Best of Est 2018: Global Homes

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    We’re reflecting on residential design’s best and fairest in 2018 with our top five favourite homes from across the globe.

    As 2018 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to look back on the year that was with our Best of Est series. Kicking off our collections are five homes from further abroad that impressed us most, spanning from Quebec to Copenhagen, Whistler, Los Angeles to Spain’s Emporda region. All varying in look and feel, what these modern homes do share is a universal excellence in designing to the way we live now.

    Just as we touched on in issue 29 of est magazine, global design is in its golden age thanks to the digital age – letting us tour through the places people call home, far from our own. Together and alone, these abodes represent influences from near and far while valuing old time practices and values. Designed by names you’ll no doubt recognise and with interiors you may have already saved to your Pinterest board, there’s no better way to wrap up the year and ring in more great design for the one that follows.

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    Grand Pic Chalet by Appareil Architecture
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    We simply couldn’t bring together our top lot without a black home – for these exteriors have made a big impression globally in 2018. But this is not just any ordinary black home – we’re talking about the striking Grand Pic Chalet by Appareil Architecture. This crowd favourite by the Montreal-based firm aptly reveals their Nordic roots, inspired by the mountainous landscape and traditional shapes.

    The Chalet is composed of two separate black-clad pavilions that emerge from the foliage; a two-storey abode and a smaller storage unit with outdoor shower. These striking black-wrapped buildings are an entirely different experience inside with light spilling in from the black-framed windows and across the Russian plywood walls. The cathedral proportions of the interior are truly something to behold and easily appreciated with the minimal scheme and restrained palette. It’s a timeless construction from our French Canadian friends, who we’re looking to for more great things in 2019.

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    We’re always fascinated by the home of a creative and this Artist’s Home by Studio David Thulstrup is a special one indeed. Headed by man-of-the-moment David Thulstrup, the design team reinvented an old Danish pencil factory for photographer Peter Krasilnikoff, who also shot the finished project himself.

    Requesting a home and workspace, Peter Krasilnikoff worked closely with David Thulstrup to capture light and flow in the home – design elements both architect and photographer knows well. A true highlight is the glass-walled atrium, filled with native Scandinavian grass and shrubbery. The beautiful opening is accentuated by the Dinesen HeartOak boards that dress both the walls and floors. Where quality meets craft, this former factory is now fit for a photographer, with no lack of inspiration.

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    Artist's House by Studio David Thulstrup
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    Sophie Burke Design (SBD) and Burgers Architecture took us to Whistler’s white peaks to share this soft and contemporary ski cabin turn family home. Not only a winner for its location, the design work of both architect and interior designer eschews a level of detail and quality that makes it firmly stand out from the rest.

    First and foremost, this home had to be practical and accommodating to the demands of the environment – that is the kids, the ski boots and their pets. These demand were met with natural materials and millwork by local producers, who custom-made bunk beds, sofas, stairs and cabinetry. They also dressed the walls in whitewashed hemlock timber and the bench tops in Vancouver Island marble. But what’s perhaps most captivating about this snow escape is the Alpine outlook, fully embraced by client and architect with the full-height windows and sliding doors across the open plan living – now that’s a pretty vista.

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    Vancouver House by SBD
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    Spain’s Emporda region has a reputation for pursuing the slow life – typified in the Oxygen House by Susanna Cots. Taking up a plot in this serene part of the world, Oxygen House combines the ancient beauty and history of its natural surrounds – slotting it in as one of est’s best-loved homes of 2018.

    Oxygen House has been designed with three overarching concepts in mind: the slow pace of life, a neutral palette and an inherent respect for nature and history. Structurally, it’s made up of separate cubes topped with terracotta tiles that are linked internally by glass passages. To keep the surrounds front of mind, several small patios exist between each of the main blocks inside, leaving plenty of spaces for quiet time. Refreshingly, the interiors make a statement not with bold colours and objects, but with a palette that feels as though it is lifted from the rich and sandy soil. These deliberate choices in materiality build a cultured and curated feel, where slow and steady really does win the race.

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    Oxygen House by Susanna Cots
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    When you picture the home of an A-lister, we’re sure this farm-style abode isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But it should be, because this is the home of celebrated actress and design lover Diane Keaton. Trading Beverly Hills for barefoot luxury, Diane Keaton has brought to life her dream home in the middle of LA’s west side, from her prolific Pinterest obsession. Fascinated by her book, ‘The House that Pinterest Built’, this year our curiosity got the better of us as we asked to explore how Diane Keaton’s abode came to be.

    Diane Keaton isn’t shy to admit the favourite facets of her home are the 75,000 handpicked, recycled clay bricks that form the foundation of the fireproof, earth resistant, water resistant, walled-in compound. A second big love of Diane Keaton’s is the “heartbeat of the house” – the kitchen. Some serious natural light finds its way in here with the steel-framed skylights at the peak of the kitchen ceiling. Giving it that extra rustic feeling is the chicken wire cabinetry and overhead, pendant lights cleverly repurposed material from a chicken coup. Layered by history and meaning, this brick home was definitely worth the 1,278 day wait.

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    The Brick Home of Diane Keaton | est living
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