period of intense excavation, it was confirmed as a site of Archaeological importance when further evidence of Roman burials and defensive fortifications were uncovered, including the discovery of a rare Roman burial urn. Once the site was cleared of artefacts and the bodies taken to the local museum for research, work on the building could continue.
These ancient findings further added to the already rich historical context of the property situated in the town of Winchester, the old Roman capital of England. The project was to convert the original servants’ quarters of the large Manor House that overlooked the surrounding grasslands. It was built by the Earl of Airlie in 1856 while he served as Camp Commandant at the nearby Peninsular Barracks military base and split into two more modestly sized dwellings in the 1950s.
Since then, the servants’ quarters had fallen into a state of disrepair after the unfortunate passing of a sole elderly owner. It remained vacant for a number of years, until the long-time occupants of the Manor House sought to retire and move into the more manageable servants’ quarters and turn it into their dream home.
The owner’s love of glass fuelled their brief to construct a beautifully simple sculptural glass staircase and a contemporary glass extension, situated at the rear of the property in the space created by the ‘C’ shape of the building, which would open itself up to the garden.
The couple approached AR Design Studio Chartered Architects because of their experience in dealing with glass architecture and their interest in how this material can be used to create seamless relationships between inside and outside space, between the man-made and nature.
Hidden from view behind the buildings traditional facade, the finished extension is an elegant piece of modern contemporary glass architecture. It completely reinvents the feel and atmosphere of the previously dark and cramped servants’ quarters; all within the rich and poignant historical context of the site.
The concept was to provide a clean and light architectural intervention alongside the traditional shell of the building which would positively affect the feel and functionality of the property. The spaces are designed to accentuate a play between light and dark; contrasting from the bright and open communal spaces to the more subtle and secluded, almost cave-like retreat spaces in the old house.
The existing layout was clarified; vertical voids were cut through the house to unite the cellar, ground and first floors and redirect the flow of the house to naturally draw the user towards the new glass space at the heart of the home.
The strategic placement of the large roof light floods the entrance hall with sunlight that tracks through the double-height space with the time of day and the seasons.
This extremely light and spacious frameless glass extension houses the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas. As the delicate structure reaches over to form the walls and roof of the extension, it creates a flexible inside/outside space allowing sunlight to flood through the home and filter down gradually, creating beautiful shards of light and shadow.
As a contrast to the extension, the formal lounge, study and dining room have a more sheltered and embracing nature. Upstairs, the Glass House has 4 large double bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. The master suite has its own walk-in wardrobe and views overlooking the garden and the top of the glass extension below. All the essentials have been accounted for, in the form of utility and laundry rooms, study and WC that flank the glass box.
Timber ceramic tiling was used as an innovative alternative to traditional timber flooring because it does not discolour in the weather and is a perfect surface to compliment the underfloor heating throughout. This allowed for a seamless floor finish running from the inside to the outside onto the cantilevered patio.
The rest of the house is finished to a minimal and clean appearance to allow the functional glass structures to stand out as exquisite pieces of sculptural art in their own right.
Whilst still retaining a subtle street appearance, the finished property now renamed Clarkes, is completely transformed from its previous gloomy and decrepit nature. The modern renovation and extension creates a light, airy and open living environment bursting with traditional values, contemporary style and innovative design.
Photos: Martin Gardner
Spotted on Skeppsholmen, this charming small apartment is cozy and welcoming, featuring a fabulous rooftop terrace with stunning city views in Östermalm, Sweden. Comprised of 602 square feet (56 square meters) with a living room, kitchen, one bedroom and one bathroom. The home was built with the highest standards with designed lighting and several site-built features. The kitchen has white countertops of Carrera marble and a dining area which can accommodate 4-6 diners. The living room offers plenty of natural light and access to the private terrace. The living room is flanked by a very cozy bedroom with separate walk-in closet. Lavish bathroom with underfloor heating, shower and wall mounted toilet. There is plenty of integrated storage solutions, as well as two closets, perfect for a small space!
Today we bring to you another incredible apartment we spotted on Alvhem, situated in Linnéstaden, Gothenburg, Sweden. This dreamlike home has been undergone a meticulous and tasteful refurbishment, comprised of about 731 square feet (68 square meters) of living space with open social spaces. Located at the second to the top of a beautiful turn of the century building, the apartment has three generous-sized rooms, high windows with plenty of sunshine and open floor plan between the kitchen and living room. Glazed doors from the kitchen opens up to a spacious wrought-iron balcony bathed in sunshine all day and facing towards a newly renovated courtyard. As if this were not enough, the apartment also has a fully renovated bathroom as well as a variety of beautiful turn of the century details preserved in the finest condition. A light and airy bedroom that is well separated from the other social spaces offers plenty of room for both double bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, work space and a reading corner. Along one wall there is an unusual amount of storage in the form of wardrobes with sliding doors. For those who dream of yet more storage, the spacious bedroom also offers a walk-in closet. with a built-in wardrobe will keep you rested and happy and there is enough room for a double bed, a dresser and other small pieces of furniture. With an atmosphere that feels timeless stylish and tranquil, the apartment offers a relaxing lifestyle in the middle of the city.
Casa 4×30 has been designed by CR2 Architecture in collaboration with FGMF Architects in São Paulo, Brazil. The home was encrusted in a row of narrow geminate houses which presented more of a challenge rather than as an architectural project. How to make the entire program of a house fit in a 4 x 30 meters lot, relying on a few illuminated surfaces. From the tiny Japanese and Dutch houses, the architects borrowed ideas to take advantage of the little space in a creative manner. The proposal was to design a conventional space for the stereotype of a middle-class family in São Paulo and turn to integrated spaces and eliminate others considered “mandatory.”
The occupation of the lot was one of the major factors for the development of the project. The search for natural illumination and ventilation conditioned the emphasis on the central garden, cut in the constructed volume in order to create three facades generously bathed in light. United by a footbridge around the garden, two blocks of different sizes organize the functions of the house and require residents to enjoy the green on all displacements. The larger block focuses the living room and kitchen on the ground floor and the bedrooms upstairs; the smaller one contains supporting environments such as service area, office and vertical circulation of the house.
That choice has followed the intention of perverting the limits of the garden with retractable glass doors in order to fully integrate the living room with the external space. At this point, a conceptual crossroad: if the living room is opened onto the garden, the only option for the kitchen was facing the facade.
The tiling panel, of simple design, composes together with the polyurethane resin floor and the aluminum of the box a scenario of great simplicity and whiteness, only broken by the exuberance of the garden, on the one hand, and by the force of the black gable, on the other hand, which protects the interior from being seen from the street, on the opposite side. The obsession for the white color is not purely form, although the search for a simple space was a premise of the start-up: it is, above all, a strategy to reflect light internally, leading it to all points of the house.
The garden also plays a role in the efficiency of the house. In addition to allowing a permeable area superior to the required by law, the grassy area has a Surinam cherry tree and a bright green wall which cool naturally and create a low pressure zone. The air, cooled, crosses the living room toward the kitchen window, renewing the air and assuring appropriate thermal conditions for most of the year. In the winter, the external screen, which protects the facade from the sunset, can be collected so that the sunlight helps to warm the environment.
The volume accommodates two suites, accessible by the expanded mesh footbridge that stops to create generous headroom over the entrance passage. In this linear ‘atrium’ and through the expanded mesh footbridge, there is the notion of continuity of the art panel signed by the artist Fabio Flaks. With an intentional prolongation, this panel is presented to the street and defines the entrance of the house, while a discrete glass slab allows the external observer to catch a glimpse of the continuity of the piece of art, which is offered as part of the urban landscape.
On the box of the bedrooms, a large deck occupies the top floor and creates a new area of enjoyment, framed by a strip of green roof. The solarium provides access for maintenance of air-conditioning and water heating equipment, but is primarily a recreational space that complements the garden on the ground floor. For the couple who lived in an apartment, every square inch outdoors corresponds to a great achievement.
The materials used are as recyclable as the house itself, which can easily be adapted over time or simply disassembled when needed.
Photographs: Fran Parente
This wonderful attic apartment, spotted on Alvhem, features a spacious roof terrace situated on a prime location, the prestigious Rose Street, in Linnéstaden, a central urban district of Gothenburg, Sweden. The apartment is in a beautiful 20th century building, offering open plan kitchen and living room with wood burning stove. With about 968 square feet (90 square meters) of total living area, this beautiful loft-style apartment welcomes you into the home with a skylight that lets in plenty of natural light. White walls leave the high ceiling apartment feeling bright and airy, light white oiled oak parquet flooring covers all the spaces except for the modern tiled bathroom. The airy living room with a sloped ceiling is the heart of the home, binding together all the apartment’s rooms. The kitchen has a large sliding glass door that leads out to the rooftop terrace, which makes the boundary between indoors and outdoors easily blurred. There are two bedrooms and an open attic loft space above the bathroom which is accessed via steps from the living room. Perfect for a reading area or guest bed.
This meticulously decorated apartment, spotted on Alvhem, is situated in Linnéstaden, Sweden. The fully renovated 914 square foot (85 square meters) home features carefully selected materials and color schemes with a wonderful open floor plan with the perfect balance between social spaces and secluded private rooms. The renovation extends from the details such as dimmer switches to delicious wallpaper and clever storage solutions. The main living spaces feature wide plank flooring, bright white paint and large windows providing plenty of natural light, blurring the lines between indoors and out. A spacious and cozy balcony with wonderful afternoon sunshine can be accessed from both the living room and one of the bedrooms. The tastefully designed kitchen is a chef’s dream, with plenty of workspace, storage and lighting. With lavish home appliances, cabinets with classic white doors with walnut edging and compact black laminate countertops. There are also two bedrooms, a stylish bathroom, a home office that is between the two bedrooms but can also be used as a bedroom and a laundry room with a wine chiller.
This stunning home of expatriates Xavier and Carine Huyberechts is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. Xavier is an architect with GLH & Associates Architects, who designed the family’s dream home, which was originally in a derelict state when they got it. There was a magic of the place, and they immediately fell in love. The home was built from scratch, full of grandeur in stateliness, intimacy in small spaces and charm in minimalism. The home possesses a quiet majesty in its open-plan, double-volume living room that seems to blend into the rolling garden, blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. There is a soothing uniformity of the all-white color scheme, anchored by warm woods and brightened by the art-filled walls. The architect demonstrates a minimalist aesthetic throughout with rich and seamless tapestry of cultures that define , without pigeonholing, the house’s residents.
On the ground floor, the rooms flow into each other effortlessly, and striking art from the likes of William Kentridge, Kendell Geers and Marco Cianfanelli, as well as Xavier’s own impressive efforts, punctuate the walls and give the house a shot of color. The same sense of restraint in design, coupled with exuberance in art, continues upstairs, where the bedrooms are, with the master suite connected to the children’s and guest rooms by a raw steel and wire walkway that cleverly echoes a suspension bridge.
Despite the crisp minimalism that prevails, this is a house with a nostalgic and sentimental heart. For instance, above the bathtub in the master bathroom are two plaster casts of Carine’s torso while pregnant with their son, Kwame, and daughter, Almaz, reminiscent of primitive African fertility sculptures.
Photos: Elsa Young
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