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

Behind The Design with Annaliesse Kelly

Hi Everyone!

Today’s Behind the Design is very exciting for me as it is the first Canadian designer that I have featured on this series.  Annaliesse Kelly is the principal of Annaliesse Kelly Design & Consulting based in Vancouver, British Columbia.  AK Design is a full service interior design firm with a clear focus on working with their clients thru the design process to complete interiors that their clients have dreamed of and meet their needs.  The result is clean, elegant interiors that are welcoming and functional.  Without further adieu here is Stylishly Zen’s Behind the Design with Annaliesse Kelly:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in interior design? Has it always been your passion?

Always.  My mother was an interior designer and I was always hording her interior design magazines when I was growing up.AK_Haywood_Web-18

  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

I hate that question!  I like to say that we don’t sell a look we sell a service.  Function proceeds form and we focus on what works well for your home.  We collaborate with interior architects to design and plan what you need for your home to work or you.  This includes everything from floorplans, lighting details, staircases, etc.  Then we work in our esthetic of clean lines and balanced elegance.  We try to have fun with our spaces.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

Our client’s inspiration boards (we give them the tools to help to show us what they like), partners we collaborate with, trend research from social media, fashion, and travelling.20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-09

  1. What has been your most challenging project to date?

We are currently working on a project in Strathcona that is both challenging and very exciting.  The home is 100 years old and we have to be mindful of building codes that apply to historical buildings.  The lot is very small but quite high so access is difficult.  We are lifting the house to put a basement below which again comes with its own set of challenges.

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

That’s impossible to answer – it depends on the project.  A condo can take 6months and a house can be well over a year.

  1. You have worked on a variety of projects from residential to commercial, one on one with clients to development projects, do you have a favourite type of project to work on?

I enjoy them all, it’s about the people and it’s a privilege to help them.  I like different aspects for different reasons. One on one for helping people curate their dreams, development projects for branding.  It’s all a journey of discovery and forward thinking.AK_Design_1535_Vine_St_Web-13

  1. What has been your favourite project to work on so far?

My company.  I love working with people

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?Why?

NYC for the incredible design and varied architecture and businesses.  I love the colours in California.  I also love travelling to Europe, I am headed to Spain in the spring.AK_Haywood_Web-44

  1. Vancouver is a well-known wellness city; do you have any wellness practices that you have incorporated into your life to help you deliver such wonderful projects?

Go to bed at 9 and wake up at 6, exercise, good food and meditation at times.  Even just getting outside and going to a walk can help.

  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

Trust yourself, try not to compare yourself to others and think outside of the box.  Be brave!  There is so much space for everyone!20190705_AK_DESIGNS_1055RICHARDS-10

Thank you so much Annaliesse for taking the time to do this interview.  All images courtesy of Annaliesse Kelly Design.  To see more of Annaliesse’s designs please visit http://www.annaliessekellydesign.com

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

Inspiring Design

Hi Everyone!

I’m sure that it comes as no surprise, but all of this extra time at home has me deep diving into the world of architecture and interiors.  So far I have completed Kelly Wearstler’s Master Class, read Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone from cover to cover, and I am now over halfway thru Kelly Wearstler’s Evocative Style. I am also slowing catching up on the pile of design magazines I have stacked up and I am loving all of the interior inspiration that Instagram is currently providing.  Aside from other activities that are keeping me busy while isolating, I am very happy in my design education bubble.

The gorgeous kitchen in today’s Inspiring Design is what first caught my attention.  While I had never before dreamt of a dark kitchen, with a stunning black marble island, floor to ceiling steel windows and chevron wood floor this may well be the kitchen of my dreams.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-06The Dutch Gable House by Austin Design Associates is the design firm behind the dreamy and contemporary renovation of this historic Melbourne home.  The renovation seamlessly melds the existing Edwardian and Federation details with an elegant colour and material palette and modern design.  The result is a timeless and sophisticated home that is a design lovers dream.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-03Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-21The combination of stunning materials such as Cote D’Azur marble, oak herringbone floors and titanium granite along with the steel floor to celling windows which invite an abundance of natural light, and details such as freestanding tubs and restrained decor make this home bright, inviting and chic.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-17Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-02The outdoor space is equally restrained yet inviting.  It looks like the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon with a great book and glass of rose.  Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-05Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-12Heritage-Sophistication-Dutch-Gable-House-by-Austin-Design-Associates-Melbourne-VIC-Australia-Image-04The proverbial icing on this beautiful home are the furnishings that elevate the materials used throughout the home.  From the deep green dining chairs paired with a statement wood dining table, cool and varied lighting choices and the mix of furniture using both natural textures and sleek design, I can’t think of anything that I would change in this home.  Love it!

You can see more of this gorgeous home here.  Photo credit http://www.thelocalproject.com.au

I hope that you are all staying safe and well while social distancing, and that you have  great day! XXS

 

Behind the Design with Carola Vannini

Carola Vannini is a talented Rome based architect whose designs are the true definition of timeless sophistication.  With a minimalistic yet elevated aesthetic, Carola has the ability to transform worn and dated interiors into timeless, elegant, dream worthy spaces.  Since discovering her work, I have spent a lot of time admiring her designs both on Instagram and on her own website.  I absolutely love how she uses backlighting to create beautiful lit from within interiors in a variety of spaces.  As an admirer of her work, I was very excited when she agreed to be a part of Stylishly Zen’s Behind the Design series:

  1. Did you always know that you wanted to work in architecture? Has it always been your passion?

I actually didn’t.  I never thought of being an architect before signing into my university classes.  It was a surprise for me to find out such an interesting world.
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  1. How would you describe your design esthetic?

I would describe it as a balance between ancient and contemporary minimalism.  My motto is “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and I totally believe so.

  1. Where do you find your inspiration from?

It depends on every peculiar case. I always adjust my taste to the environment I have to deal with and, of course, with the clients’ taste and needs.
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  1. What has been your most challenging project so far? Why was it so challenging?

It is definitely the one I am still working on at the moment. It is a new construction Barn House in Tuscany. A very big project that I had to design from scratch.  Now it is almost completed even though I am still working on the garden and landscape design of it.

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  1. What is your favourite project to date?

Among the completed ones, it is Navona Penthouse. I am very attached to that project because I had a great feeling with my clients and brought me a  lot of satisfaction when it got published on last April issue of AD Italia.

  1. How long does it take for you to normally complete a project?

From the design to the final step, I would say one year. But then, again, it depend on the case.
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  1. What is your favourite part about working in architecture?

The design part, where creativity can flow out of my head. Afterwords, the works themselves can get pretty stressing and tiring. Less creative and more practical.

  1. Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape too?Why?

I really enjoy Greece, especially the small islands. But my heart is actually in Thailand. A little too far from me to escape there only for a few days though.
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  1. How would you describe the design style/esthetic in Italy?

There is always a cassic and elegant touch. No matter what, if you were born in Italy, you breath beauty since your first day of life and I truly believe that this effects us all. Not  only architects.

  1. Do you have a favourite type of project to work on (private/public)? Why?

 I mainly work on residential and I like it very much. I would really to go back to some public space design though, such as restaurants or hotels.
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  1. What wellness practices do you incorporate into your lifestyle to help you deliver such beautiful projects? (This can range from workouts, nutrition, meditation practice, etc)

I am a pilates and yoga fanatic. I really think that my daily workout is the best moment of my day; so useful for me to take a break and go back into myself. It helps me to face the rest of may time with much more energy and positive attitude.
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  1. Any words of wisdom for someone who is just starting out their design career?

Don’t give up your ideas for your clients’ ones. If you are really convinced that something is right that way, try to take them by hand and gently make them understand  your point.  You are the architect, right?
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Thank you for stopping by and special thanks to Carola for taking the time to participate in this month’s Behind the Design.  To see more of Carola’s work you can visit her website at http://www.carolavannini.com or check her out on Instagram @carolavannini

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

All images courtesy of Carola Vannini