Friday Fun: Passion for an Architects’ Studio

Earlier this month I came across a dream villa in a dream location on the shores of Lake Geneva, designed by Olson Kundig Architects. I was so intrigued by it that I stalked them on their website and systematically worked my way through their portfolio. Alongside public buildings all over the world, they also have a knack for very modern private houses, with huge windows, in stunning locations, really allowing nature to mingle with the indoors. When I win the lottery (or a whole dozen of them, I think), you know whom I will employ to build me the dream home. All the photos are from their website

It all started with this view from the Chemin Byron villa on Lake Geneva.
Seamlessly going from the outside to the inside in this Californian home.
The sea can be heard and seen from this terrace/living room in Hawaii.
The forest is peeking into the house in this Canadian home.
This house in Rio has the jungle as a backdrop for the living room.
These wide open spaces are fine in summer – but what might they look like in the rain and snow of Washington State?
This is from another architecture firm, Villa Aquamarine by Mykarch in Mykonos, but I couldn’t resist adding it here as the perfect blend of indoors and landscape, and combining my favourite colours.

Friday Fun: Venturing Out into the World

We’ve spent a lot of time in home libraries, cosy reading nooks, even under the stairs over the past few weeks. So it’s high time we looked at inspiring contemporary architectures (hopefully well insulated and far away from peeking eyes) set in amazing landscapes. Welcome to spring, Easter, and nature’s rebirth!

Mountain home designed by Kelly Stone Architects, from OneKindesign.
Canadian lakeside home, photo credit: Maciek Linowski, from Contemporist.
Semi-underground ecological home from the Netherlands, from
Marataba Trails Lodge in South Africa is more of a hotel but I wouldn’t mind living here all year round, from
‘Cottage’ may be an understatement for this house set on its own island on New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, designed by Bossley Architects.

Friday Fun: More Houses with Views

Only three more years before I can start thinking about moving, although I doubt that I’ll be able to afford a house with such heavenly views as the ones below…

Bedroom view in Colorado, from
Brazilian house, from
What about watching the sunset from this balcony in Kenya, from CN Traveler.
You too can have this Swiss view on AirBnB, in the Bernese Oberland.
If you’re already looking forward to ski season, this Colorado cabin looks perfect, from
Just in case you think I am biased about mountain views, here is a sea view, from

Friday Fun: Just Sitting and Watching the World Go By

I admitted in my Inside and Out book tag that I don’t actually read all that much outdoors. However, if I had a beautiful porch, deck, terrace, balcony or whatever you choose to call it, that would be my favourite indoor/outdoor compromise for reading. (In fact, that’s exactly what I did back in the days when I visited family in Greece. Saved me having to listen to hours of gossip about people I didn’t know!) If you also add in a fabulous view… well, my inspiration might know no bounds.

A little read, a little chat, drinks at sunset. American mountain cabin, from

Modest balcony overlooking the St Croix river, Keller Architecture, George Heinrich photo.

Mountain lakes are my favourites to look at, not necessarily to swim in. From Georgiana Design on Tumblr.

A less basic seating experience, from

Coming back to Greece and my favourite island, Santorini. I really need to go back there soon, although probably not in such luxury, from

Friday Fun: Romantic Bedrooms

I’ll be honest: what is being flogged as romantic in most magazines or travel brochures makes my skin crawl: tacky decorations, lots of pink and red, a bathtub at the foot of your bed (all the better to hear the gurgle of water draining, see a spider crawling out of the plughole and have to choose between romance of scum residue or scrubbing the bathtub immediately after use). So I’ve had to create my own definitions of romance.

It might get too hot in summer, but a bed in a greenhouse is the perfect place for reading. From

A treehouse is also a great option, although you might have to fight the bugs for bed occupancy. From

Great views and lots of soothing greenery with this day bed. Plus, who can resist a feline friend? From

OK, mood lighting can enhance romance, they’re right about one thing, but I think the view and the sound of waves might also be helpful. From

It’s all about the view in this one as well. From

However, the most romantic bedrooms, to my mind, are the ones where you also have a comfortable reading chair and plenty of books to hand. 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 Fun: Windows and Doors

I’ve always believed in keeping windows curtainless (so you can admire the view) and doors open (so that friends can come in at any time). Some of the incarnations of doors and windows below take this to a whole new level, but I have to admit I dream about owning something like this…

Art nouveau door in Paris, from

Stained glass beauty, from Explorers Club on Pinterest.

Terrace in an island house in Greece, from Architectural Digest.

Laucala Island, Fiji, from

Pool house desinged by Luigi Rosselli, from

Six Senses resort in Vietnam, from

Anne Hepfer Lake House in Canada, from House Beautiful.

All-white restful bedroom, from Daily Dream Decor.

Japanese Tea House window, picture credit Andy Serrano, from Deviant Art.

Friday Fun: Out on the Patio

Who wants to spend time inside, when there are such pools, patios and views beckoning? In this hot weather, however, don’t forget your sunscreen, floppy hats and books to cover your faces (tablets are just not the same thing…).

Zinc House, from
Zinc House, from

Spanish villa, from Architectural Digest.
Spanish villa, from Architectural Digest.

Greek villa, photographer credit Prue Roscoe.
Greek villa, photographer credit Prue Roscoe.

Oriental theme, from
Oriental theme, from

Roof garden, from Domaine Home.
Roof garden, from Domaine Home.

Armani's house, Architectural Digest.
Armani’s house, Architectural Digest.