Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

 

Take a walk with me down the streets of Athen’s Filapappou Hill where we find ourselves in front of a narrow winding pathway that leads towards Esperinos Guesthouse. Designed by emerging Greek designer Stamos Michael, Esperinos is a capture of Athen’s ‘golden age’ of the ’60s in which streets are filled with elderlies eagerly awaiting soccer results and residents laughing and dancing to live music. Visitors are invited to appreciate an interior of vibrant curations while living in a space that champions the past.

Originally a 1930’s home that witnessed the evolution of its surroundings, Esperinos came to life when the clients saw an opportunity to transform the neglected house into a bed and breakfast attraction. Michael, a sociologist turned designer and curator, envisioned the house to function as a gallery alongside the hospitality purpose. This proposal lead to a removal of existing partitions of the typical domestic house plan, with walls only to separate the kitchen and dining from the lounge space. For additional natural light, two windows are built on the side of the building to create depth between external and internal environments. These windows transport guests towards the stepped garden of rustling greens and shadows formed from the glistening sun. The backyard is also accessible from winding path found from the entrance.

 

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

 

Esperinos operates as a gallery under Michael’s Grace Foundation. Closed for short stays between November to April, the guest house becomes an exhibition of works created by local contemporary artists mainly displayed in the expanded living area. Towards the back is a vintage tiled landing and black staircase that leads up to a mezzanine made for a single king bed. From the makeshift upper storey with a balustrade made of ‘geometric cut-outs inspired by Athenian post-modernism’, guests are privy to a view of the artworks presented along with selected furniture pieces such as Konstatin Grcic’s Traffic lounge chair or the plywood wardrobe and a stone stool designed by Michael himself.

Such selection of furniture pieces is instrumental in unifying the material and colour aesthetic of Esperinos. As the architecture shell is maintained of the traditional Greek material of stone, Michael introduces a mismatch of colour-blocked walls reflective of his upbringing. Variations of the olive fruit colours assigned to the walls of main spaces – deep greens in the living room and burgundy in the kitchen space. Although, a juxtaposition of a Mediterranean palette of whites and sunrise yellow offset the bathroom walls and slightly uneven concrete floors.

 

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

Esperinos Hybrid Design Guesthouse Athens Photo Margarita Nikitaki | Yellowtrace

 

Duck blue envelops the external façade, contrasting nicely against the striking terracotta tiles and custom yellow window frames. With sudden eye-catching black accents anchored by the staircases and adjustable shelves and furniture pieces, each moment framed within Esperinos feels like a still captured by Edward Hopper.

A house made into a multifaceted architecture, Esperinos is nuanced with overflowing emotions thoughtfully pieced together, making the short stay evocative and atmospheric. Too bad that we can’t stay here for too long!

 

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