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The ten best dream houses—Part 1

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Dream houses, whilst they fill us with great pleasure to look at, also induce intense emotions of architectural envy. These are the properties located in the most coveted locations around the world, and even though we realise that we may never get to call one home, it is just as nice to fantasise about them, and hope, that one day our dreams might come true.

The term dream home varies vastly from person to person. Some lust over a seaside villa with an infinity swimming pool that glistens in the midday sun, or a mountain hut covered with a thick cap of fresh snow. For others, a historical rural villa surrounded by lavender fields or a dense forest is their idea of heaven.Today, in the first part of our dream homes ideabook, we are going to explore stunning examples of residential architecture that will impress you with their design, structure or location. We invite you on a journey through some of the most beautiful homes on the homify platform. Take a look…

1. African sunsets

Aloe Ridge is a bespoke modern home located in South Africa. A true specimen of raw contemporary architecture, it is surrounded by the pristine coastal forests of the southern coast of Africa. 

This villa is a carefully thought out combination of wood, concrete and glass, in colours mimicking the surrounding nature. The muted colour palette evokes harmony between what is man-made and what is natural. Numerous large doors and glass windows provide natural light and cross ventilation. The lack of internal walls and doors creates a dwelling that is open, and allows each space to have a magnitude of different uses. The expansive terrace with swimming pool, which has direct access to the garden provides an ideal place for residents to relax, entertain and be at one with the great outdoors.

Aloe Ridge House is intentionally rigid and structured, resulting in an intriguing juxtaposition between the built form and its environment. Despite this, the earthy exterior colour palette, which is a mixture of beige render and stone, effectively blends in with its surroundings, causing little disturbance to the landscape. The solid form, aside from ensuring a proper level of privacy, also protects against bad weather and the strong south westerly winds. 

This breathtaking view from the swimming pool over the setting African horizon is sure to be one of the most coveted.  Just imagine, in the warm summer months, spending hours in this incredible landscape and enjoying the view.

The interior fit out of Aloe Ridge House combines elements of modernism with accents of native African design; creating a mix between pale colours and textures from a local perspective. This creates a compilation of simple, sharp lines and fancy decorative elements.

2. In harmony with nature

MEERA SKY GARDEN HOUSE:  Houses by Guz Architects
Guz Architects


Guz Architects

For those who love to be close to nature, this is definitely your dream home. Meera Sky Garden House is an exotic residence located on Sentosa Island, near Singapore. This powerful, multi-level home has been designed in such a way that each of the four floors integrates into the grassy surface of exotic plants. This treatment gives the property not only an incredible aesthetic, but allows it to blend into the lush tropical environment, which is so characteristic to this part of Asia. A grass covered home is not only a specimen of landscape craftsmanship, but also a feat of sustainable architecture. It is a scientifically documented fact that green walls and ceilings have an extremely high thermal rating, meaning you need to spend very little (if at all!), on retaining a comfortable living temperature inside the house. Of course, this is an absolute necessity in warmer climates. Meera Sky Garden house not only exemplifies unique architectural design, but wins the hearts of those who care about nature and the environment. 

MEERA SKY GARDEN HOUSE:  Garden by Guz Architects
Guz Architects


Guz Architects

The design of this dream home is based on inspiration which has been drawn from nature. Both the exterior facades and interior design refer to the principles of sustainable development, creating long-lasting, timeless monuments of architecture. The brown exterior wood paneling blends in harmoniously with green grass and crystal clear water in the swimming pool. You also cannot overlook the carpets of green grass, which call to our inner-child and tell us to fill our lungs with the smell of freshly mowed lawn, and run our hands through the moist grass blades. 

3. Set adrift

A life on the water for most, arouses a sense of romance and adventure. For those who are tired of the city, traffic jams and air pollution, the possibility to just set sail away from that life seems like a fairytale. In this modern take on a floating home, you can enjoy the close proximity to nature, and the freedom to move. All these requirements are met, and allow the explorer in you to branch out to new horizons. 

This drifting residence draws inspiration from the traditional idea of a barge, yet is a chic and exclusive take on the image that probably comes to mind. The two-storey, oval design is maintained in a minimalist style, based on the use of rich timber finishes and steel. On the ground floor there is a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, which features a suspended fireplace, living room, and toilet. The second floor has a bedroom with freestanding bath, bathroom, walk-in closet and storage room. It is amazing how many creature comforts can be fit into this idealistic dwelling. From a practical stand point, there is access to clean water, solar energy and underfloor heating.

The interior is decorated in a minimalist style, giving it a transparent nature, which allows the occupant to feel as though they are outside. The large glass panels, which effectively act as the walls of the property, make you feel as though the surface outside is infinite. Just by looking at this floating marvel, we want to pull up the anchor and allow the home to drift into the unknown.

4. A house in sunny Italy

In the memories and dreams of some, is the warmth of the Italian sun, the sweet taste of homegrown grapes and a view of the Mediterranean. Just imagine if you could have all those things, plus a stunning villa to go with it. Like the heroine in the movie Under the Tuscan sun, why not spontaneously buy a villa in Tuscany, and live out your days in the space that occupies your dreams?

Located near the town of Martina Franca in the Italian region of Puglia, is a restored mansion from 1897. The process of renewal, however, was conducted under the proviso that the original style would be maintained. By using materials that aid the often testing climatic conditions, the vernacular of the house was respected, with modern creature comforts being added. The swimming pool, for example, which was not part of the original design, has been created with white stone, in an attempt to match the existing materials of the villa. Giving it a more austere character, it also brings out the gentle turquoise colour of the water. 

The interior of the house is atmospheric, with a rustic character that is almost reminiscent of the Ancient Roman world. There are also many elements, without which we cannot imagine an Italian villa. Brick walls, vaulted ceilings and wooden gables are all unique elements of traditional Italian design. This muted colour palette, reflects the history of the area, yet gives the space a fresh and modern aura. The only thing missing to immerse yourself in paradise, is a bottle of fine Italian wine and good company. 

5. Pretty in pink

For those dreaming of an apartment in the city centre, but at the same time wishing to live surrounded by stunning nature, we have found the perfect solution. This apartment, located in the centre of the Mexican city of Coyoacán, is proof that there is a way to beautifully combine a small space with a functional and fancy apartment garden.

On an area of 33 metres squared, the designers have created this floral oasis in the middle of urban hustle and bustle. A crude steel structure has been dominated by a myriad of flowers in fuchsia, to a joyful and beautiful effect. Supporting concrete elements were painted in the colour amaranth, which helps to intensify the brightness of this project. Automatic irrigation systems maintain the flowers, keeping them constantly vibrant and in bloom. This also removes the responsibility from the occupants to remember to water, and reduces the possibility of a wilted wall.

The interior of the apartment is open plan, consisting of a living room with kitchen, bedroom with ensuite bathroom and a large terrace. From here, you can watch the street life below. Furniture and decorations were conceived by the same designer, integrating the character of the facade into the internal layout. The dark timber grain complements the rest of the pink tones perfectly, highlighting their existence further.

Stay tuned, part 2 of dream homes is not far away!

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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