Cover The study room is connected to a balcony that amplifies the tranquilness of the environment (Photography: Jasper Yu)

These stylish abodes combine a sense of serenity in their interiors with verdant landscaping, solar powered features and other eco-conscious elements

Creating a soothing environment in your home is more important than ever in today’s fast-paced world. Besides bringing elements of nature and sustainability into our homes, it’s also important to create spaces that promote inner well-being. Wellness takes precedence in these homes featured below, which also feature eco-friendly elements that promote a restful and balanced atmosphere.

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1. A multigenerational home in Singapore

A sense of serenity can be easily felt in this multi-generational abode designed by Teoh Hai Pin, the project’s lead architect and director of DP Architects. Filled with verdant courtyards, roof terraces, backyards, and water bodies, the thoughtfully-designed home possesses many eco-conscious qualities which include the use of solar panels and a solar-powered water heater.

“The key design philosophy is for the house to be perceived as a timeless, tropical piece of architecture that may grow to be more beautiful over time. Spatial programming aside, a play with light guides the house’s design,” explains Teoh.

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Glass panels and windows throughout the home offer ample natural light, while lush planters keep the interiors cool and reduce the need for turning on the air-conditioning. The interiors are designed by local studio Free Space Intent, who worked closely with the family to select the furnishings, while the landscaping was done by DP Green.

“Besides the clever and extensive use of natural light, I also wanted to ensure that the family had the option to reduce their energy usage with clean power for a smaller carbon footprint,” says the architect. “The solar power generated is either sold back to the national grid, or channelled straight to the electric car docking system in the garage.”

2. A nature-inspired house in Singapore

Diego Molina and Maria Arango, directors of Ong&Ong, worked closely with the homeowners of this abode to design a dream home. The family of four, who aspire to live sustainably, requested for the use of natural materials and outdoor areas as well as pockets of spaces that cater to their love for entertaining and music.

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The exterior facade features concrete walls and panels of solid teak timber screens that ensure privacy. Inside, a palette of white tones and light wooden tones introduces a sense of warmth and calm. Large balcony doors found throughout the home offer abundant natural light as well as smooth ventilation, which in turn, help to reduce energy consumption.

A small gardening area off to the side of the wet kitchen allows the homeowners to compost food waste and turn kitchen scraps into fertile topsoil, while the solar panels installed help to service up to 25 per cent of the home’s energy consumption. 

3. A modern farmhouse in Italy

Tucked away in Italy’s tranquil hills of Piacenza is a peaceful retreat that quietly integrates with its idyllic setting. The work of ​​Geert Koster, founder of Italian design firm Studio Koster, the 3,552 sqft house—clad entirely in thermo-dried, natural larch timber—is crafted from eco-friendly materials with insulating properties.

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The roof is constructed with Ondapress panels, an innovative and sustainable product made from natural materials and developed by Eternit. The building’s orientation optimises solar exposure, and the windows are made from high-performance structured glass within varnished Fir laminates; this allows good cross ventilation and plenty of natural daylight to flood the interiors. Inside, the lofty space features ecological-grade geothermal heating and air-conditioning systems.

Besides materials, the home also connects to nature and embraces its surroundings with an array of outdoor areas such as terraces, where the homeowner and guests can enjoy the countryside lifestyle. 

“The idea was to create a non-invasive structure that integrates with the beauty of the flowing hills and its natural agricultural scenery, but without the (old-fashioned) rusticity,” says Koster.

4. A corner terrace house in Singapore surrounded by greenery

With its innovative design and verdant green concept, this home clinched the Best Tropical Concept accolade at the Tatler Design Awards 2021. Designed by Foma Architects for a family of horticulture enthusiasts, the abode embodies a sense of calm by immersing its occupants in flourishing greenery.

Read more: Home Tour: A Nature-Inspired Abode With Lush Green Terraces

The front and rear facades of the resort-like home are clad in travertine which insulates heat, while Chengal wood was selected for all outdoor decking and wall cladding for its sturdiness, durability and resistance against termites.

The higher floors of the abode are enveloped in greenery; planter boxes filled with a variety of lush foliage surround the entire balcony, with hanging greenery and climbers on the railing offering both cool shade and privacy from prying eyes. Glass walls and balcony doors offer easy access to fresh air and allow ample sunlight to permeate the space.

5. A Californian home that celebrates art and wellness

Nestled within the mountainous range of the affluent Portola valley in California is a sprawling residence that boasts enviable views of lush oak trees and the rolling hills overlooking the peaceful valley. Bruce Wright, vice-president and principal of SB Architects, created a peaceful sanctuary for a couple who were looking for a retreat away from the fast-paced hustle of Silicon Valley and their corporate lives.

Acceding to the couple’s request for wellness and sustainability-focused spaces throughout the residence, Wright created a mini compound made up of private dwellings. This strategic design move created areas for the homeowners to slow down and enjoy their hobbies such as meditating and painting.

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The architect also embraced an indoor-outdoor concept to emphasise the home’s connection to nature and capture the striking views of the home’s surroundings. The master bedroom, for example, features sliding doors that offer direct access to outdoor amenities such as a hot tub and swimming pool. The space comes alive in the evening, when the sun sets and lights the space with a warm glow. 

“We devised the site plan to create a series of buildings that reacted to their needs, but created spaces that capitalised on different times of the day,” explains Wright.

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