Monday, May 10, 2010

Exotic homes

Architectural Digest is known for featuring some of the most exotic homes around the world. Here are a few of them that have been showcased over the past few years. Aren't they gorgeous?  I absolutely love them all but I think my favorite has to be the one in Sardinia with the house in Venezuela coming in a strong second. Some of them have descriptions by the owners themselves....!
In the northern Indian state of Haryana, near New Delhi, Aman Nath and Francis Wacziarg purchased and restored a pair of havelis, mansions constructed around courtyards. Nath’s haveli (pictured) was built in the 18th century; Wacziarg’s dates from the 17th century.

“I wanted to balance vernacular design with an efficient modern lifestyle,” architect Alex Pössenbacher says of Casa Nautilus, his client’s residence on the Pacific coast in Careyes, Mexico. Above, a banquette with striped cushions winds along the arched façade of the master bedroom.
“This is the heart of the house,” architect Savin Couëlle says of the living room, with its off-center vaulted ceiling, of a home located on Sardinia’s Costa Smerelda. “The twenty-foot-high arch always keeps it cool.” The residence was built by Couëlle in the 1960s
Designer Claudio Modola, who is based in South Africa, conceived what he calls a “vaguely military” residence for an Italian businessman on Lamu Island, off the coast of Kenya. Locals often pass through Shela Beach, fronting the house, with sand from nearby dunes
Wood tansu, or chests, fill the kitchen of an early-18th-century farmhouse owned by Americans Alex Kerr and Mason Florence in Japan’s Iya Valley.
“I wanted to keep a little bit of dreaming, keep the magic he created,” says the owner of Fustic House on Barbados. He restored the 18th-century plantation house, which had been added on to in the ‘70s by English theatrical designer Oliver Messel. Broad steps lead to Messel’s proscenium-like south façade.
“I wanted to maintain its original character while affording myself basic comforts,” architect and sculptor Max Pedemonte says of his renovated farmhouse near Mérida, Venezuela. Clay objects from Agua Caliente and Mérida are displayed in the dining room. Pedemonte inherited the late-19th-century French coffee service from his grandfather.
New York-based designer Sylvia Owen updated a 19th-century palace for a businessman in Marrakech. A view through the interior courtyard shows the dining room and the observation pavilion atop the house.
“We’ve created an atmosphere of Bali with terraced rice fields, Balinese art and architecture, and a lot of artistic surprises,” says Bill Bensley, describing his design for a couple’s weekend retreat on the Indonesian island of Java. Bensley configured the living space in the style of a wantilan, an open-sided meeting pavilion found at the center of most villages on Bali.
Christopher Janney and designer Holly Boling Ruiz worked with client John Ryan in creating a house in Kona, Hawaii. “John wanted to ‘live outdoors, be open to nature,’” says Janney, who, with Boling Ruiz, designed a breakfast deck near the infinity-edge pool.

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