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.
1704A8F1-5F9D-45B2-80CE-3E741E4F37389406C0E8-A12A-40D1-936E-143923685153
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.
E40EE790-2202-4D88-B5E2-2B829F2C1CF10A44B510-F171-4748-A271-28F722220E48
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.
1C04936E-34E7-4E62-A724-77AD9D06C73E
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.
2AAFA7DC-93E0-406A-8350-DBD1ED7944C3
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.
C891B5F0-D827-4DAB-84B8-84AF0635CCF91639D5D1-2C61-4859-AF6A-34865ED8B7CE
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!

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

 

Five Faves

Hi Everyone!

It’s hard for me to believe that it is almost Christmas!  It feels like the past few months have flown by and I am not even remotely prepared for the holidays! Nonetheless, I am looking forward to sleeping in and enjoying delicious food over the next few weeks so my countdown is on!  Here are the five things that I am loving right now:C54281B2-A78A-45AD-9B68-1F3D7609ACD8

I have been a Mindy Kailing fan for many years, and when I first heard about her movie Late Night earlier this year I was really excited to watch it.  Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the movie theatre to see it so I was thrilled when it was released on Amazon Prime earlier this month.  This past Friday after a long day at work, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled in to finally watch this movie.  It was just what I needed!  Funny, smart and well written I expected nothing less from Mindy Kailing.  If you are looking for a great movie to watch I highly recommend this one.

66E05459-4E78-4EF7-93E2-4552808926CD

I am always on the hunt for a great smelling candle and I especially love it if I don’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for it.  While doing a bit of Christmas shopping the other day, I discovered Capri Blue candles.  All of the candles that I tried smelled amazing but I finally settled on Exotic Blossom and Basil which has a light clean fragrance.  Once lit my home smelling fresh and welcoming, love it!72840045-7050-47CA-9D2E-E59073CAFB03

There are always such delicious baked goodies around the holidays but my absolute favourite is always gingerbread.  I have been on the hunt for some over the past couple of weeks and FINALLY this past weekend I found my favourite holiday treat!  It was soooo good and I am planning to enjoy a few more before the holidays are over.  CBED167C-9B71-464E-BA6B-4A597588284C

I made the decision at the beginning of 2019 to listen to more podcasts.  I really enjoy listening to them as I get dressed in the morning or even while I eat breakfast.  I consider podcasts a great way to learn about subjects and people that interest me.  One of my favourite podcasts is the Goop podcast and last week the host chatted with Melody Hobson about being colour brave rather then colour blind.  As a visible minority I really connected with the subject matter, and I strongly feel that anyone that is interested in this issue listen to this podcast as Melody Hobson is a articulate, incredible woman who is really interesting to listen to.F80DB4EE-655A-4BAD-AA3C-494E73D47938

Maybe it’s the colder temperature and my desire to nest in a chic space, or my love for marble and contrasts but I have absolutely fallen in love with this kitchen.  The colour of the statement foliage on the counter contrasts well against the marble, cabinetry and floor and helps to elevate the chicness of the entire space. Bright, beautiful and welcoming this kitchen is definitely going on my mood board!

Thank you for stopping by today!  What are you currently loving right now?  Let me know in the comments below and Happy Holidays!!!!!!  XXS

Photo credits: http://www.IMDB.com, http://www.goop.com, @ashleystark, http://www.simplyrecipes.com, http://www.capri-blue.com

Behind the Design with K-Studio’s Dimitris Karampatakis

My love for K-Studio’s Dexamenes project is no secret.  From the first time that I saw pictures of it I was hooked, and it remains one of my favourite hotel projects to date.  So when K-Studios co-founder and creative director Dimitris Karampatakis agreed to be a part of my Behind the Design series, I was thrilled.  It was clear from the beginning of our conversation that Dimitris is just as cool as the projects that his studio designs.  His outlook and approach to design is thoughtful and exciting and I can’t wait to see what wonderful projects K-Studio develop in the future.  Here is my interview with K-Studio’s Dimitris Karampatakis:

Has architecture and design always been your passion?

Yes, my dad is an architect and as we were growing up he would take my brother and I with him to visit the construction sites.  It was very exciting to be exposed to the ethos of making things, different materials and construction techniques.

canaves_02

How would you design your design aesthetic?

We have an contextural approach to design.  We feel a responsibility to understand the place where we are designing, to use local technologies and echo local culture so that we are respecting where we are designing.

Where do you find your design inspiration?

The starting point is the location and then we figure out how we can best meet the needs and aspirations of the project

CAM_08_NIGHT_JPG_5K_UPD_2018

What has been your most challenging project to date?  Why?

Any project that involves different typologies – the more complex the typologies are the needs of the project become more complex.

You have designed an airport, restaurants, hotels and private residences, do you have a favourite type of project to work on?

I like complex projects that combine different uses.  We recently designed a marina in Crete that combines many different leisure activities and includes a hotel and boutiques.  

258_ArcadiaHotel_Render_Cam1

Do you have a favourite project that you have worked on?

We have worked on 200 projects over the past 15 years and it is difficult to pick a favourite.  We tend to reflect back on certain projects such as the Plane house, Alemagou in Mykonos, Dexamenes and Burboni beach restaurant in the Costa Navarino part of the Dunes hotel resort.

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

It depends on the project.  A 500 square metres villa could take one year for design and two years for construction.  Our recent airport project though was fast tracked as the airport was still in use as construction was being done, so it was two years from start to finish.

k-studio_Kordakis_QueenBee_12

Any favourite travel destinations that you like to escape to?

My house because I travel so much for work.  We have a holiday home in Mykonos that I like to escape to as well.  I also enjoy travelling to London, Salzburg Mountains and my favourite destination is Tokyo.

Casa-Cook_Chania_MockUp_by_Georg-Roske_GR170220_HighRes

What wellness practices have you incorporated into your life to help you to deliver such wonderful projects?

My daughter helps to balance me out.  I really enjoy cooking as a way to understand how to design and to coordinate things in design. With cooking you have control over the process.  I also enjoy running and meditation.

k-studio_Kordakis_QueenBee_14

Any words of wisdom for someone just starting out their design career?

Design is a vast workplace so don’t limit yourself.  Don’t worry what type of designer you are

K-studio_Dexamenes-0491

You can see more of K-Studio’s project at http://www.k-studio.gr or on Instagram @k_studio_gr. Special thanks to Dimitris Karampatakis for taking the time to speak with me and Joanna Burtenshaw for arranging this interview.  All images courtesy of K-Studios and http://www.k-studio.gr

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS