We’re continuing our annual Best of est series for 2023 by honouring this year’s most-read global home features. We begin the round-up at a restored townhouse in Mallorca and finish at a Haussmannian-style apartment in Paris, revealing the distances we’ll travel to source the world’s best residential design.

Proudly supported by Elton Group

Santa Teresa 34 by Durietz Design & Development

Mallorca-based husband-wife duo Durietz Design & Development have earned a reputation in the Spanish residential design scene, transforming historic houses into one-of-a-kind, fully furnished homes intended for sale. “We find the gems, convert them into spectacular homes furnished to the last detail, and then sell them,” their design statement reads. Continuing down this somewhat unconventional yet favourably niche path, the couple completed a for-sale project in Sóller, Mallorca.

Situated within a 123-year-old townhouse near Soller’s main square, ‘Santa Teresa 34’ is steeped in the history and traditions of the small coastal town. The house was originally commissioned by a wealthy businessman from Puerto Rico, who incorporated a number of elegant design details that Durietz Design & Development were very careful not to erase, including a chiselled stone facade and spectacular spiral staircase, among other distinctive features.

Words by Holly Beadle

House on the Corner by Michaelis Boyd and Simone McEwan

This London bygone was reshaped for a modern family and now evokes the words ‘playful’, ‘comfortable’ and ‘tactile’. Before undergoing the transformation, the heritage-listed Victorian building was fondly referred to by locals as “the house on the corner” – a reputation architects Michaelis Boyd and interior designer Simone McEwan were determined to uphold.

The main goal for the interiors was to provide a backdrop for a convivial family who regularly welcome guests into their home. “The house is highly inclusive and often multi-generational. Many opportunities were created for ‘hanging out’ together,” Simone says. The expansive leather banquette sofa in the dining space is one of these opportunities; it can be used for large dinner parties or Sunday brunch spreads.

Words by Holly Beadle

Lake House by mf+arquitetos

Located in Uberlandia, in southeastern Brazil, Lake House by mf+arquitetos blurs the boundaries between inside and out through a strong sense of linear geometry. The home’s location is imperative to the design narrative, informing the integral views of the landscape.

The external form reflects a unique solitary element anchored in place by weighted materials. The entrance contrasts solid materiality and transparent glazing, with the entry glazing creating partial vistas of the landscape beyond. Comparatively, on the opposite side of the house, there is a subtle feeling of lightness where the form slightly cantilevers above the ground.

Words by Kate Lawrence

Casolare Scarani by Studio Andrew Trotter

From the outset, Casolare Scarani embodies Studio Andrew Trotter’s signature style. In the past decade, the Barcelona-based, multi-disciplinary studio have unveiled an impressive number of projects in the Puglia region. So when founder Andrew Trotter first stumbled across the villa on one of his scouting trips, he was instantly sold on its size and charm and bookmarked it for a future project. “The house was beautiful and old, with great character, and not too big. We knew we’d found a gem; we just needed the right client,” he says. Not long after, he was approached by an Australian couple looking for a summer house in the Italian countryside – and the shoe fit right away.

Puglia’s countryside is dotted with two types of residential buildings: lamias and masserias. Traditionally, the smaller of the two, lamias, were stone sheds where local landowners could store their equipment, while the larger of the two, masserias, were where the affluent landowners lived. Casolare Scarani is a blend of the two; it possesses the style of a masseria while being the size of a lamia, which is quite unusual for the region, making it all the more desirable.

Words by Holly Beadle

Avenue Marceau Apartment by Hélène Van Marcke

Avenue Marceau Apartment has emerged from a contemporary design intervention by Hélène Van Marcke, rearranged for discerning modern living with an inherent respect for its heritage. “The owners bought the sixth-floor apartment and all the service rooms and spaces of the floor above,” Hélène Van Marcke explains. “The sixth floor was beautifully proportioned but needed some love, while the seventh floor needed to be fully demolished and rebuilt, including the roof structure!”

Hélène Van Marcke’s brief called for effortless continuation and aesthetic harmony between both floors – connecting the etage noble and the etage de service – and a gentle dialogue with the landmarks visible in the surrounding views over Paris. Looking out to the Eiffel Tower from the lounge, the Sacre Coeur from the master bedroom and the Arc de Triomphe from the terrace, the home also leverages art and design to establish warmth and modern elegance.

Words by Tiffany Jade

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