Relaxing Reverie

Hi Everyone!

Like most people, 2020 has been a challenging year for me. And with those challenges have come lessons that I am grateful to have learned or that I am in the process of learning and understanding. How to slow down has been the most important of all of these lessons as it has taught me patience and to understand what is truly important to me. It has also allowed me to get comfortable with quiet and stillness, two things that I have often struggled with. Lately though, I find myself enjoying simple and quiet moments which is why today’s Relaxing Reverie really resonated with me.
This simple concrete bungalow located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast is the perfect example why bigger and expensive does not always mean better. Built with a budget of only $38,000(!) this retreat is simple yet sophisticated and seems like the perfect place to relax.

Designed by PALMA, as Mexico City based design firm, this 50 square metre building is functional and contemporary and blends well within it’s environment. I have always loved simple concrete structures as they perfectly showcase the beauty of brutalist style design and this building is no exception.


The bungalow is comprised of two cubic volumes, one which houses the bedroom and the other the living room and kitchen. The cubes are separated by a open patio. The brutalist style of the bungalow is softened with a thatched roof. This style of roof is quite common within the region as it is an efficient and inexpensive way to encourage ventilation which helps to naturally cool down the interior. Folding doors in both the bedroom and living areas also helps to enhance the ventilation further. Along with a circular skylight on the patio, the folding doors also help the residents to enjoy the views of the surrounding area.

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Like the simple aesthetic of the exterior, the interior of the bungalow has been kept minimal with a muted palette of grey and natural wood with the exception of a statement red built in day bed. Stucco was used in place of paint in order to avoid any humidity build up within the walls (which I had never heard of before but I think that it’s genius!). Uncluttered and simple, this bungalow looks like the perfect place to escape, relax and rejuvenate and get back to a simple more thoughtful way of living.

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Would you like to escape to a simple bungalow like this one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you for visiting Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

All images from http://www.yatzer.com

Inspiring Interiors – A Dreamy Parisian Apartment

Hi Everyone!

Ever since I watched Emily in Paris, my case of wanderlust has gone into overdrive. And while sadly there are no travel plans in my near future, that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about exploring new and beautiful places and enjoying new designs. Today’s Inspiring Interior is one of the coolest apartments that I have seen in a very long time. Apartment TP by Studio Arthur Casas is a dreamy elegant refuge from the busy streets of Paris.

Despite being filled with beautiful, sculptural furniture, it is a practical and welcoming family home. Bold black cabinetry, a marble backsplash and light natural chevron floors work beautifully together to encourage gatherings in the open concept kitchen. The contrasting extension added to the kitchen island to work as a dining table makes great use of a smaller space without things feeling overcrowded.

Wood beams throughout the open plan kitchen and living room adds a rustic warmth to the space. The layout of the living room carries thru the spacious feeling of the kitchen. Filled with natural light and tastefully decorated, this living room is currently serving as inspiration for my own space.

Even the cute office nook makes perfect use of a small space.

Bold oversized artwork creates interest throughout the apartment making the space feel even larger.

The colour palette and sculptural furniture extends to the bedroom with the lighter tones taking centre stage. It is a calming and comfortable oasis to encourage rest and relaxation. Love it!

I love the dreamy design of this gorgeous Parisian apartment. The elegant colour palette, combined with intelligent design and beautiful sculptural furniture is everything that I could ever want in my dream Parisian apartment.

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

All images from http://www.yellowtrace.com.au

Vacation Dreaming

Hi Everyone!

while things are slowly starting to open up around the world, the long term effects of this post pandemic world have officially started to set in.  While I consider myself fortunate to have had a safe place to isolate, I am a little sad that I will be forgoing a vacation this year. I initially had plans to go to Italy for a friends wedding in August and then spend a couple of weeks exploring parts of Italy that I haven’t yet had a chance to see. But now the wedding has been postponed until next year, and the idea of getting on a plane (especially for a long distance flight) makes me uncomfortable.  So I will be having a staycation enjoying the fun that Montreal has to offer along with vacation dreaming and planning for future trips.

Today is the first stop of my vacation dream.  Villa Mandra was completed last year  incredibly talented design and architecture firm K-Studios. Located in Mykonos, Greece this six bedroom holiday home looks straight out onto the sea and the neighbouring island of Delos while being almost entirely hidden from view.
6F9B231E-66C5-405B-BF1E-D686C5EBFB7EThe villa’s design is signature K-Studio – raw and natural with clean lines and a refined and elegant twist. It’s both modern and timeless and a total design and vacation dream destination.
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The home was built around the idea of slow and laid back living with an emphasis on mindfulness.  The home and its surroundings encourage calm, healing, retrospection and connection.
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Spacious and airy, with a natural palette of wood and lime washed and stone walls this home is quietly confident, with classic elements but with a modern elevated twist.
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Taking into consideration the warm climate and the desire to enjoy the breathtaking views in comfort, the villa has a custom built chestnut pergola that covers a large part of the outdoor space including an outdoor dining and living area that overlooks the pool.
86DCF398-C966-421A-BCA5-8B435B9D4037879740A4-3672-4764-BCDC-B32383F3C0A4Stone tiled floors, natural wood furniture and a touch of green from the plants combine for a natural palette that brings the outdoors inside and offers a shaded respite from the hot midday sun.  My favourite touch is the deep burgundy leather chair paired with an abstract painting with a similar tone in one of the bedrooms.
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Overall this villa is classic yet modern and the perfect destination to relax and reconnect, both with nature, loved ones and ones self. Something that I think we all need after this crazy past few months.
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What do you think of Villa Mandra? Where are you dreaming of vacationing this summer? Let me know in the comments below.

All images from http://www.k-studio.gr

I hope that you have a beautiful day and stay safe! XXS❤️

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Inspiring Design is a renovated 140 year old terrace home in Melbourne, Australia. Terrace homes have always fascinated me. While I normally gravitate towards images of spacious homes, I am always impressed when the design of a terrace home makes the most of the limited space to create the illusion of a larger area.

As this is a heritage home, conserving the exterior of the home was important. The renovation focused on the back of the home, where the space was opened up to the back garden. The brief from the clients included an outdoor entertaining area and low maintenance garden, and that the extension should be as light filled and spacious as possible.

The result is a fluid passage thru the home and a light filled open plan that makes the most of the space. Floor to ceiling windows and glass doors along with a concrete bench that runs from the extension to the outdoor space, creates a flow between the indoor and outdoor space.

Simple, clean lines combined with natural materials such as concrete, steel and timber contrast beautifully with the historical facade of the home.

The clean and uncluttered colour palette helps to further open up the space. Book matched marble and a gorgeous statement gold hood elevate the luxe factor, while bold artwork and a few pieces of brightly coloured furniture add a fun playfulness to the home.

The sophisticated grey colour used throughout the bedroom and bathroom is both welcoming and elegant. The use of different textiles in the same colour add subtle visual interest and keep the spaces from being boring.

I especially loved the entryway to the home. Although it’s quite narrow which is normal for a terrace home, the beautiful crown moulding and archway combined with natural light streaming in from the stairwell and the back extension make an inviting entrance to this historical home. The choice in furnishings including a sculptural light and brightly coloured cabinet further elevate the welcoming vibe that is then carried throughout the home.

What do you think of this terrace home? All images via http://www.design-anthology.com and you can see more images of this Melbourne home here: https://design-anthology.com/story/henry-house

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Inspiring Design is a gorgeous Victorian home located in San Francisco.  Victorian homes have always had a special place in my heart since I saw Mrs. Doubtfire when I was younger.  When I first saw pictures of this house, I was expecting beautiful and classic design, but with each picture that I saw my jaw dropped further to the floor.  It is widely billed as the former home of actress Meg Ryan but the home has undergone quite the transformation since. When the current owners purchased the home in 2014, they hired local architect Tim Murphy to update the home which included a new kitchen, master suite, family room and upstairs lounge.   IMG_7761Murphy was able to retain a lot of the original magic of the space by keeping the gorgeous crown molding and millwork throughout the home.    IMG_7762Interior design firm Nicole Hollis was also hired early in remodel process to consult on interior finishes, hardware and custom cabinetry along with the furnishings and the majority of the decorative lighting among other things.  The front living room is particular favourite (first image).  I love the contrast of the marble accents with the chevron walnut flooring against the navy, grey and white colour palette.  IMG_7755IMG_7756The house is 7050 square feet with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms.  The blend of classic and modern throughout the home is stunning, but the incredible bay views is what really made this Victorian home stand out to me.  IMG_7759Sliding doors in the kitchen which open onto a terrace offer breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay.  The kitchen itself is a dream with a waterfall marble island, exquisite custom cabinetry and top of the line appliances.  IMG_7758Adjacent to the kitchen is the family room and the dining room, both of which offer beautiful views of the bay as well.  Aside from the beautiful view, I am completely in love with the sculptural smoked glass lighting fixture hanging above the dining room table.  Gorgeous!IMG_7757The most incredible room in this house though is on the top floor.  The upstairs lounge offers panoramic views of the city and the bay, including offering unobstructed views of Angel Islands and Alcatraz.  The lounge opens to a stunning terrace which houses a fire pit to help create a cozy atmosphere.  The views from there both day and night are fantastic and it looks like the most incredible spot to unwind with a glass of wine after a long week.  IMG_7753IMG_7752All information and images are from http://www.dwell.com and you can find more images for this gorgeous home here.  

Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today and I hope that you are safe and have a beautiful day!  XXS