When dreaming of faraway places or planning an escape to distant shores it’s the stunning views and sweeping landscapes that come to mind. Whether an architectural contemporary house, a converted cave, a charming country cottage or a peaceful hotel it will be the surrounding vistas that will entice us. A piece of driftwood from a beach walk, a well haggled rug from the local market or an inspired idea for that spare room; mementoes of these holidays will filter through to our interior décor upon our return and help recreate that room with a view. Please see a selection below…
Originally an incongruent cluster of disparate buildings, the “Seven Millers’” house was created as a single villa by two ladies who were amongst the first to discover the remote Sicilian island of Panarea back in the late 1950s. Toto Koopman and Erica Brausen were society ladies who lived together for over 40 years, and who are as responsible as any for making Panarea into the most chic and glamorous island in Italy. Koopman was a celebrated model in the pre-war era, the first to grace the cover of Vogue magazine in colour, and Brausen ran one of the most successful contemporary art galleries in London, launching the careers of artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti. Many of their illustrious friends and clients, including Hollywood celebrities and aristocrats, came to Panarea as guests in what was - and still is - the most beautiful villa on Panarea Their house is now owned by a South African family, who have carefully and sensitively looked after the cascading gardens, the many tiled terraces with stunning views to the Mediterranean Sea, and the myriads of rooms with interweaving pathways… view interior featurePin It Now!
Marina Klemente first came to the island of Filicudi as a carefree tourist enjoying a holiday. Whilst there, she met a remarkable man who had made himself a home in a grotto, and Marina decided that she wanted to do the same. She managed to buy an old cave high up on a hill overlooking the main port and a promontory called Capo Graziano, and with the help of a few friends, began to dig herself a home. She never went back to her native Naples. Over a dozen years later, she is still firmly settled here, making decorative lamps from painted driftwood which she sells. Her remarkably comfortable grotto, roughly hewn from the bare rock and limewashed, consists of a bedroom, lounge with skylight, kitchen and bathroom, and is surrounded by outdoor terraces on various levels boasting outstanding views, especially from a from the hammock tied between two olive trees trunk. A mattress and cushions form a seating area, opposite a copper fireplace with a millstone as hearth, and the low wooden table is used for reading as well as eating on. The grotto is wired for electricity, but water has to be collected from rainfall in the winter and stored in a cistern. A stunningly unique yet amazingly cosy home… view interior featurePin It Now!
Nestled amidst dense eucalyptus trees, this dramatic and beautiful house is perched high up on the edge of a canyon in the Mission Hills area of San Diego. It is designed by the architects Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines, who just happen to be the neighbours. “They knew us, they knew how we entertained, and they just designed it,” owner Jill Schmidt says. Although encompassing only 1,600 square feet, the house is just the right fit for her, husband John Lomac, their macaw, Mookie, and their chocolate Labrador. This is a wonderful example of site-specific architecture that is both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. Design features include wall-to-wall pocket doors and clerestory windows that let in tons of light, as well as offering dramatic views over the canyon, and the deck system makes the space feel bigger than it is. Wooden African sculpture and furnishings animate the interior, which are however kept relatively open and sparse in order to maximise the limited space. But as the owners would tell you, “Sometimes small is nice.”... view interior featurePin It Now!
Sitting on a hill above Lake Corbara, near Orvieto in the beautiful Umbrian countryside, is the house of Daniela Levy. It was built from the remains of an old church dating back to the beginning of the 1700s, with alongside a barn, set amidst a large swathe of land with over 700 ancient olive trees. Daniela strove to use only local materials and craftsmanship in the restructuring of this country house, and this can clearly be seen in the style as well as the details of the interior – terracotta tiles, antique oak doors, walls rendered with white plaster, imposing oak beams in the ceilings, natural stone and wrought iron handrails are evident throughout. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in the old church section of the house and feature wooden flooring, marble fireplaces and cast iron bathtubs and stoves. Needless to say, the views are spectacular from the upper floor windows… view interior featurePin It Now!
Set on the hillside above the harbour, The Colonsay hotel commands spectacular views over the sea to the neighbouring island of Jura. Built in 1750 as an inn for the local population, the exterior of The Colonsay has remained largely unchanged. It is now possible to fly on and off the island (on one of four scheduled flights), but most visitors and locals come and go by ferry, just as their forebears have for hundreds of years, alighting at the tiny harbour which looks up a single-track road to the hotel. The white-washed walls of the hotel are a heart-warming sight for the traveller and a warm welcome awaits inside. When Jane and Alex Howard bought The Colonsay hotel in 2004 it was more than 30 years since the family had been forced to sell in harder times. As they refurbished the building they were aware of how important it was to make every aspect welcoming to islanders as well as visitors… view interior featurePin It Now!
Bees landing heavily in pale pink dog roses, whose fragrance mingles with salt water as the birds chirp loudly accompanying the rolling waves. All a pleasant background music for Danish summer life, at its best. The cottage was inherited by the Potts family as a holiday home and soon, as one good idea lead to the next, it wasn't long before they had built the house completely. "We have deliberately made sure that we can see the water from all windows and doorways. I never get tired of looking down. When we come up here, I go down and look at the water and it is also the last thing I do before we leave here," says Suzanne Potts, who along with her husband, own the company No Mess, which specializes in products for storage… view interior feature
The waterside is a popular destination when making a much needed escape from city life, a second home or holiday hideaway makes an ideal retreat. A rustic, cosy cottage filled with homemade crafts; a lakeside house decorated with the classic simplicity of a Scandinavian minimal interior; a country cabin that conceals a slick, contemporary interior when you step through the door. These are some of the peaceful waterfront getaways you can find in our Waterside Living features section; please see a selection below…
It used to belong to her Granny. Situated far out on the edge of a quiet little lagoon on the east coast of Norway, this wooden mini 'Nantucket-like' cottage was built to house a family of four in the summer season in the 40s. At that time it was painted yellow, measuring half the size it is now and even more sober looking than it stands today. The outside loo was built on a cliff, away from the main cabin, and with the most spectacular view. The cottage was then passed on to the daughter and then again a few years ago, the young Norwegian designer Hanna inherited this from her mother when moving back from her studying in Milan. What a treasure to return to..In order to accommodate her own family of four, and her own two daughters, she has now doubled the size and got the building into a more modern state of mind, without making it into a 'house' and without anyone being able to tell when passing the property by boat. They now have a bathroom, water and electricity. This feels like luxury to them, but more than anything-it is the time being spent there together, that is the real treat… view interior featurePin It Now!
Only a hundred meters to the right of the dock, where you arrive by ferry, there is a proud building, without shame, ready to show off its history and seduce its guests, albeit on borrowed time... In the white-painted Villa Wille, which was once moved in its entirety by Bernt O. Wille from Ålesund, and rebuilt as the first house of its kind in Sandvika in the year 1909, his descendants spend all their vacation time during the summer months. His daughter in law, Anna Wille, spent 30 years alone in the house until 2006, when the younger generation came back and took over the maintenance and storytelling. So the story begins here. Mr Wille was involved in the restoration of Ålesund after the great city- fire. The log buildings were left standing, and the young gentleman took the house to Sandvika in order to raise a family and run a small furniture factory… view interior featurePin It Now!
If it were not for the Spanish flu, there wouldn’t have been a summerhouse here. In the years 1917-1920, thousands died in Norway as a result of this epidemic. As a special note of thank you for having cared for and saved a nearby landowner’s family, - Dr. Ringvold was allowed to pick whichever piece of land he wanted by the sea on the family’s property. He ended up with Solstrand, meaning sunny beach… This was the early part of the twentieth century in Norway, and having a vacation home surrounded by wild nature was just becoming fashionable. Forty years ago, the property changed hands, but the family who moved in, continued the tradition of mixing furniture and styles in imaginative ways. The house was taken over 'as is', and much of what was there from the previous owners, still has its place to this day. The house has three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a large living room with four-meter tall ceilings. In addition there’s a small cottage on the property. This cabin, originally intended for lumberjacks, now periodically houses the youngest son in the family, an artist. -It’s so quiet out here that for large parts of the day, the only sound I hear is the ocean and the winds outside, he says. Covering the walls is a mix of fishing tackle and hardware, bathrobes and old sailor-paintings, and through the window he has an unobstructed view of the sea… view interior featurePin It Now!
Riant Château is a luxury residence located in a unique setting facing Lake Geneva and the Alps, built by the famous architects Polak and Piollenc in 1912-1913 on the eve of the First World War. During the Roaring Twenties this ultra-modern attracted personalities linked to the world of cinema and originally included several large apartments for wealthy families and a cosmopolitan clientele seeking discretion. A renovation turned this former 20th Century palace in Montreux-Territet into apartments that still attracts many foreign followers of anonymity. Former hosts include Charlie Chaplin, Alain Delon and Freddie Mercury. The mysterious and invisible entrepreneur who lives here with his in-laws, between sky and lake, turned to the talented decorators Lyon and Dominique Herve Giughese to add the finishing touches to his penthouse apartment. Throughout the day in this beautiful residence with its pure white décor, the changing light brings different contrasts to the pieces, giving an extra life to the choice of the simply furnished with tones of baroque. The light and shadows, sitting on a large roof terrace with the cry of gulls, the sound of the wind, the house offers a variety of environments outside of time… view interior featurePin It Now!
This phrase, coined as it was by a country musician, and later appropriated by the punk-scene is anything but the equivalent of simplicity as many take it to mean. On the contrary, it requires hard work, the ability to improvise, historical knowledge, and a whole bunch of will-power. It just looks and sounds simple. Like a good architect’s work. Walking from cabin to cabin between the rock-formations, and from room to room, it dawns on us that what the owners have created here isn’t just an updated version of the “summer-cabin”, but an alternate cabin-universe altogether… view interior featurePin It Now!
Inspired by the turn of the century cruise ships, architect Emmanuel Lenys designed a house much like a vessel run aground on the island of Re. Wild moorland descends gently into ocean rocks and at low tide many passers-by walk through the tranquil shores of this very secret beach; quite by chance when out for a walk, Myriam discovered an old house abandoned by the sea. It was in February and with architect Emmanuel Lenys, they made a bet to spend the holidays in this new residence. The challenge was set! In just nine months the construction and renovation, carried out by André Blanchet was complete. The main concern of all those involved was to respect as much as possible the wild aspect of the environment. The main body of the building, more than thirty metres long, used the dry stone native to the island and its nautically styled carpentry integrates seamlessly with the site, creating a continuity of materials. All objects were found during the nine months of construction, in France and England, some to reinforce the same theme: the sea… view interior featurePin It Now!
There is a plethora of choice when it comes to choosing a colour palette for your home, vibrant rich colours to muted pastel shades contrasted with neon flashes, or accent walls finished with paint or speciality wallpapers. For some, however, they love to be surrounded by the ultimate classic, white: far from a dull or lazy option white gives a timeless quality to any home. Clean, simple and pure an all-white room forms the perfect canvas. Whether contemporary or traditional, urban or countryside, romantic or modern a white room gives as wide a spectrum of choices as a colourful room. Please see a selection below…
If given the opportunity Anne will, at the drop of a hat whisk herself away to her beloved Latin America, a contintent she has zigzagged across for the last fifteen years. As with so many travellers, Anne's visual curiosity for the exotic places and people of these lands far away from Scandinavia has brought her to embrace the artisan-esthetic: rough around the edges, seemingly simple, yet astoundingly durable. Her funkis apartment in Oslo must be seen both in light of her personality and occupation. Though strict and with a typical Scandinavian reticence, her home is filled from dawn till dusk with a heavenly light which embraces you from the first moment you enter her home. Just like Anne… view interior featurePin It Now!
The young couple are both estate agents, Kristin and Erlend were living it up in Oslo when they decided to give the whole city-life the cold shoulder and embrace country living. So they sold up everything and left Oslo behind with it’s scatterd coffee bars and glorious bustle. The two of them have recently finished the wooden house of their dreams, and are now settled in with two mini me’s.. Now, they feel like they have replaced the perspective of a bird, looking down towards the Oslofjord, with a complete close up on Steinsfjorden. Indeed, Kristin actually grew up a few minutes up the dirt road on her bike, and there are other towns and cities closer by to explore. They can even just sit and have a double espresso made from their own machine in the morning, enjoying the views sitting on their newly built doc… view interior featurePin It Now!
An unpretentious blend of old and new, best describes this family home north of Copenhagen. When the owners took the apartment over it needed much renovation; however, it was important for the couple to maintain the feeling for the place that they fell in love with, its fine detail and high ceilings. Rooms were painted white to improve the sense of light and space and the kitchen was torn down and built up in conjunction with the new family room that used to be a dark dining room… view interior featurePin It Now!
Converted into a place of dwelling or an artist’s workshop, many textile mills in Northern France reopen their doors to a new lease of life. Most become lofts as they offer an interesting framework for someone who knows how to fill in the blanks. This 1901 building was perfect for an art collector who realized he had always wanted to have a large area without constraints to highlight the works he had acquired. Passionate about contemporary art, he tried to find a place for each painting and each sculpture. "In my house, I needed more walls....this is why some paintings have remained on the ground!” Half apartment half gallery the furniture has also been chosen for its aesthetic look, from the Egg chair of Arne Jacobsen to the white sofa by Mies van der Rohe nothing is left to chance. We enter in the very personal universe of one who has created it. Each piece tells a little of its history: a little history of the artist that has created it and a little history of the one who has acquired it… view interior featurePin It Now!
White and delicious. Sky High ceilings with soaring walls and windows opening up to the great world. Well executed craftsmanship, and materials selected from the top shelf. In the middle of Oslo, is an uncompromising white cube. The loft on Fagerborg includes what housing agents call a rare occasioning. There are no unsightly beams in their way, either visually or practical. And unlike in many other loft-conversions, one must not stand on tiptoes to reach the outside world through peepholes that only let in some light, but does not provide an overview of what's happening on ground level. Top floor and attic has now become one, and it's all about the big white room, a white cube, as it is called in the art world, without being in any way square… view interior featurePin It Now!
The novelist Chris Fowler bought this penthouse when he was looking for a bright and spacious space to live and work. Spending all day working at home, he wanted something which was open to the sky and nowhere could he have found a brighter, sunnier penthouse than this delightful, modern house built above a former industrial building by the Battle Basin in the King’s Cross area. The apartment has an overwhelming emphasis on the colour white – furniture, flooring and walls, apart from the few odd touches of steel grey in the kitchen, oak doors, brown cushions and the occasional bright splashes of colour in the artwork, flowers or fruit which punctuates the space. Undisputedly modern, this sleek apartment captures the essence of open plan, 21st century living… view interior feature