For my latest home-tour post I’m heading to sunnier climes; specifically, to the beautiful Greek island of Ithaca and the equally beautiful Villa Kalos.
Set amid a sea of olive and almond trees, with only bleating goats for neighbours, this rambling old farmhouse has been completely transformed by South African photographers Robbert Koene and Gerda Genis. When they first purchased the building in 2007 it was a crumbling shell with birds nesting in the roof; today, it’s a wonderful retreat that mixes original character with clean, contemporary lines.
Throughout, Robbert and Gerda have cleverly fused the house’s rustic stones and lime-washed beams with cement floors and swathes of polished concrete. I love the contrasting textures and the muted colour palette, which brings together cool greys, crisp whites and occasional splashes of black.
The furniture is also a mix of old and new, with a touch of Scandinavian style. In the open-plan living area, a gnarled wooden table is flanked by mid-century modern chairs (if you like the look of them, Made.com sells a similar design), and low-slung sofas sit by a coffee table created from salvaged pallets. The smooth concrete-and-steel kitchen units look fantastic against the rough texture of the wall, and there are sleek shelves brimming with crockery and glassware.
The four bedrooms are airy and uncluttered, with steel lamps, smart shutters and slate-grey linen. Concrete half-walls separate the sleeping areas from open-plan ensuite bathrooms, all with rain showers and pebbled floors.
The villa’s outside spaces are just as beautiful: a series of cascading terraces shaded by silvery olive trees, with a scattering of chairs and floor cushions. There’s also a sparkling saltwater pool gazing out over the countryside.
Best of all, Villa Kalos is available to rent as a holiday home for up to eight people. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a dreamier base for a Greek getaway…
Photography by Robbert Koene