Friday Fun: Amazing Courtyards and Patios

Still here, still pretty much housebound, and no plans to travel too far afield. But who needs to, if they’ve got such wonderful courtyards in their own home? I hope they come complete with a gardener who knows what they are doing, because they can’t count on me to keep anything alive and pretty.

I’ve always craved a place to gather with friends outside on balmy summer evenings and tell stories. From
Courtyard in Mexico from Photo credit: Lorena Darquea.
Water features are so soothing, and I like the idea of having a swing as well. From
Another inside outside room from Arch Daily. Photo credit Denilson Machado.
Tunisian feel in this simple to replicate courtyard, from


Friday Fun: And Breathe… in New Zealand

This Friday Fun post is pure escapism, nothing political about it at all… but for some reason all of today’s houses seem to be located in New Zealand. A country I very much hope to visit some day. Most if not all of these pictures are taken from the wonderful website

Villa in Wairarapa, photo: Simon Devitt.
House designed by Strachan Architects, photo Patrick Reynolds.
House on Lake Wakatipu, photo Paul McCredie.
Kawau Island bach, photo Alex Wallace.
This house is not about the view, but about the rather lovely inner courtyard. Photo: Samuel Hartnett
The perfect beach house? Sorry, not sure of photo credit, but I couldn’t resist sharing it.


Friday and Easter Fun

We need more escapism than ever before, so here are some recent favourite houses that set me (and hopefully you) dreaming.

Little house in Aix en Provence, from TripAdvisor. I believe it is Marcel Pagnol’s?
I can never resist a patio and those lovely French shutters, from
Another beauty in the Provence. Do you know that shutter colours on traditional houses are monitored in France? From Maisons Travaux.
Flowers in the garden are always a bonus, of course. Also from Maison Travaux.
This is how I imagined the Secret Garden house when I was a child – wrong country, of course, but isn’t it gorgeous, from

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating this weekend. I will be celebrating Greek Orthodox Easter next weekend as well, so double the chocolate for me! And please join us this long weekend rewatching Kieslowski’s Three Colours trilogy. Hashtag on Twitter: #threecolours (British spelling).

Friday Fun: Enjoy Those Verandas While Ye May!

Enjoy the last summer sunshine on the verandas while you can, for soon we will have to head back into the houses. Here are some minor home improvements you might want to consider.

Pool at your feet and the jungle next door – not sure where this is, but Borneo sounds about right. From Pinterest.
Guest house in Vietnam with a small internal veranda which looks like bliss.
You might not guess it, but this Thai house was built entirely out of containers. I love the waterfall! From
American style veranda, designed by Kristen Buckingham, from her website.
Another American house designed by MEC Interiors at Ten Oaks, from Design Bites. Imagine having your canoe in front of your house.
Americans have got this veranda business nailed, from Pinterest.
But I have a hankering for the sea views in South Africa, from

Friday Fun: My Little French Maison

Soon to become even more aspirational and unattainable to Brits, these French houses make me dream.

I would happily get the dog as well. From Immo France.
Perfect veranda for a dinner with friends and a read, from
Art nouveau style villa, from Pinterest.
Villa for sale in beautiful location: Bay of Arcachon, near Bordeaux. See Cabinet Bedin for details.
Typical Southern style French home, from Cote Littoral.
Northern style home from the Alsace-Lorraine, from Cote Maison.
What a garden! From Journal de la Maison.
Another beautiful French house – I love the symmetry and the shutters. I am fed up with inadequate curtains, even those so-called blackout curtains are not enough! House in Quimper.

Friday Fun: Contemporary and Futuristic Homes

Glass seems to be the building element of choice for futuristic homes. Let’s just hope there’s no one waiting to cast any stones!

The mountain chalet updated in Colorado, from
It’s all about the views in this Brazilian home, from Casa Claudia.
High ceilings seem to be compulsory in modern houses, as in this Spanish house. From Casa Luxo.
Inverted clifftop house (bedrooms downstairs, living room upstairs) from
Another American extravaganza, from
Now we move onto futurism, from
More modest and sustainable: a container home. From

Friday Fun: Luxury Mountain Lodges

I think the Americans must have a different definition of mountain lodges to just about anyone else except the Swiss. Have a look at these! Certainly not the kind I will be coming back to rest in after skiing…

Ready to go canoeing? From Stonewood LLC.
Montana Magica hotel lodge in Chile, from Atlas Obscura.
A dreamy terrace to admire the view, from Style
Swimming pools are of course always a bonus. From
When you are isolated on a mountain, you can afford to have big windows. From Once Upon a Better Home.
After a hard day of climbing mountains, isn’t this the perfect spot to come back to? From

Friday Fun: When Money Is No Object…

Of course, if money were no object for me (and you, dear readers), I suspect we would just have simple but cosy living quarters above a huge and famous library. However, most wealthy people in the world seem to prefer the flashily obvious displays of wealth. So this is what money can buy you… And I have to admit some of them are not too shabby! (All pictures taken from the glorious Home Adore website).

So now you understand why they want their tax cuts…

Fairview residence at night, designed by Leslie Minervini.
Terrace of the same Fairview Residence – Bellevue, right?
Banyan Tree Residence designed by Choeff Levy Fischman. Multiple pools and lakeside mooring.
More modest house designed by Mercurio Design Lab, but it’s only for the weekend…
Front of the Mercurio house is surprisingly low key.
And if you want your private ski cabin, this one by Skli will do it for me.



Friday Fun: Houses with a Quirky Touch

It’s all very well to buy traditional cottages or restore abandoned mansions, but what about these mainly newly-built houses with an extra touch of quirkiness?

Barn in Pennsylvania, from
How’s this for a swimming pool? From
Straight out of a Grimm fairytale, not surprising since it’s located in Germany. From
The blueness of this terrace just dazzles me, from Revista Living.
Hideaway cottage in Lake George, from Pinterest.
Updated farmhouse, by Truexcullings Architecture.

Friday Fun: Summery Dream Homes

Summertime… and the reading and writing would be easy in any of these houses … and glamorous. Whether permanent fixtures, or perhaps holiday homes, who could resist any of these?

Garden glory, from Zsazsa Bellagio on Tumblr.
Typical French villa with garden, from Pinterest.
Breakfast on the balcony, anyone? From Pinterest.
Another french beauty, in Grasse, from
For those in desperate need of additional space, here is a conservatory to consider. From Pinterest.
Meanwhile, for those happy with a smaller conservatory, from