Photo Gallery: International Homes
Discover jet-set style.
Thick open shelves best display carefully placed kitchenware.
In the Swiss holiday home of Joergen Bodum, of the Danish housewares brand Bodum, modern form and function work side-by-side with ancient timberwork. From the water carriage to the colourful egg spoons, each of the dozens of items in this kitchen is a genuine Bodum.
Embrace high ceilings with oversized artwork.
In the Swiss holiday home of Joergen Bodum, of the Danish housewares brand Bodum, six large tables were pushed together to form a single long dining table which can seat 24 guests. The leather chairs are by Italian designer Mario Bellini; the pendant lamps are by Danish designer Louis Poulsen. The painting over the fireplace is by Joergen’s daughter, Catrine.
Rustic flooring warms a minimalist aesthetic.
In this 650-year-old farmhouse, the original oak floor is a modern counterpoint to the floating wooden staircase in the main hallway. An elevator connects the different floors in the main living quarters. A glass door leads to the gallery, which contains the library.
See more beautiful interiors with gorgeous flooring in our photo gallery.
Rustic wood accents take the spotlight against a white backdrop.
The bathroom fittings in this Swiss holiday home were designed by the German design studio Sieger Design for Dornbracht, while the tub and sink units are by Philippe Starck. The stone floors here — and on the entire main floor of Joergen Bodum’s family retreat — are made of Italian granite and equipped with radiant heating.
Sunshine, clean white walls and exposed wood glow in this spa-like retreat on the edge of the Upper Engadine Valley.
With a staggering twelve guest suites, Joergen Bodum’s Swiss farmhouse is a breathtaking holiday home for family and friends. The guest rooms — each with their own ensuite bathroom — are minimally furnished to give visitors the impression they’re staying in a comfortable, intimate hotel.
Get more decorating ideas in our Gorgeous Guest Bedrooms Photo Gallery.
In Frey's Paris apartment, luxe fabrics, classic chairs and chevron flooring exude old-world charm.
Don’t cover up classic hardwood if you want to channel a traditional and formal style — herringbone is far too beautiful to lay a rug over. In Patrick Frey’s Paris apartment, luxe fabrics and wallcoverings, a unique light fixture and classic chairs exude old-world charm.
Learn more traditional-style tips in our Traditional & Formal Interiors photo gallery.
And for more beautiful French country interiors, see our photo gallery.
Detailed interior doors, mouldings and hardware enhance the classic French look.
A vintage 1940s carpet provided a starting point for the unique bottle green and aubergine colour scheme. Floor-to-ceiling silk drapes feature turquoise pleats inset at each end. Postcard-like views and the building’s architecture charmed Patrick Frey and his wife Lorraine into moving into this French apartment.
Find ways to display personal treasures to create a warm and inviting home.
While prevailing North American wisdom suggests that small spaces should be white-walled and clutter-free, Patrick and Lorraine Frey embrace warm tones and vignettes that show off their collections of art, books and curios. “We have memories, souvenirs — the home is not a gallery,” says Lorraine.
Add texture in monochromatic rooms with smart fabric choices.
In the French apartment of Patrick and Lorraine Frey, faux suede covers the office walls. A traditional painted portrait hangs above the desk in an ornate frame, while a library lamp feels right at home on the inlaid desk.
Diamond-patterned doors add personality and interest.
A carefully curated set of objets rest on a classic wood dresser. The suzani-inspired throw adds a burst of strong colour to Patrick and Lorraine Frey's bedroom.
Create a dramatic entryway with large artwork and colour.
When entering CEO Piero Bisazza’s 19th-century palazzo in Northern Italy, you’re greeted by high style. Framed strips of wallpaper, based on early-19th-century French paintings, adorn the walls of the foyer. The traditional panels contrast with a polycarbonate EroS chair by French designer Philippe Starck, a shiny chrome sphere and a mid-’50s Sarfatti chandelier.
Piero, whose family is known worldwide for their glass mosaic tiles, makes his passion for literature evident in his Vicenza, Italy, home.
A symmetrical shelving arrangement, vibrant red rug and animal print runner give this room punch. With minimal furniture, the space exudes a posh, gallery-like vibe. Glam covers break up large expanses of book spines.
Classic colours complement iconic furniture.
In his stately Vicenza, Italy home, tile designer Piero Bisazza showcases his collection of vintage and antique pieces. In the living room, two leather Barcelona chairs by Mies van der Rohe came from Piero’s mother’s estate. The tile-topped tables look like they could be Bisazza originals but are, in fact, ’60s-era collectibles.
Paint picture ledges with the wall colour to let artwork stand out.
In CEO Piero Bisazza’s home in the historic city centre of Alte Vicenza, Italy, a private gallery showcases collection of photographs by legendary talents such as Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe. A hide rug and Wassily chairs by Marcel Breuer balance the chandelier from Bisazza’s home collection.
A shapely white sink and silver fixtures pop against a blue wall.
Add rich texture to any space by transforming mundane walls into works of art. Intricate details such as these Blue Bisazza glass mosaic tiles create sparkle in this stunning modern bathroom.
A quaint rural cottage in a storybook setting.
Located near the Shlei fiord, this romantic home's main entrance is sheltered under the balcony off the principal bedroom. Monique planted the boxwood-edged garden with poppies, carnations, succulents, peonies and Siberian iris.
Line a wall with planters to combine colours.
Side-hung windows that open onto a thriving garden add to this cottage's storybook feel. In a stoney area like this, add colour with portable planters which can be switched up every few months with seasonal flowers.
Chicken-wire cabinets keep this look casual.
Pretty canisters and open shelving keep everyday items neatly on display. Monique is fond of rag rugs — a traditional Swedish element — and uses them here to highlight the green and white colour scheme.
Use river rocks to create a European, cobblestone-style look.
Monique enjoys using her kitchen-side patio all summer for meals and drinks. Beyond the garden, open wheat fields seem to roll on forever.
Bleached-pine floorboards brighten up this small space.
To complement the region’s northern light, owner Monique Waqué decided to decorate with pale colours evocative of Danish style. Check fabrics in a mix of colours and scales are used as the home’s primary pattern. Monique furnished rooms minimally, buying many items at auctions in Denmark or Germany. Much of it is Scandinavian or French, and small in scale to suit the cosy dimensions.
Soothing lilac walls and minimal, weathered furniture keep this room simple.
The bed's aubergine and cream coverlet from France complements the room's dainty chandelier.
The front door's historical blue shade fits right in with the home's façade.
Around the time the homeowners were fixing up their 1830s Georgian-style terrace house in Islington, North London, the downtrodden street underwent a renaissance, and now it's one of the most sought-after corners of London.
English, Chinese and Indian artifacts mix beautifully for a well-travelled look.
Original herringbone flooring and glass walls and roof endow this conservatory with unique period character. A big turn-of-the-century Chinese wedding cabinet offers a home for family clutter.
Decorate with inexpensive antique furniture and accessories to add character to your space.
Some of the best bargains in home shopping are discovered at roadside flea markets and antique fairs. Ex-Torontonians Alistair Green and Lesley Hinder have a London home that is full of finds that they have repainted, refinished, retiled and reupholstered, for instance. The Spanish Art Deco tub chairs, the focal point of this room, were found in a junk shop and rebuilt and reupholstered with a painterly floral fabric. The Swedish grandfather clock was found at an antiques dealer, as were the coffee table and chandelier. Consider frugal vintage furnishings if you have a keen eye for design, a love of treasure hunting, lots of patience and an interest in makeover projects.
Get more Budget Decorating Ideas in our photo gallery.
A 19th-century London home with vintage charm.
A reclaimed teak dining table, purchased at a London furniture shop, is paired with an antique French sideboard. The Chinese dining chairs, circa 1900, are from a shop in Notting Hill. High mouldings and shuttered windows are enviable period features.
Look for one-of-a-kind antique pieces.
Lit by handsome tall original sash windows, the spare bedroom is home to an early-1800s teak village bed that was shipped back from Rajasthan, India. En route, it lost its tiles and broke to bits. It was reassembled in London by a master joiner, and homeowner Alistair Green scoured the city to find the new tiles.
This daring space perfectly embraces old and new.
Homeowner and designer Colette van den Thillart’s London home is a reflection of her signature style: edgy, witty and utterly fearless. In her living room, the walls are striated with charcoal grey and lacquered a dramatic peacock blue to create a glamorous look. Rich green accents enhance the saturated look, while touches of warm white and brushed gold add a fresh and luxe touch to the space.
See more of Colette van den Thillart’s London Home in our photo gallery.
An affordable rug adds bold pattern to the room.
In designer Colette van den Thillart’s London home, a custom-made amoeba-shaped table with a dragged gesso finish complements the sofa and chairs, and accommodates the seating arrangement. “I’m a devotee to organic shapes. They can be more forgiving in space planning,” she says. An affordable rug adds bold pattern to the room.
England-based designer Colette uses this room for her home office.
A blue lacquered wall and ceiling fresco are just two of the rich details that give this room personality. The striped tablecloth and green velvet chair adds contrast. Gold shell-shaped lights shine on book spines for easy searching.
This creamy neutral palette and open space are perfect for family life and entertaining.
Though Colette wouldn’t have chosen black granite for the countertops, she admits the kitchen is highly functional.
Traditional lines and classic stripes contribute to a timeless space.
This family room, in the home's conservatory, can be an extension of the house or the garden, depending on the weather.
A lush English garden beckons.
The Edwardian home features this sun-drenched conservatory. With cream paint, ticking upholstery and a pretty green table, this serene family space extends the house, or the garden, depending on the weather.
Enjoy warm weather and dine outdoors.
The Toronto-born, England-based designer and creative director of NH Design purchased an Edwardian home in London that featured this sunny backyard terrace. The wall-to-wall windows and roof at the back of the house lend a greenhouse feel, and swathe the back rooms of the home in natural light. Having this many windows makes for a seamless transition from the conservatory to the garden, making the family room seem like a patio, and the patio seem like a dining room.
See more of Colette van den Thillart’s London Home in our photo gallery.
Delicate wallpaper adds rich detail.
The hallway is a study in neutrals with wall-to-wall seagrass and patterned wallpaper. Homeowner and designer Colette van den Thillart accessorized the foyer with gilded antlers, a unique art piece with a plaster frame and warm white furnishings, including an 18th-century Russian side chair. The console works to conceal a radiator underneath.
See more of Colette van den Thillart’s London Home in our photo gallery.
Also, find more Wallpapered Rooms in our photo gallery.
This principal bedroom is swathed in a hand-blocked fabric.
Upstairs, Colette's bedroom serves as her own lab. All fabric is by NH Design, used here before debuting in the collection. “Nobody has these yet. I couldn’t wait to see them in 3-D,” she says.
Grown-up art keeps this room from looking too young.
Colette's daughters, Ava, 9, and Hannah, 11, love to curl up in their pretty bedroom. Each bed is framed by a chintz canopy for a soft and romantic look.
An unexpected bench and wood console warm up this space.
An armoire functions as a privacy screen between the principal bedroom and its ensuite bath. The tub’s unique standing faucet lends a dramatic edge to the space.
Dare to paint your furniture.
Australian decorator and design blogger Anna Spiro celebrates colour in her Brisbane bungalow. “Pink is just the best colour. It’s an absolute favourite,” she says. In her brightly-hued living room, she custom-painted her Lloyd Loom wicker sofa fuchsia. Throw pillows in a range of colours and prints add vibrance and texture.
For a rainbow of inspiration, see our Colourful Spring Rooms gallery.
Update antiques with bright, modern fabrics.
Anna Spiro, creator and author of the design blog Absolutely Beautiful Things, had this antique gilded chair custom upholstered in a vibrant striped fabric. The contemporary print creates an interesting effect when paired with the formal frame of a bergere chair. See the rest of Anna’s house in our May 2010 issue.
See more great ideas for using gold as an accent in our Decorating With Gold gallery.
A bright and playful eating area.
This vintage Italian toleware chandelier was purchased on eBay and punched up with black and white gingham shades with pink bobble trim. Hot pink stools provide an upbeat contrast to the kitchen's white Carrara marble island.
Abstract artwork and chinoiserie vases add interest to an all-white space.
Simple white cotton upholstery creates an interesting contrast with the formal gold frame of this settee. Dressed up with a mix of brightly patterned throw pillows, this antique piece is at home in a modern living room.
Don't be afraid to hang artwork on boldly patterned wallpaper.
Trellis-print wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler in blogger Anna's office makes it cosy. A flea-market lamp was updated with a custom shade.
Mismatched vintage mirrors add character to this all-white bathroom.
Anna had an old wooden table converted into this fresh-looking double vanity. She purchased the two mirrors from a local salvage store. The white subway wall tiles and hexagonal floor tiles are in keeping with the Art Deco era of the bungalow.
Display antique toys on a plate rail running the perimeter of a room.
An oversized galvanized pendant strikes an unexpected modern note in Anna's son's room. The mouldings and ceiling medallion are original to the home.
Pink and white pop against dark wood floors.
Carved wood bird lamps were an inexpensive find. Their shades are pink and white gingham fabric with black bobble trim. The bedspread is a French matelassé from the homeowner's firm, Black & Spiro Interior Design.