Bon vivant: designing for an international lifestyle

On a recent trip to Miami, our Design Director, Niko Rasides, visited the 1930s Key West home of Ernest Hemingway. The property is an inspiring stroll through the stylistic life of a legend and a true advocate of the bon vivant lifestyle. For our head of design, it was also a smorgasbord of inspiration and a chance to revel in the limitless possibility of personal style that we also aim to bring to our clients’ homes around the world.

Designing for a global community on projects around the world involves so many different facets. It’s about international culture, a connected world, heritage, and bringing all of that together alongside the personal characteristics and style of the homeowner.

Design connoisseurs

Nicholas Anthony is a British company embodying the best of UK design. Clients come to us from around the world because they know that we represent the quality and design ethos of the UK. However, clients also know that we are a brand of international experience and credentials – employing the best of the best, whether it’s German engineering or natural Italian stone.

So, what do we take into account when we’re designing for international properties? For this jet-set clientele it’s about offering the best that life has to offer, and that’s a combination of design, technology, appliances and materials, bringing them together in a way that’s unique to them and their home. It’s about creating a dream life dedicated to each location whether it’s a chalet in Chamonix or an island retreat in the Caribbean.

Designing for international locations

Every location around the world is different. Each one has its own narrative and story, and in addition its own design guidelines and prerequisites. Designers have to approach each project and location as a new world of discovery. This has both experiential and practical implications that not every design company (or designer) is geared for. For example, alongside climate and heritage, there are local building regulations and health and safety requirements that can completely derail a project if you don’t know what you’re doing.

For example, the voltage specifications on the lighting are entirely different in France to those in the USA, and unless you have international specialists on your team, you won’t know how those details will impact the seamlessness of the project, or the end result, until you’re already into the process, at which point it can become extremely complicated.

A reverence for heritage

When it comes to the look and feel of the property, respecting the history and heritage of a location is imperative to creating a lifestyle and energy that honours the reason you wanted a home there in the first place. A penthouse apartment in New York is going to require an entirely different ambience to a Bermuda beach house, and that atmosphere is inextricably linked to the innate style, climate and lifestyle of the local area.

That heritage is woven through everything from aesthetic details to the choice of materials and the appliances themselves. For example, in tropical regions, cooling is very important – that might mean stone floors, larger cooling appliances, combining indoor and outdoor living, or choosing colours that reflect instead of absorb the heat. Then again, if you’re designing a property in the Alps you’re going to take an entirely different approach.

Breaking the rules: it’s all about individuality

The cherry on top of any cherished property, and the thing that takes design from luxurious to exceptional, is personality.

Different spaces and how they eventually look depends on individual preferences, interests and the personal style of the owners. The inspiration that’s born of the local area needs to be intertwined with the behaviours and interests of those who occupy the space. It’s the singularity of people that’s the game changer and the rule breaker for any property.

This is where the best designers are set apart from the rest, embodying personality and character within the details of a home and turning it from a well choreographed space into an entity in its own right, representative of the people who live there and their essence.

As experienced designers, we know the rules, the things that have to be honoured and the things that begin the conversation when it comes to designing on the international stage. After that, everything is a blank canvas and the thing that changes it all is personality.

Looking for inspiration from some of the most luxurious properties?


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