Redesigned Family Retreat Built Around a Forest Glade

How do you create a contemporary, scenery-led home within an existing building? This forest-hidden gem by architect Rado Iliev and photographer Assen Emilov splits the original exterior in two, creating a wide-windowed corridor that brings the outside in. Flowing from north to south, the corridor feature is built around a compass, ensuring North, South, East and West face the right areas, at the right time. The interior folds the forest in with views permeating the lounge and simple black, white and wooden elements that let nature be the hero. Take a tour with us to see this contemporary forest retreat.

The two-storey plaster home opens with an aluminium corridor, letting in the forest with stunning tinted-glass panels. Extending and enlarging the home, it juts out at just the right angle, affording a lounge view that soaks in the sunlight and sunset.

As the dining room looks over the forest, the lounge beside uses green to penetrate three of its four walls. Muted grey block couches sit on simple, dark wooden floors that echo the landscape. A copper grasshopper lamp leans over a black glass table, while a textured black ceiling adds interest. A partition wall behind acts as a sleek bookcase in black and grey, holding colourful ornaments that dot themselves around the room. Based on a silver stand, the TV functions for night-time while blending into the background, letting the scenic forest location shine.

Just past the inbuilt fireplace, the dining room catches the eye with a bright bouquet of flowers. Led in by a deerskin rug and the black-panelled ceiling, it acts as a sophisticated setting for dinner, and a relaxed location for morning coffee. Stark black and white tones in the chairs, hanging light and table provide a classic look set apart from the pop-of-colour lounge.

A look through the corridor shows a hint of the kitchen, another monochrome dream. Lining one wall with a full-white bench, a landscape window focuses the gaze on the outside view. Its dark wooden floors hold glass-and-white cabinetry to the other side, as greenery peeks in from the dining room. A central panel in an extractor fan and stove make a design feature muted, classic, and complementary.

Back through the lounge, a set of monochrome stairs lead the way down. Framed by glass banisters and white walls, their almost-floating appearance looks light, contemporary and ultra-modern. The colour contrast between the stairs, iron railing and white wall makes a statement, a statement further deepened as two wooden block stairs lead to stone patios. The journey obscures the forest view only momentarily.

The view from the patio shows two storeys of levelling. As stone leads on to a grass lawn, steps lead up to another dark-wooden deck. The central fireplace from the living room reappears on the outside, while glass railings show its many levels from the top floor.

The ground floor too holds beauties up its sleeve. Using thick, black-framed windows, an office uses a wall to hold books and a desk in charcoal wood. A mustard-hued bedroom sits on lighter-wooden flooring, as a large window illuminates yellow-golden bedding and a panelled feature wall. The bathroom hides away in white and beige tones, as a striking agate feature wall and floor bring nature’s elements inside.

Leading down from thick-framed sliding doors, the path away from the home shows its easy-play front lawn and unique sloped location. Enveloped in a tree-laden thicket, its green, scenic attributes are a sight for sore eyes.

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