The houses may be traditional in their bones but interior designer Nicolo Castellini Baldissera takes them to the next level with his inventive use of colour and pattern. Vibrant and full of life his rooms are a mix of antique and new with treasures collected along life’s journey, enriched with the vibrant hues of which he is so enamoured. Traditional with a twist.
Whenever I’ve been asked what to do with ugly orange-stained knotty pine walls or ceilings I have always had one answer… paint them, paint it all! Sometimes you can’t. You could be renting, you might not have the money or the time to invest in such a big job. Then I came across this log cabin styled by Susan Burns and it was an epiphany. The knotty pine walls and ceilings are the perfect foil for the white furniture and soft furnishings. OK the brick fireplace and some of the floors have been painted but the often overpowering orange wood has definitely been softened by what I’m calling the “white within”. A pretty solution don’t you think?
Such a beautiful home and a beautiful story. Keeping things traditional today. Dating back to 1555 this beautiful Grade II listed property has both an impressive history and a fascinating human story. Having been owned by a particular family for some generations, it was sold by the current owner’s grandmother when he was just a boy. Although he was very young at the time, the sale greatly affected him. He vowed that as an adult he would buy back the house which had brought him so many happy childhood memories – a goal which he recently achieved much to the delight of his family. We were thrilled to be approached by the family to help restore the house to its natural grandeur. We began by stripping away to rediscover original features, such as beautiful wooden panelling and magnificent stone fireplaces, which had become lost under layers of incongruous decoration. Our clients wanted a graceful yet contemporary feel which we achieved by using a light colour scheme and natural materials. Designed by Sims Hilditch.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Catherine has 2 apartments in the gorgeous southern France town of Carcassonne, and this one I am head over heels in love with. Look at those mirrors – and they match the moldings!! And those windows!! I am really craving a trip to France now. I have never been and now am dying to go more than ever. Thank you so much Catherine for sharing these with us! (Available here on Airbnb)
Catherine (of the blog Taste of France) has been following our blog forever, and kindly emailed us recently with some photos of a couple of 17th century apartments in Carcassonne, France that she owns and renovated over the past year. Not an easy feat it seems as she had to adhere to strict requirements of the Batîments de France (and expensive headache). It started as one gigantic (2000 square foot) apartment that we split in two because there were two entrances. That meant adding a kitchen and bathroom, but our possibilities were dictated by the historic authorities. The last renovation seemed to have been in the 1970s; we changed all the windows, wiring, plumbing and had all the ancient tomette floors restored. It was a challenge, with 2-foot-thick stone walls (just try running wiring through that), and other walls made of straw and lime. But it was above all a labor of love. We decorated with antiques. The furnishings either were bought from the previous owner or come from local brocantes, flea markets and the like. Also leboncoin.fr which is the French equivalent of craigslist. I made the drapes myself. You can’t buy 3.5-meter drapes readymade, and custom was out of my budget. The apartments are vacation rentals and we don’t see the attraction of going on vacation in France in a place that has the same Ikea furniture found around the globe; everything is locally sourced. The building is older than Haussmannian, dating to the 1600s, but it was renovated a century later with lots of high-relief moldings above the marble fireplaces. Doves, flowers, lutes…. I’m seriously ready to start scouring the internet for a deal on a flight to France so I can shack up here. So gorgeous!!!! Here’s the link to the Airbnb listing if you’re interested in a dreamy France vacay. (Stay tuned tomorrow for the other apartment).
Had to include at least one before the renos. Here is the bathroom before…