Villa Petros, Lefkada
In 2017 my husband Jay and I visited the island of Lefkada in Greece for the first time and fell in love with a view.... In 2018 we first saw Villa Petros and in autumn 2019 the villa finally became ours.
We had many ideas for things we wanted to do and we realised that not everything would fit with our budget straight away. So we began the process of prioritising areas for spend and finding a local team we could trust.
We had the villa completely re-decorated inside and it has since been painted outside too. The varnished pine ceilings of the upper floor were updated with white paint for a cool airy feel. We replaced one bathroom, added essential storage and completely refurnished the whole villa.
We created a brand new raised outdoor dining area and another seating area to one side of the pool.
Two van trips from the UK to Greece later, and in spite of a global pandemic, the villa was finally ready to stay in at the end of August 2020.
Lefkada is one of the group of islands called the Ionian Islands, which include Corfu and Kefalonia. The island is named after the white rock that it is formed of. It's very green - full of olive trees, evergreens and the surrounding seas are stunning shades of turquoise.
When choosing the colour palette and style for the property I was very aware of the natural beauty of the island - we wanted to reflect that, not distract from it. The resulting colour palette is soft blues, greens and off-white, with the occasional touch of brightness. 'Relaxed coastal' is probably a good description.
Furnishings needed to be comfortable and stylish, but practical enough to take the wear and tear of a rental property. The layout of furniture was carefully considered to make the most of the stunning views.
A lot of time is spent outside, so we paid a lot of attention to outdoor furniture. Purchasing high quality sun beds, parasols, sofas and tables has given the outside a luxury feel that should last.
Practicality and Sustainability
Beds and bed linens were another area I knew we needed to prioritise. An uncomfortable bed can detract from even the most gorgeous view, so I turned to Hypnos for hotel quality beds.
Our linens are organic cotton and the duvets and pillows are filled with 'smart down' an environmentally friendly alternative to feather.
Bedroom 3, shown right, although the smallest bedroom, still has a super king size bed. This and the one in bedroom 2 can be converted into single beds, giving maximum flexibility for sleeping arrangements.
Outside Dining Experience
As an interior designer I'm usually focussing on the inside of a property, but you should always look at a house as a whole. And sometimes an opportunity presents itself....
With many meals taken outside at the villa, the outside dining experience is really important.
When we viewed the property there was a gazebo next to the pool with a dining table within it (where the frame is in the photo to the left).
That part of the patio is the last to lose the sun, so not ideal for eating. Then I spotted a large rock behind the curved wall near to the kitchen door....
Using my design and local building expertise, the rock was removed and the stone re-used to create a raised dining area.
Local property professionals have told us we've already increased the value of the property.... but honestly we just love that uninterrupted view at meal times!
We still have plenty of other plans for Villa Petros. I've begun adding herbs and flowers above the dining area, and we look forward to picking our first lemons and apricots.
Whilst I don't know when the first lemon will appear, I do know that refurbishing and preparing our own property for guests is experience that will serve my design clients well.