Shila Athens

Night-time in the Kolonaki district. Mantzarou is a tree-lined segment linking Skoufa to Solonos, a deserted and friendly urban landscape. You graze the intimacy of neoclassical buildings closed behind their front doors. One journey ends, another begins.

Shila opens like a discreet, feminine shell. Low lighting and subdued colours respect a rigorous aesthetic credo that satisfies your desire for detail. Your room, ‘The Dreamers’, welcomes you: carefully selected music plays, and open windows let in the Athenian nightlife and variegated scents. You cross the spaces barefoot, look out and take in the view from above – two friends greet each other at the corner of the street – then make tea. A corner stirring much emotion is sensibly balanced by a simple form or a small empty space just beyond. Empathy with certain places is immediate. Travel memories, works of art, green velvets, and the turgid leaves of well-tended plants; Shila resembles your home at its best. The building is a 1920s residence, each room a precious box with rounded corners, grit floors, high ceilings and pleasingly chipped walls. The day after, Greek morning light floods the room, and you recognise the Aegean Sea and its clear breeze. Shila is a place devoid of weaknesses and imbued with a depth that makes you want to stay.

In Athens lives a friend we have never met; this house is also a little bit hers.

Words Meraviglia Paper. Photographs Pia Riverola, cover by Adrianna Glaviano.

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