Modern House No. 5

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For this year’s spring/summer edition, we have honed in on one of the five principles we believe are essential considerations for any living space: nature (the others being space, material, light and decoration – for more on them, check out our co-founder Matt Gibberd’s book, A Modern Way to Live). Nature is, of course, much more than an essential consideration for a home – it is an essential consideration of life. The stories that make up this issue all celebrate ways of living that put nature at the fore and look to the natural world for either inspiration, solace, enjoyment or appreciation – and often all of these.

In Buckinghamshire, our co-founder Albert Hill visited Margaret and Peter Aldington at the home and garden they built for themselves in the early 1960s, Turn End, which has been masterfully captured by photographer Rich Stapleton for our series ‘The Classics’. The story is a lesson for enjoying the pleasures of plants in the warmer months to come.

At his home in Echo Park, Los Angeles, collector and gallerist Alex Tieghi-Walker tells us why he’s happiest in his outdoor bath surrounded by the trees he plants every time he catches a flight. In Jan Juc, near Melbourne, we meet a couple who have built a simple house near the ocean and surrounded it with native planting.

Meanwhile, a sunny lunch made and eaten outside at artists residency Casa Balandra in Mallorca is a lesson in the art of sobremesa, the act of relaxing at the table long after the meal is over. A visit to another artists’ residency in Mexico reveals how the mountainous landscape of Oaxaca inspires the work that is made by the creatives staying there. On the Isle of Skye, meanwhile, we take a trip to a contemporary home that was built with the beautiful but harsh weather that dominates the experience of living on Scotland’s north-west coast in mind.