A Holiday Home | What to consider before you create your own.

Owning a holiday home or a summer house is the dream of many people. Having a fixed holiday destination can be ideal to avoid having to move from one place to another each time. However buying or designing your holiday home is a process that needs some thought, as this retreat is likely to be a considerable investment and must be perfectly suited to your needs and lifestyle now and in the future. 

Consider your Lifestyle

The location and style of the summer house should be based on your needs and lifestyle. If the only thing you are looking for is a quiet retreat for a few days, then a huge villa on a touristic island is definitely not the right choice. On the other hand, if you desire the house to become a destination for your friends and family, and the location of parties for your social circle, a cabin in a remote area may not satisfy your needs. The interior design and equipment (e.g. swimming pool, gym etc…) will also follow the same logic. 

Think like an Investor

A property is always an investment. Either as your own probate asset that may appreciate over time or as a property you choose to rent out to others, especially in appropriate locations. Consider the location of the house, which town, which area of town, the view, the proximity to facilities…etc when choosing the location. In addition, consider also the architectural design and layout of he house according to its possible future uses. For example, if you were to rent the house, many potential tourists or renters may prefer several separate rooms rather than a large master and may be more interested in a private garden than a large kitchen. For more information on future-proofing check our corresponding article.

Consider the natural environment of the location
The natural environment of the location (such as the land topography for example) is extremely important, specially if you are building the holiday home. Consider the characteristics of the natural environment early and build accordingly in order to save on costs and hassle. Building on a hill for example should accommodate the sloped terrain with a number of technical solutions. Similarly, the aesthetics of a house should be appropriate to its surrounding If it is aesthetically alienated from the environment, it will not sit well for the long term. Make the house as harmonious as possible, choose local practices, and use local materials as much as possible.
 
Only for the summer?
Finally, it is very important to remember that a holiday home is not synonymous with a summer house. If you plan to visit the accommodation also in the winter season, additional construction considerations will be needed, such as heating solutions, insulation solutions and maybe even a fireplace. In addition, you may want to include a place to work within the house too. 

For a real-life indicative example of how a holiday home can be the ideal combination of holidays and work, as well as harmony with the surrounding nature, check out our latest project in the British Virgin Islands. For this project AKKA Architects designed a luxury villa that welcomes working professionals from all over the world who need to be on the island for a perfect balance of work and leisure. It is the perfect case of facilitating visitors professional and personal needs while exposing the tropical beauty of the island.

Perched on a steep hill, this villa offers stunning views of the ocean on one side and private views of greenery on the other. Our concept centered around creating a milestone landmark in the center of the city. We created an aesthetic that combines the tropical beauty of the island with a modern tone to match the visitors’ professional life, during their stay.

If you are planning on renovating your home and would like some help, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

 

Renovation Series
Home improvement ideas on a Budget .

Many households cannot afford or simply do not need a complete renovation. However, there are always improvements that can be made easily and on a budget.

Here we’ve put together 7 cost-effective changes and improvements you can make to refresh your home.

1.Refresh your walls and ceilings with paint

Nothing says renewal and freshness more than a sparkling white ceiling and vibrant walls. Whether you feel like changing colors or not, painting your walls and freshly painted ceilings contribute to the quality maintenance of your home and brightens up its overall look.

2.Refurbish your old furniture.

Over time, furniture needs maintenance too, just like everything else in the house. Refurbishing furniture is the most common way to revitalize its color and texture. While reupholstering works well on fabrics. In the case of wooden furniture such as kitchen cabinets, coffee tables or armchairs, paint can work wonders. Especially if you’re interested in retro or rustic interior design, wooden furniture is essential and never goes out of style when highlighted with the right colours.  

 

3.Refresh the floors.

Two good techniques for wooden floors are polishing and buffing. Instead of going through the process of tearing up and restoring your flooring, you can simply refresh it with oiling/polishing and buffing. This way, the floor will look brand new and the whole house will feel fantastic.

Another tip to make your home look completely different without even making the slightest construction change is to add a beautiful carpet. A carpet, both defines and adds space and depth to the home. If a carpet is of too much cost, a simple rug can also work very well and it can also be changed super easily and at any time.

4.Transform your staircase without construction.

A very easy way to transform your stairs is to add a runner. A runner is a long roll of carpet placed in the center of the stairs. Not only do you add to the interior design, but you also protect the stairs from the wear and tear of time and daily use, especially if you or your guests wear shoes inside the house.

5.Add shelves and consoles in strategic places.

A smart way to tidy up your home is to install shelves and consoles, in the very places you feel like you need to place something like keys, photos, magazines etc. Not only are they of practical use, they also help to enhance the interior design of the home. The shelves can be simple surfaces, wooden or of any material, simply nailed to the walls, while a console can be placed at the entrance of the house, under the windows or even behind the sofa. You can add interesting decorations and souvenirs in addition to your existing items.

6.Upgrade your lighting.

Light is of major importance in the interior design of any home. The key is not to rely on a single source of lighting. Investing in different lighting angles and fixtures of different styles (table lamps/standing lamps, ceiling pendants, hidden lights, etc.) gives perspective to the interior and also upgrades the home’s aesthetics.

7.Buy durable plants

A final touch that creates renewal is greenery. Durable plants, which last long with proper care, create a calm yet vibrant environment of freshness. If you’re interested in greenery take a look at our piece on houseplants to find the right ones for your home.

In conclusion, when you are on a tight budget or a tight timeline but still want to refresh your home, consider implementing these smart changes. You can refresh your interior design and give the feel of a renovation without having to undergo it. For more ideas, you can always check out our piece on easy home updates.

If you are planning to improve, update or renovate your home and would like some help, contact us. We’ll be happy to help you with any questions you have.

 

 

Renovation Series
Tips for a Stunning Home Library

Α home library can support a cultured and curious lifestyle while also upgrading any living room area into a distinct and cozy space to spend quality time. While we will not dive deep into the benefits of books here, one study seems worth sharing, especially if you have kids! This study showed that kids who grow up around books, even without actually reading them, end up being more curious, more studious, and smarter all around! Now that is a reason to include a home library in your house and hoping some of it can even rub on us adults too!

A home library does not necessarily need to take up a whole room, nor is it enough to simply add a piece of furniture with books on it in your living room. To create the perfect home library, here are 4 tips we would love to share!

1. Turn a wall into a library

Instead of buying ready made bookshelves for a library, you can build tailored shelves that can cover one large wall, floor to ceiling, end to end. This will create an illusion of space and make the room feel larger than it is. These shelves can be made of simple wood and can even be painted to match the walls.   

Image Source: architecturendesign.net

2. Add a Mini Salon

You can easily turn a 2D library into a 3D “mini salon” by adding an armchair and a little coffee table. A comfortable reading chair and even footrest are the perfect addition to create a whole space of “reading vibes” instead of restricting the library to a limited corner or a flat wall. This space shouldn’t replace your living room of course but is located on the side of the room. 

Image Source: architecturendesign.net

3. Light up your Books

When done intentionally, lighting up your library can create a very special feature. There are many ways to light a library, you can try hidden lighting at the bottom of the shelves, or indirect lighting from the sides. Whichever method you end u choosing, make sure it create depth and perspective in the library. You will love turing on these lights in the evening, to create a warm and cosy atmosphere. 

4. Add some Melody

When it comes to cultural quality time, many prefer a holistic experience. Not only do vinyl records and the vintage player look beautiful when are integrated in the library, listening to music while reading can amplify the experience and add to the joy of reading.

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If you are planning on renovating your home and would like some help, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

 

How to deal with the summer heat without an A/C.

Summer season is officially here. However, this does not only mean getaway holidays and long beach days, but also dealing with the unavoidable heat. Due to phenomena such as climate change and global warming, Europe has been suffering from extreme heatwaves for the last decade, and it seems to be getting more acute every year. At the same time, the increasing costs of electricity makes the choice of Air Conditioner, not always possible for many households.

Here are smart interior design solutions to deal with the summer heat without an Air Conditioner (A/C).

Α term named Natural Ventillation

Natural ventilation is the use of wind and thermal buoyancy to create air movement in and out of the building without the use of mechanical systems, with the goal of bringing fresh air into your home.

What to do

OK, the obvious ones first!

 1. Leave the windows open.

By leaving your windows open – specially during the night in the summer months, natural ventilation can provide free cooling and reduce your home energy use.

2. Leave your room doors open.

By leaving your room doors open – specially the ones that are facing each other, the stale air is pushed out of the space whenever fresh air is drawn inwards.

 

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3. An interesting combination.

In two storey houses, by leaving both skylights or top floor windows and ground floor  doors and windows open, the hot air finds its way to the top openings and finally leaves the entire building. 

Air-movement-in-stack-ventilation-41-42

More Ideas

1. Close the lights and turn off unneeded electronic equipment.

This sustainable solution saves money and avoids any heat that comes from the energy of electrical appliances such asPCs and TVs.

2. Close blinds and curtains.

Easy one. Just avoid direct sunlight in the midday hours before sunset, when the light is particularly strong and causes strong heat.

Fun Fact

Choose woolen sheets for your bedding.

Natural wool is a common alternative insulation product. Wool insulation offers many benefits to consumers, such as strong moisture absorption and desorption capabilities.

Final Solution… with a tiny cost

Invest in ceiling fans, or even self-standing fans.

With the use of the fan you achieve controlled room temperature and constant air circulation. The cost, of course, does not compare with that of the air conditioner.  

If you have any questions about dealing with summer heat in natural ways or you are constructing or renovating your home and would like some help, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

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“We would like to express our gratitude for the time you invested in helping us get to a clear picture.  Anna and I really appreciated the call we had with you, your responsiveness, and the great empathy that you exhibited throughout – we certainly felt very “well taken care of” when engaging with you.  On the practical side, we especially appreciated that there was the option to obtain robust bottom-up cost estimates for the construction itself (not every design architect offers this).”

-Private Client of AKKA

 

 

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