The photos of this house caught my eye the second I saw them. There’s a warmth to this home that makes it feel really inviting. When I read more about the history of the house and its former owners—writer Patrick Leigh Fermor and photographer Joan Eyres Monsell—I was even more captivated.
This house was featured in the recently released book Haute Bohemians: Greece by Miguel Flores-Vianna, an excerpt from which was shared on House & Garden. The couple left their house to the Benaki Museum, which now offers tours of the home to the public.
These are the three things I love most about the Joan and Patrick Leigh Fermor house in Greece…
1. A Simple Yet Warm Color Palette
The color palette is mostly made up of white, cream, blue, and red tones. The palette is very simple, but it doesn’t feel cold or without life. The use of natural materials in particular brings so much warmth to the home—the wood ceilings, the richly textured stone flooring, and the antique wood furnishings. This mix of a pared-back color scheme and natural materials is something anyone can use as inspiration for their own home.
2. The Living Room Library Design
The living room library (shown above) is the room in this house that stands out to me most. This space houses Patrick and Joan’s extensive book collection, which is thoughtfully displayed not as an afterthought but as a core element of the design. The expansive built-in sofa acts as both a beautiful focal point and a functional gathering place for visiting guests. From the furnishings to the accent pieces to the texture of the ceiling, everything in this space feels like an integrated part of the overall design.
3. How the Setting Influences the Design
What might be the most special part of this home is the way its surroundings are incorporated into the interior design. The home is located at the foot of Mount Taygetus and overlooks the Messenian Gulf. Every room has large windows and a layout that makes the most of the views. This kind of attention to layout and flow is one way to bring the outdoors in really thoughtfully. The design of this house honors its location and because of this, each room feels like an escape.
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