From stunning views to inspired interiors, looking further afield offers up some serious design treasures
It’s a well-known fact that travel broadens the mind; seeing new cultures and different ways of life makes us reassess the way that we look at the world, as well as the way that we live. And yes, this extends to our homes too! Come on, don’t tell us you’ve never looked around an amazing villa or hotel and thought ‘I wish my home looked this good!’ or ‘That colour/ pattern/ piece of furniture in my kitchen/ bathroom/ bedroom would make my life complete!’
Knowing how many amazing properties there are in the world, we started collecting some of our global dream homes. From amazing views to enviable interiors, here is our initial selection.
1 Irish Charms
We’re sure that this house, standing to attention above a beach in County Down, Ireland, is beautiful on a clear sunny day. The fact is, though, it looks incredible set against this stormy sky; we can practically smell the peat fire and the sea salt, so can you imagine how great it would be to curl up in here, with a pot of tea and some fresh-baked soda bread, watching this scenery alter with the light? We may have just got a little carried away there…
2 American Dream
The open-plan American loft apartment: a classic interiors daydream for city-dwellers everywhere. This light-flooded example, with its original metal pillars, solid-wood beams and pristine white surfaces is about as good as it gets. What we wouldn’t give to throw a party in here, amid the abstract artwork and low-level designer furniture.
3 Another (The Other) American Dream
When the seasons change, and the city gets too hot, lofty urban daydreams give way to beachy ideals. Thoughts of a cool verandah, surrounded by tall trees with a white-sand beach in the distance? This ticks all those boxes, and then some. Can we come and stay please?
4 Tropical tendencies
We’re not actually entirely sure where this fresh-as-a-daisy day room can be found, but it’s definitely not in Britain. Tropical prints, a ceiling fan, whimsically woven rattan furniture in a plantation-style setting… wherever this house is, it’s giving us some bright decorating ideas.
5 Sommelier in Provence
That window… THAT WINDOW! Need we even mention the vaulted ceiling, original flagstone floor, the limewashed walls or the understated modernist lamp? This vineyard property in Provence has us drooling, and that’s before we even consider the wine cellar.
6 Poolside perfection
A-listers in the Hollywood hills try to recreate this terracotta-roofed continental look, but we know that the original is usually best. Surrounded by lush foliage, the pale pink house with its classic arched windows (plus matching shutters) is a draw but, honestly, we can’t take our eyes off that azure pool. It looks heavenly.
7 Masterchef Australia
Australians take their food seriously (no, really, compare their Masterchef with ours and you will truly understand). For many of us, this open-plan contemporary kitchen is a winner anyway, but add in the unobtrusive skylights and vast fold-away door that leads straight out into the Southern-Hemisphere sunshine, and this culinary space suddenly becomes a champion.
8 Garden of Delights
It may not be in the most exotic location, but this courtyard garden in Guernsey is up there in the pretty stakes. The blend of traditional stone walls with a modern glass-lined hallway, surrounded by boldly coloured, informal planting, takes this space into secret garden territory – and that’s the stuff that (property) dreams are made of.
9 The Double-Height of Luxury
The Danes have a reputation as masters of understated elegance, and this double-height living space shows exactly why that is. There might be an abundance of design classics, but the neutral tones and blend of textures are perfectly balanced from the polished concrete floor to the mezzanine (via the wood-clad picture window). Overwhelmingly cool, endlessly charming.
10 Modern Turkish
Air, wood, earth and water – all the elements are present in this contemporary Turkish pad. The cool stone cladding and grey-hued wooden decking complement that clear-blue infinity pool. We don’t need to go inside when the outdoors is this great.
11 Just Add Water
There are no words. Well there are, but we don’t know which ones to use first. Do we talk about the eco-lodge-style bamboo cladding? The draw-bridge-esque window shutters? The curving modernist walls? Or do we just dive straight in with that water feature/ to-die-for swimming pool. If only ANY of this was feasible in the UK. Guess we’ll just have to decamp to South Africa. And soon!
12 Stairway to Monochrome Heaven
Think global style and you might assume you’ll find bold colours and ethnic patterns left, right and centre. Not the case. Cool minimalism takes many shapes and forms, and this tactile interior in Turkey is an absolute dream: crisp angles and rough-hewn stone are offset by organic lighting and gleaming dark-wood floors. We like this a lot.
13 (a) Steep Yearning Curve
Australia’s second biggest city, Melbourne, is a blend of decorative Victorian structures and ultra-modern architecture. This curvaceous property falls in the second camp while also offering nods to architectural history: we think it has something of the Bauhaus about it, but with a relaxed, Aussie twist. As the Modernists among you sigh longingly, scroll down…
13 (b) Inside-Out
…this is what it looks like inside. The perfect balance of inside-outside living, clean lines, natural materials, airiness and WOW.
14 The Good Life: Reloaded
With its blue, blue sky, rocky outcrops and tropical foliage, this could be a still from an episode of Thunderbirds. It isn’t though. It’s a real house, nestled in a very real and stunning spot in Cape Town, South Africa. We expect the exterior is understated because what architect would want to try and dominate that setting? And to further support that point…
Bed, bath and beyond. Enough said.
15 Al Fresco Finale
We think we’ve had our fill of international inspiration for one dream home session, but we saw this and thought of you! And all our friends who we would LOVE to share an al fresco dining space like this with. There’s even a lamp for when it gets dark, so the meal (and drinks) can go on into the wee small hours. European mainlanders know how to eat out.