Have you ever been to Panama? No, neither have I. So, let's go together to this lovely, small mountainous island 12 miles south of Panama City, in the Bay of Panama. Here interior designer Diane Burn transformed a modest little shack planted on a fine piece of hillside property overlooking the town, San Pedro into a warm and colorful villa. The architecture, says Burn, “is a fusion of colonial, tropical and Mediterranean influences.”


A verdant garden, landscaped by Tony Urrutia, borders the front steps.


Pleased to meet you, Diane!


The living room, which leads to the terrace, is “lofty, airy and light,” Burn says. For the interiors, she brought together pieces collected around the world with local furnishings and textiles, many of them purchased at Galería Vida, a “chic” furniture shop in Casco Viejo, the old quarter of Panama City. Notice the stacked coffee tables which can be used as trays as the one on the couch.


A late-19th-century transom found in Panama City crowns the large-scale window in the kitchen/dining area. Burn raised the ceiling four feet, then treated the surfaces with a rustic cement finish.


Warm colours in the covered terrace.


The outside dining area has views of the village, an uninhabited island and the mainland of Panama beyond. The chairs, which were made in Panama City, were modeled after a set of 19th-century French wrought iron garden chairs Burn acquired while living in Paris.


A guest room opens onto a private courtyard “complete with an exterior shower surrounded by high tropical palms and an oversize hammock that will make the guest feel like they’re in their own little Shangri-la,” says Burn. She bought the paintings at a Guatemalan co-op.



“Gossamer and romantic,” is how the designer describes the master bedroom, which has an 18th-century French baldachin. Here, as throughout the villa, decorative artist Karin Linder painted the walls for an aged effect.



Masks make a statement on a courtyard wall.


Local builder and artisan Armando Lopez crafted a large banquette for the covered terrace.

And now we go back home. Enjoyed the tour? See you tomorrow!

Photography by Michael Calderwood
All images and information from here.

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