Tradition meets today in this old farmstead where laidback leisure and long lunches outdoors typify life. Step inside to discover it’s luxurious new style
A traditional Tuscan farmhouse is fitted with luxurious interior style
Elisa, Diego and their two children, Niccolò and Tilda, occupy part of the farmhouse facing the pool and boasting a small tower. “Like my sister, I too have a past in the fashion world,” says Elisa. “After some very intense and tiring years in Bologna, my partner and I decided to move to Tuscany. Also like my sister, after the death of my father, I chose to leave the family fashion business. I treated myself to a few years break from work. But then, my two children were born, which meant not much tranquility, but immense happiness and love.”
Elisa also shares with her sister a passion for cooking. She and Diego have decided to start a food-related business, which they are enthusiastic but also a little secretive about at this stage. “I cannot disclose specific details, but I’m thrilled,” Elisa says. “My husband and I have always had a business dream about food, and now it seems it is becoming reality. Also, my two children are going to kindergarten, so I have plenty of time to devote to this new work.”
Meanwhile, the two content themselves cooking for family and their many friends, who are happy to visit their farmhouse and taste their delicacies. Not surprisingly, the house features a large kitchen just metres from the main entrance. Cross the front porch into this large but cosy room, and you know you are in the friendly and cheerful heart of the home. Everything revolves around this space, designed using contemporary materials, such as marble and steel, and generously proportioned so there is plenty of room for the cooks at work. “Here we cook better than in a restaurant,” says Elisa. “I love spending long hours in this room.”
She and Diego wanted to maintain the old fireplace and bread oven, which have been restored and are perfectly integrated into the new custom-made kitchen, designed by B-arch. A large island creates a dynamic environment. It’s perfect for friends to sit at and enjoy the atmosphere while the cooking is going on. Breakfasts and casual meals are often eaten at the breakfast bar, while seated on the black barstools by Gubi. A large wooden cupboard maintains the rustic theme.
Passion for cooking is contagious, and indeed it seems to have spread into all the areas near the kitchen. Much space is dedicated to large custom-made tables, again designed by B-arch, inside or under the porticos.
The house, which is built on three floors with original stairs and exposed stone walls, is packed with a mix of streamlined contemporary elements and vintage objects, patiently collected by Elisa with her sister. Informal yet elegant, the large living room adjacent to the dining room is dotted with sophisticated design elements, such as the vintage leather armchair with footrest, the woven wool Moroccan carpet and the suspended metallic library, which resembles an exotic and charming bird cage (also designed by B-arch studio).
Upstairs, the nursery is also colourful and full of life. The bright carpet designed by Gam has an Alice in Wonderland feel. “I’m in love with this room,” says Elisa. “I love the old-style furniture and the colours, so vivid and poetic at the same time. The truth is that every time I enter this room I feel like a carefree little girl.”
As with her sister’s residence, Elisa’s takes as much advantage of the lush green exterior as possible, not least in the rooms by the shared swimming pool.
The owners have created an environment that perfectly meets their needs and reflects their taste, typified by, for example, the selected elegant pieces, such as the Roll & Hill chandelier in the dining room, combined with simple wooden elements, like the big table with its raw wooden top. The effect is both eccentric and surprisingly discreet, rather than attention-seeking, so that anyone will feel at home.
Words by: Marzia Nicolini. Photography by: Monica Spezia/Living Inside.