Make your home richer. Travel.
On a canvas wall art, I remember once reading something like Travel (noun). The only thing you buy that makes you richer. I guess this is something we can all agree on. This must be the reason more and more of our clients share with us their travel memories and stories when it comes to describing their “dream home”. They fall in love with the atmosphere of a place and these memories still resonate, many years later. They frequently wish to surround themselves with stylish homewares, interior design or timeless architectural features that resemble places they visited or the country where they grew up. This is why, some of our clients aim to recreate – in their renovation project or new residential building – a different sense of place, exotic escapism from their frenetic modern-day lifestyle perhaps as an elegant and balanced retreat for their family.
An imaginative blend of African, Arab and Mediterranean
A stunning bioclimatic Mediterranean pergola, for instance, beautifully framed by white walls and soft seating, was the end result of one of our recent projects which had sought to integrate a renovated contemporary living area with a south-facing outdoor patio. It won’t breathe the Moroccan Chergui wind into the garden, but we are confident it will draw in softened light and a feeling of Mediterranean warmth, thereby enhancing relaxed afternoons at this lovely country cottage in Ascot. Annabel Smith from a new, online destination-inspired design store, Telescope Style, suggests; ‘During the summer months, outdoor entertaining areas provide endless opportunity for indulging a love of the Mediterranean lifestyle for both interiors fans and closet stylists alike! Use remnants and inexpensive fabrics to create ‘matelasse’ style seat pads teamed with copious cushions to soften architectural, built-in seating areas. Consider floor cushions too and don’t forget decorative outdoor rugs.’
Moving on now from the heat and intensity of the Southern sun to cooler, Northern light: as Inhabitat Architects we must confess our fondness for Scandinavian design and architecture. The best way to channel that style? Introduce your own edit of the best Scandinavian furniture designs within your home and at the same time rediscover low-tech, environmental comfort and simplicity through your architectural aspirations. Scandi-inspired home renovations don’t have necessarily to match up to an overly ‘severe,’ minimalist stereotype. Timber and wooden framed houses, extensions or even garden rooms, for example, can embody modernity that’s difficult to resist, while celebrating a joyful connection with the inner “you”. A wellbeing lounge area in your Scandinavian-inspired home indeed strikes the perfect balance between Scandi-chic and subtle, lifestyle luxury. Furthermore, says Annabel of Telescope Style; ‘The Scandinavian look is characterized by an elegant, monochrome palette that brings together simple, honest materials such as wood and metal. Don’t, however, discount pattern or colour! There is a raft of directional brands that fuse Scandinavian heritage with almost fairytale-like, whimsically imaginative designs. Check out Svenskt Tenn fabrics, Borastapeter or Sandberg wallpapers, Marimekko and the kids range at Ferm Living.’
Striking spaces from South-America
White walls offset by a wide range of bold hues: brilliant yellow, pink, fuchsia, magenta, vermillion, cadmium red, indigo, cobalt, sapphire, lilac, and deep purple. We are talking, of course, about Luis Barragan’s architecture of colour, magisterially rooted in his cultural experience of the South-American world and Mexican visual identity. Our advice to someone dreaming of a vibrant home? One that truly embraces human emotions? Flood it with light and confidently deploy the use of architectural colour. An internal open courtyard to add vibrancy and enliven, replete with tactile, ‘rough luxe’ texture and water reflections. Double height sitting rooms with walls that, as well as providing structural support, are an architectural feature in themselves, carefully framing views and vistas. Walls to cast shadows and create areas of half-light; the kind of light that promotes a sense of tranquillity, in both living spaces and bedrooms.
Says Annabel of Telescope Style, ‘My advice to those looking to create colourful feature walls to conjure up the atmosphere of exotic, foreign shores is to tester pot, tester pot, tester pot! Paint a metre square at least before committing, to ensure the colour truly fulfills it’s brief in our cooler, northerly light. Perhaps opt for a warmer, more intensely pigmented shade to achieve the same effect and don’t forget to include suitably warm-hued lamps and fittings for evening glow!’