Casa Somos Suenos by Dimitris Pavlou

Casa Somos Suenos is a 19th-century townhouse painstakingly transformed by Athenian architect Dimitris Pavlou from an uninhabitable ruin to a charming residence of contemporary sophistication and nostalgic soulfulness. Inspired by the classical elegance of Parisian apartments and underpinned by a wabi-sabi-informed minimalist aesthetic, the interior design of the ground-floor two-bedroom residence is a paradigm of understated elegance.
With the ground floor has recently opened its doors as a short-term rental apartment and the upper floor scheduled to welcome visitors next year, the project is as much a labor of love as a business endeavor; above all though it’s an ode to the city’s battered yet lambent Neoclassical soul. The story of Athenian Neoclassicism is poignantly encapsulated in the history of Casa Somos Suenos. Owned by his extended family, the two-story residence captivated Pavlou for as long as he can remember both in terms of its architectural elegance and storied past.
Built-in 1874 by the country’s first Supreme Court judge, the property took on several incarnations in the 20th century, including a bar in the 1980s, before being abandoned and taken over by squatters. The stone-built structure was in good condition, so Pavlou focused on refurbishing the hole-ridden softwood floors, crumbling fireplaces, and imposing timber staircase, transforming the overgrown backyard into an outdoor spa, and meticulously restoring the house’s original ornamentation which includes beautiful plaster corniches and ceiling moldings.
A significant part of the restoration process, the creative reuse of building materials attests to the project’s sustainability ethos as well as Pavlou’s creative thinking. A steel pergola that once provided shade to the bar’s outdoor seating for example found new life as a basement support, while a desiccated tree that had to be cut down was used to build a step in the backyard where it once grew.
A selection of mid-century furniture with a predilection for Danish designers, most of which were sourced from Pavlou’s own collection, elegantly complements the property’s restored Neoclassical flourishes. A serene oasis amid Athens’ chaotic urban fabric, Casa Somos Suenos invites guests to imagine what the city would have been like if its Neoclassical identity had survived the 20th century and been allowed to mature.

Photography by Ana Santl

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Casa Somos Suenos is a 19th-century townhouse painstakingly transformed by Athenian architect Dimitris Pavlou from an uninhabitable ruin to a charming...

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