Astarte Suites is a spectacular 9-room complex designed by Aygoustis Krousis and located on a cliff on the beautiful Santorini Island in Greece. Small, but with impeccable services, infinity pool, and unforgettable views, the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway. Here is an excerpt from the official description from the architects: “Magic is in the details at Astarte Suites, beginning with the twinkling Swarovski stones that adorn the ceiling above each suite’s Jacuzzi pool, ending with the personalized service each guest enjoys. Surrounded by soothing shades of white and stone, guests are sure to find bliss here. During their precious down time, guests can relax and unwind next to Astarte’s stunning turquoise infinity swimming pool, which overlooks the Aegean Sea’s tranquil blue waters and nearby rocky cliffs. Leisure and cultural options abound nearby, such as in Akrotiri, an ancient city buried and preserved by volcanic ash-known as the Pompeii of the Greek islands-and at Red Beach and White Beach, the ultimate locales for a spectacular day of fun in the sun”. How is the view from your standing point?
I found Aris Caves via Trip Advisor, where it is ranked “#1 of 42 hotels in Oia”. I briefly eye-scanned some of the photos and instantly found myself charmed by the genuine feel this hotel seemed to exude. Fast forward two months later and here I am, writing this from the comfort of my hotel bed, just steps away from a view I will likely never forget.Aris Caves is the result of converting ancient housings and lodgings into six independent traditional cave-like studios. These are scenically spread over four levels. Going up and down the 100+ stairs takes a bit of effort, but to me, they were bliss: the ascend/descend offers a wonderful perspective of the “eagle-nests” which make up the hotel and each step comes with its surprises: a cat here, another there, scores of colorful flowers and extensive Aegean views. Naturally, a porter will carry your bags down and up the stairs.For me, the memory of the place is strongly linked to hosts Christa and Aris, lady-dog Aspa and the three cats which accompanied our every meal. Christa is very energetic, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the island and will make the best recommendations when it comes to exploring Oia, as well as the nearby locations. So the personal touch is definitely what makes Aris Caves stand out.Aris Caves has a privileged location in the heart of Oia, close to the scenic pedestrian streets and to all major tourist attraction spots. Yet one special aspect makes it stand out: there is no noise. This comes with having to descend all those stairs, but the reward is fantastic. You can relax here in any time of the day, enjoy a coffee in peace while surrounded by a 280 degree water view and read a good book brought from home, borrowed from Christa or purchased from the nearby Atlantis bookshop. As the name of the hotel suggests, the rooms have a traditional cave-like architecture, typical for the island of Santorini. I personally fell in love with the blue domes and white walls you can enjoy all around the island and was more than happy to find some of the personality of Santorini in the comfort of our own crib.We stood in the Gonia Studio (first two photos below) for three days and felt very comfortable. I am personally very fond of the rustic design style and some of the details here (hand-sawn patterns on the lamps and pillows, original wooden furniture pieces, colorful small rugs, traditional entrance door) made a strong impression. There is no breakfast included in the stay, BUT Christa welcomed us with a bottle of wine, milk, water and cookies. Moreover, a kitchenette is included in the layout of the room, equipped with everything (and I mean everything- from bottle openers to a variety of plates, frying pan, toaster, coffee machine and water boiler) you need in order to make your own food. We made some shopping from the nearby supermarkets located minutes away and were more than happy to cook and eat on our very romantic terrace. Even though the room structure (kitchen and bedroom combined) is not a typical one, this does not impose in any way. The room is fairly large, strikingly clean, and the overall experience is so genuine that with each passing day the layout grows on you.The next photos were taken in various rooms of the hotel. Each has its own well defined personality and as I read from many travelers’ reviews, each experience is different.I would definitely recommend booking into Aris Caves, not to lovers of luxury, but to those who enjoy raw beauty and authenticity. For any further details about the hotel, feel free to contact Christa by using the e-mail address provided here. And enjoy Oia, one of the most lovely places you will ever come across!
Perched on the cliff of the famous Santorini Caldera in Greece, the Tholos Luxury Hotel Resortwelcomes guests in a picturesque landscape. Part of the traditional village of Imerovigli, the hotel is relatively close to the island’s tourist attractions, while maintaining an intimate, romantic feel. Here is an inviting description from the hotel staff: “The whitewashed apartments and studios, all in the traditional Cycladic style, are built on different levels of the cliff, with terraces or balconies facing the superb surroundings. In their discreetly luxurious interiors you’ll find comfort and relaxation. At the patio by the outdoor pool on the other hand, you’ll enjoy refreshing moments under the sun or romantic time under the stars. The service, day and night, is friendly and impeccable, while the hotel’s owners are always at your disposal for your every need while staying here”. Each of the rooms of the hotel comes with a lovely holiday-inspiring design, enriched with vibrant colors and panoramic vistas of the volcano and blue Aegean sea. Can you think of any missing “pieces” in this collage of amazing sights?
Bet you never expected this! Another example featured on Giddy Upcycled shows an armoire transformed into a big, beautiful birdcage for live birds. Of course, the glass is replaced again with more appropriate cage-like netting. Neat idea if you want to show off your feathery friends in style.
Green in the girls’ bedroom coupled with pink works surprisingly well and it elegantly complements other colors such as brown and orange as well. Working with more than 3 or 4 bright colors in a room requires great care, perfect planning and a hint of ingenuity that lets each hue standout even while blending with the overall look. While it does sound like a risky proposition, get it right and you will have a playful kids’ room that is a visual treat.
Meet this white stucco modern house inspired by the summer breeze. This residential project defined by Dennis Gibbens Architects in Venice, California meets the client’s expectations. He asked for a summer-like home, nicely sized for a young family of four. The abundance of green spaces create the perfect environment for recharging your batteries and…enjoying all the summer’s benefits, of course: sun, water, cold drinks, relaxation! The house has a sports court, a swimming pool, a spa and a cute terrace. The first floor accommodates the living room, envisioned as an open plan unit.
The house exhales transparence, featuring a stunning neat design. The concrete cut outs can be perceived as the “intriguing” architectural elements.The main floor’s walls have been replaced with glass, creating a dialog between the outdoor and the inhabitable living space. The second floor, on the other hand, accommodates the more private areas, such as the bedrooms, the office and the laundry room. Borrowing something from the lovely mediterranean luxury homes, this Venice modern house is a wonderful place to spend the hot summer days.
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We were recently sent photos of a small, but fresh apartment design in Bucharest, Romania. The creative minds behind the project are Monica Corduneanu and Paula-Maria Duta of Archinteriors. Here are some words from the designers describing their work: “This project is for a one room apartment with a living room, kitchen and bathroom. As soon as we saw the space we wanted to bring it to life and to make it suitable for our clients, a young and energetic couple.
Therefore we created a fresh, vivid and bright design that can feel like a home. The apartment was designed so it can be a place were the couple can relax and recharge their batteries after work, a little modern island of calm in an agitated city“. We love how relaxation areas (envisioned in a warm beige color palette) contrast the more active zones (highlighted in green), adding a touch of dynamic in a small, but well planned space…
Presented to us by Zanocchi & Starke, a young design studio based in Turin (Italy), the LudovicaLamp is perfect for those who love to read and maintain their books in order. When this original lighting unit holds your books, it emits a delicate and diffuse light; when extracted from its base, a beam of light follows you everywhere, helping with your reading process. Minimalist, yet versatile, the design is easy to integrate in modern homes everywhere.
The project consists of two independent parts: a painted aluminum frame and a removable luminous element in opaque white plastic. Ludovica uses LED lighting and has a battery with four hours of autonomy. It is powered by a USB cable, allowing the object to be transported without wires, a feature we highly appreciate. Easy to move around from place to place, this clever lamp will grant you memorable stories, read from the comfort of your favorite home spot. Find it as interesting as we do? [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Zanocchi & Starke]
A modern home doesn’t have to be huge. There are lots of great reasons to live in a smaller home. Image Source: CLB Architects
Are you one of the millions who have down-sized in recent years? If you are, what made you decide to move into a smaller home? Was it financial motives that lead to your decision, or just the fact that you no longer required a home full of rooms that collect dust and never get used?
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a downsizing retiree—there is a definite trend toward people buying and building smaller homes. It’s a fact, houses are getting smaller. It seems there is a new world-view developing—people are shunning the ideals of bigger is better in exchange for a more modest lifestyle, despite what is in their pocket books.
Let’s look at the many reasons that people are heading towards smaller homes, exchanging vast opulence for the little luxuries of life— And maybe you will discover that a more modest home is in your future, too. The pictures alone will make you realize that good things do come in small packages.
Good things do come in small packages. Image Source: Cab Like Enterprises
With the hopes of retiring early from his job as a school teacher, Doug Immel decided to downsize to 164 square-feet of living space, yet still managed to create a dream home with cathedral ceilings and cherry wood floors.
This is the viewpoint of the aging population— they want to retire; they have their eyes on the prize and are doing whatever it takes to get there—including downsizing. The Administration on Aging says that by 2030, there will be approximately 72.1 million persons 65 years or older in America alone. This is a vast populace of aging citizens who will be looking to downsize, either for financial reasons or physical ones—the physical ones mainly being the desire for a small, stair-free home that is easier to get around in.
We can all take note from this senior population, learning that bigger is not always better, and that life’s luxuries can be enjoyed in even the smallest of homes.
Life can be relaxing and enjoyable when you don’t have a big mortgage payment. Image Source Blansfield Builders
A CNN report offers a practical reason for the trend in downsizing— People are recognizing that by buying a large home, they are consequently living paycheck to paycheck in order to cover their immense mortgages. Who wants to live month-to-month just so that they can have a big house?
The financial crisis of 2008 , acted as a wake-up call to many, prompting them to reassess their lifestyles and begin dreaming of a new, more modest dream. Devastating foreclosures forced many out of their homes, but also brought about a happier, less stressed world-perspective—gone were the worries of climbing the corporate ladder in order to realize the dream of the bigger house or the faster car—ideals were changing and people were discovering a new road to happiness.
Being forced into a smaller home, makes you become inventive; you learn to use small spaces in amazing ways, and you learn that you really don’t need all those big rooms in order to make you happy.
We are learning to use space in our home that we never dreamed of before. Image Source: Cultivation Design
Young people can be powerful agents when it comes to change, and in numerous ways they are being emboldened with the knowledge of their environmental footprint and how they impact the natural world around them.
We are developing into a society that is more aware of our natural surroundings and our ecological encroachment on the world. With this new-found awareness comes the challenge to live a greener lifestyle; this challenge is being met, in part, through the trend of small, eco-friendly homes.
Now, it is almost commonplace to hear of someone building a green home with reclaimed materials; salvaging them from dumpsters or tear-downs of older buildings. Eco-friendly technologies allow for us to build a home that is energy efficient and produces less waste. Naturally, we are discovering that smaller homes consume less energy versus a home full of unused and unnecessary space. Imagine what the next, younger generation will do!
Smaller homes lessen our environmental footprint on the world. Image Source: JH Interior Design
Houses are getting smaller because people are realizing that high-end luxury and style can be achieved in even the smallest of spaces. There is plethora of do-it-yourself designers who offer-up unique ways to create a luxurious space despite small surroundings.
It seems that designers have responded to the smaller housing movement, showing us that luxury can be achieved in the smallest of homes, with a little help from the experts.
In turn, this designer response may perpetuate the realization that we can still have it all, just in a smaller home. There are so many inventive small-space solutions! Let’s consider trying some in our own small homes today!
Luxury living is achievable in the smallest of homes. Image Source: Kathleen Bost
There is a definite trend of people buying and building smaller homes. Whether it is for ecological reasons, health reasons, retirement reasons, or simply a more design-savvy public…the movement of bigger isn’t better is here and it seems to be taking off.
Consider looking to the numerous online sources that can help with your small space design solutions. Declutter your lifestyle—you will quickly see that you don’t need immense rooms filled with things in order to be happy.
Do you plan to downsize in the near future? What is your ideal square footage?
A vanity bench can always help if you spend a lot of time in the bathroom putting on makeup or doing your hair. Have a look at this incredibly elegant tufted bench from Alice Lane Home that could do the trick. A more compact option is a simple stool, like this gorgeously elegant selection (again from Home Bunch) that matches the style of this bathroom. This vanity from APD Architects actually has its own seated area, with a matching cushioned stool. Even a regular ottoman can work in a bathroom. This one featured on HGTV has a space against a wall right across from the vanity. This next very interesting bench featured on BHG stems out from the vanity beside it, where there’s a window. If the size and architecture of your bathroom make it work, then why not?
These are the sleekest of the electric fireplaces on the market. Some have a backlit LED feature to outline the frame in light. Fairly easy to mount, they add a contemporary look to any room. If space is an issue, a multifunctional fireplace with media storage may be the perfect solution to not only warm up your space but also organize your entertainment system and components. The Delray model fits in a corner. If you want a small and simple free-standing electric fireplace, these selections are for you. Bonus category! Bioethanol fireplaces don’t run on electricity, but they still give your home or apartment an instant fire without the need for a flue. Also known as ventless, these fireplaces use a special gel or ethanol that’s smoke-free. Bio fireplaces are available in every price point. We’ve selected some splurge-worthy contenders that add a contemporary design element to your room.
From the very first time you enter the Long Dune Residence, you know it will surprise you with a modern floor plan enhanced by carefully designed details. The architects warn that “little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house“. Imagined by Hammer Architects, the modern summer home rises in a summer vacation community in Massachusetts, known as Truro.
Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, interiors absorb panoramas of natural surroundings from behind revealing floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. This permanent visual connection to the outdoors brings glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean deep inside and encourages owners to relax and enjoy their modern summer home.
Photos by Peter Vanderwarker reveal how the abundance of natural light filters through framed windows. Gleaming water views mirroring the atmosphere outside are captured like live transmissions from nature. Additional views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond, together with tall trees complete the inspiring natural setting. Mirrored on the inside, this natural order appears mingled with the home’s sleek design lines.
According to the architects, “the entry side of the house appears very solid with its wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.”
The contemporary architecture is spiced up with a linear floor-plan “broken” by a screened porch where owners and their guests enjoy meals with a view. “One wing of the house provides the guest bedrooms, while the other wing, which is rotated forty-five degrees in plan, contains the master bedroom suite. A screened porch with a referential kite shaped roof occupies the intersection of the two geometries providing views in all directions.”
Embedding active and passive solar design, the modern summer home supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Once you know how to plan home activities for your summer guests, a modern summer home will make its way to your summer wish list…
Adding green to the bedroom is easy if you already have a muted color scheme going in the room. It is a color that works beautifully with the likes of white, gray and even brown. While the yellowy-greens add warmth to the bedroom, the blue-tinged variants bring a touch of coolness along with a vibrant ambiance. Here is a pick of 25 gorgeous bedrooms that incorporate green in a gorgeous fashion.