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Casa Jondal Celebrates the Good Life on the Magical Island of Ibiza

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The surprise of an empty volume is placed to one side of an extremely ceremonial entry staircase reminiscent of an ancient Mayan pyramid.

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Once through the grand doorway, you are released into this open glazed living room with custom designed low-slung bamboo-framed seating and tables…

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…and overlooking a truly stunning turquoise pool.

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A smooth creamy blonde concrete continues inside and out for a seamless flow, and the bamboo is the perfect foil for the turquoise waters.

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So the glass box foyer offers a glimpse of the beauties beyond, before continuing on down stairs to the private bedrooms.

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The staircases inside also suggest Mayan pyramids, all molded from the same creamy blonde adobe mix.

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The floors, the bed platform, the stairs, the levels are shaped from the same material.

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Even including a generously proportioned bathtub for two and a contemporary sink in the master bedroom.

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The subtle creamy blonde color is perfectly offset by the soft turquoise and the flashing white adobe outside.

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The contemporary home subtly incorporates Mayan influences, such as this earthy sculpture laying on its side by the pool.

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Another sculpture dominates the entry foyer.

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The sumptuous design comes from Jaime Serra of Atlant Del Vent on the sybaritic island of Ibiza in Spain.

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Casa Jondal is very special piece of heaven on earth.

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An Exuberant First Home Overlooking Thailand’s Andaman Ocean

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A stunning first home by DBALP in Thailand’s popular Phuket region has a modern vocabulary with simple geometry.

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Like many ocean viewing homes, the public entertaining space occupies the top floor.

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This top floor expands out to an outdoor piazza for entertaining.

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But that stunning piazza is entered from a very discrete and non revealing entry.

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The house opens out in front towards the glorious Andaman Ocean from atop a high cliff.

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Designed for a family of four with three dogs, elegance meets ease of upkeep in this sleek and simple masterpiece.

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Nothing detracts from its sublime vista.

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A powerful and peaceful space.

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Its long and narrow frontage maximizes the ocean view.

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Dining is placed front and center of the first home for these clients, an expat couple from Hong Kong.

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Intriguingly, a raised level beyond the lowered ceiling in front creates a more conversational ambiance on a semi private mezzanine.

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The fully glazed front of the house is open to the sea air.

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Underneath the public floor, the master bedroom faces the sea but with the master bathroom to the back of the house, overseeing a peaceful courtyard.

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The children’s bedrooms are to the right, and the master bedroom to the left downstairs.

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To the side of the children’s bedrooms, a lovely stairway exits to a small terraced lawn.

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Altogether a very confident and exuberant first home for a fortunate family.

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Design Dilemma: Veranda, Terrace or Patio?

traditional landscape how to tips advice

Traditional Landscape by Greenwich Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Conte & Conte, LLC
As you sip your lemonade on your front porch this summer, you may find yourself reflecting, idly: what’s the difference between a veranda, a patio, a porch and terrace? How does a deck fit in? Alas, these are the profound philosophical questions of summer. And as the humidity thickens and the temperatures soar, the urge to take refuge on a patio or porch builds, so we’ve got answers! Here’s a brief glossary to your outdoor space confusion.

A PATIO
A patio can be attached to a house, or completely detached. Either way, it is always hard-paved of stone or cement, and it sits firmly on the earth. We associate patios with the West Coast and Southwest, of the US — the perfect spot for a siesta in mid-afternoon or a margarita at the end of the day. It’s even better when there’s a fireplace on the patio for chilly desert nights.

mediterranean patio how to tips advice
contemporary patio how to tips advice

A TERRACE
Like a patio, a terrace can be attached or detached and it is also always hard-paved. However, unlike a patio, it is always raised from the earth around it. The Atlanta house, below, has just the right amount of majesty, suggested by the word “terrace”. We prefer ours with sweeping views, or perhaps overlooking a pool.

traditional landscape how to tips advice

A VERANDA
Unlike a terrace or patio, a veranda is always attached to the house and it has a roof, which is not a condition of patio-hood. It can be wooden or hard-paved. We like ours best surrounded by wisteria and hydrangeas. but we’ll also accept a leafy forest or palm trees as below.

contemporary porch how to tips advice
tropical porch how to tips advice

A PORCH
A veranda and porch are basically the same thing. Porches, however, are attached and do not necessarily have a roof. They are often enclosed, especially in hot humid climates where mosquitoes are a problem. Porches are likely to be smaller than verandas, but not necessarily. It’s just that “veranda” seems to be quite a grand word for a porch, which has a more ordinary feel to it.  We like ours screened in and outfitted with a couple of rockers and a hammock.

traditional exterior how to tips advice

A DECK
A deck can be attached or detached from a house. It is of wood construction and is elevated above the ground, by just a few inches or a few feet. Decks are great for parties. They require a barbecue grill if they are to be considered fully-equipped.

contemporary deck how to tips advice
transitional exterior how to tips advice

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A Blissful Meditative Spa for Sonoma Sybarites

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A serene spa pavilion for meditation and yoga opens to the landscape of balmy Sonoma County in Northern California.

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The meditation retreat, designed by SF-based Aidlin Darling Design, is set in the rambling garden of an existing rammed-earth house.

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Friends and family can come here to regroup.

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Included is a peaceful dining pavilion to enjoy a leisurely al fresco meal with friends.

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Next to the dining pavilion, a pool offers a quiet place of rest and relaxation.

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The outdoor yoga studio overlooks the rolling hills of Sonoma, providing a zen-like retreat.

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A rustic trellis further provides shade from the California sun and frames distant views of San Francisco to the south.

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The utter simplicity of its design is conducive to a spa-like experience of getting away from it all.

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Connecting the spa to the main house is a quiet rammed-earth entrance curved around the stairs.

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A steam room completes the sybaritic retreat.

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Just a few strokes paint a space of pure bliss.

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A South African Retrofit with Timeless Glamour

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A renovation of the Moss Oaklands Residence by Nico van der Meulen Architects in South Africa has a sophisticated urban vibe.

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Water features prominently in the sleek redesign creating a glamorous presence to meet the client’s brief.

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A new water feature at the entrance to the house creates a bridge that must be crossed to enter public spaces to one side, and private spaces to the other.

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The house is an update of a charming old 1950s era house set in a wonderful tropical garden.

But not very well built.

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In the rebuild, stronger construction of the new double volume spaces and sturdy flat roofs makes it possible to add a second story if desired in the future.

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The small original building was enlarged to include for bedrooms and large entertaining areas in a larger footprint.

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The result is a timeless modern space with an easy flow between its spaces.

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The raised ceilings create a sense of unlimited possibilities.

Sliding stacking doors open up one whole facade.

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The renovation increased the size of the bedrooms as well as their number.

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Sleek built-in fireplaces appear throughout, even in the newly spacious bedrooms.

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The confident renovation is impeccably contemporary and welcoming.

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Space is delineated outside as well as inside the house.

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It’s timeless grandeur comes from a harmonious balance between warm textured finishes and vast neutral colour planes.