18 February 2011

O Mio Babbino.....Villa

In 2008, I was fortunate to be invited to the Tuscan countryside. I pondered the offer and with a little arm twisting I conceded... Oh, who am I kidding? The word Italy wasn't even fully out of the person's mouth and I was screaming and packing. This would be my first visit to a place I had dreamed of for years. Two things always came to my mind when imagining Italy - the food and the men - in no particular order of importance. I just knew that every meal was going to be a spiritual experience and I was really hoping to be harassed by swarthy Roman gods.

I didn't ever expect that what would unhinge me most would be the villa we called home for 7 glorious days. Situated between Florence and Siena, just getting to the place was an adventure of winding dirt roads, hair-pin angles, and wrong turns. But when we finally arrived it was as if I had stepped into an interior design, x-rated, fantasy. To hell with the ravioli and the pisanos! That week my eyes feasted on sumptuous furniture and my bathroom was my lover.....

Mother Nature - the ultimate designer.

Even I put on a bathing suit for a dip in this pool.

This bedroom was drenched in baking, hot, sun all day. There was air conditioning but we never used it. The extraordinary simplicity of the interior wooden shutters, closed during the warmest times of the day, kept the room cool. At night just throw open the windows for the breeze.

The aforementioned "Lover" bathroom. I spent a lot of time in there.

Amazing that even with, literally, tons of marble, limestone, brick, soapstone, and boulders, that the space felt so warm. Only one wall in this room was plaster - even the vaulted ceiling was made of brick; and yet, it was the epitome of "homey".

Another view of the kitchen. I hate cooking but could spend my life here. The blue enameled refrigerator was modeled after an old ice box - love that blend of old and new. Unexpected and fabulous. It was virtually impossible to open, which left the men in the group wondering why in the world someone would own a fridge that requires two people to open it, but the women understood! It's stunning - it stays!

My apologies for the blurry photo but I wanted to share my favorite design of the entire place. It is a little difficult to see but the railing in the stairway is actually a very thick cord of rope attached to the wall with curtain rod brackets. Genius! I imagine trying to convince my less sophisticated clients to consider this in the proper venue. "A rope? Why would I use a rope?! Do people do that?" Oh, people....If you have to ask you just don't get it.

No comments: