Three hundred ballot boxes turn an ex-industrial space used for carpentry into a spacious and original loft in Florence, Italy designed by b-arch architecture. The property was once a dyeworks in the nineteenth century, a carpenter’s workshop in the fifties, today ‘Box House’ is the residential loft of an architect whose design language and signature style is the fusion of modern and antique. Alessandro Capellaro and his partner Sabrina Bignami of B-arch architecture studio are both interested in the integration of contemporary language into historical contexts.
The architect has the challenge of foreseeing the potential of a space that might look very different from the final project, renovating it in a modern key, and adapting it to modern aesthetics and ways of life that still preserve the charm and essence of the historic atmosphere. As soon as Capellaro saw this space, he knew he wanted to transform the ex-industrial carpentry area into his own living room. “Behind the saws and planers that submerged from the wood, I saw an open space, free from conventions and full of memories.”
His design aimed to free up the space, removing partitions and replacing extant small windows with much larger ones that go all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, in order to create extra-large, bright space. But the memory of the old carpenter’s workshop is not dismissed, but it is indeed evoked in a new, original and fun way through the distinctive furniture which is the true, leading character of the house.
Three hundred wooden boxes – authentic ballot boxes from the 1940s – are arranged in every room, acting as creative boiserie in the dining room, a mobile counter in the kitchen, as a cupboard, couch, desk, and even bed. Sensing the enormous creative potential in these boxes, the architect purchased them en bloc at an auction with the intention of turning them into shelves or real base modules with which to design very personal furniture.
The natural wood tones are also found in the industrial hardwood flooring that paves all environments. The harmonic shades of this material are maintained and matched in relation with other materials used, such as cement which accents soft and natural atmospheres, or iron; originally used as coating in the bathroom.
Even more fascinating is the contrast of the colorful design pieces that architect has surrounded himself with, collected over time, or of the vintage lamps of his own production, paintings and vases. Original Robin Day chairs from the sixties surround the old dining table and “readymade” found objects that come directly from the streets are located at the entrance, such as the operating-room lamp.
In this modern loft in the heart of the historical center of Florence, pieces of personal life relate dialectically with recycled objects in an installation that relates both to collective national memory and to fresh, real life.
This stunning carpenter’s villa found on Skona Hem is a private residence from the 1800’s, situated in Dalarö just outside Stockholm, Sweden. The homeowner’s purchased this house unseen and left the city life behind for a dream life in Dalarö. The house showcases a neutral color palette and calm atmosphere with antique touches throughout. Contemporary finds have been mixed with artifacts picked up from auction houses and flea markets.
Music room has been painted a dark gray color with two eye-catching gooseneck arm, bowling pins from the U.S. and rug from IKEA.
A contemporary fireplace is a focal point in the salon.
The prints and paintings in the living room come from auctions and garage sales.
In the hall stands an antique table bought at the auction house Metropol. It was bright green from the beginning, but now is painted black. Even the checkered floor is painted. Beautiful double doors lead into the living room.
White bedroom with lamps from Ikea and bedspread from Lexington.
Photos: Lina Östling
A few steps away from Madrid, Spain’s Retiro Park is this special house featuring beautiful interior details, spotted on Mi Casa. The original structure has been historically preserved, which highlights the emphatic presence of a solid platform of great beauty and staggered openings of some large windows decorated with mouldings. The quaint home features antique and vintage finds creating a unique decoration designed by the owner of the home.
His passion for travel coupled with the attraction of flea market finds creates a special environment. With a classic taste and his love of the collections, each piece of furniture, seat or embellishment creates an ideal setting. Mixing styles creates this retro-chic style, where eclecticism becomes a conductive thread between spaces. Solid wood, chairs metal, aged leather, methacrylate, crystal, etc., dominate equally in interior design. A passion for furniture and objects of the past is evident, where even new furnishings were chosen with an antiqued finish.
The bedrooms are also infused by the charm of the markets mixed with pieces from distant countries. The kitchen and the bathroom, on the other hand, are the most modern rooms of the house, with new fittings, updated appliances and current furnishings of straight lines and simple appearance as well as easy maintenance. Currently this property can be rented through www.ivoryescapes.com.
In this newly built house, spotted on Mi Casa, situated in a town near Madrid, Spain the project of interior design was carried out with loving care by designer Rocío Olmo. The guideline of the designer’s aesthetic was to create a home with a serene decor, full of style and personality. Furnishings of current lines were alternated with exclusive pieces and design models.
Daring color combinations were chosen to add personality to the interiors. In the main living areas, an intense shade of blue captures all attention and brings serenity and elegance in equal measure. The designer combined with success a background in white with exclusive golden notes and selected accessories in leather and wood, adding warmth to the space with texture and tonality.
The living room, a very luminous space, was divided into two seating areas that coexist in harmony, despite different aesthetics, one with contemporary details, collected and classical, next to the fireplace. The flexibility in the distribution was achieved through the use of auxiliary parts. Rocío Olmo has managed to unify rooms with a mixture of styles on the first floor through the use of color. In addition, various lines enrich the decoration, combining straight strokes with others that are more sinuous and rounded, present in the floral prints chosen for textiles and furniture design. Striped wallpaper is prolonged on the walls of the staircase on the first floor, melding to a more delicate motif distributed through the bedrooms.
The shabby chic look usually has a lot of white, neutrals, and bright interiors. Characteristics of the beach life, comfortably worn and casual interiors bring the shabby chic life into your interiors effortlessly. The main characteristic of shabby chic interior design is aged and distressed furniture. It could be chosen for its appearance of age with all these signs of wear and tear or it can be distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique. That is a quite soft style which fits perfectly for cottages but can be used at your home too. It easily can add a feminine touch to any interior and make it quite unique. Here are some tips to bring the casual elegance of shabby chic details into the interiors of your home.
How Do You Shabby?
Go On a Furniture Safari: Stop by the local flea market, salvage shops, second hand stores or find an Estate sale in your neighborhood, also consider Craigslist and EBay. You are on the hunt for older pieces with curved lines and an undeniable vintage flair. Shabby Chic furniture tends to be on the large side; comfortable, soft and inviting. For those that are creative; painting and stressing a furniture piece to reflect the time worn look will help to achieve your end goal.
Colorize Softly: White is recommended for the walls as it’s subtle and provides the perfect backdrop to the layers of soft pastels that will be interwoven; pastel pink, light beige, egg shell blues and other romantic combinations bring the color scheme full circle. Shabby wallpaper – which incorporates a floral motif – can be found in most stores and would also work well, as it will play into the vintage elegance of this design.
Bring In The Fabrics: No rules to follow here as long as it compliments your decorating scheme overall. Consider softer fabrics that you might find in your Grandma’s attic, cotton, toiles, lace and chenille in beautiful prints, stripes, flowers or other patterns. Anything goes. Use fabrics for slip covers, arm chair covers, as well as for your window treatments.
Accessorizing: There is a certain sparkle to be added to a Shabby Chic flair, consider a beautiful chandelier that dances on the ceiling when the sunlight hits it, or picture frames that glisten with silver or gold – just enough that it will catch your eye. Toss pillows made with a vintage fabric on the sofa, and use a timeless throw made of vintage materials. You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers in crystal vases or live green plants.
If you are trying to recreate the casual essentials of shabby chic in your home, these tips will help to get you started. Keep in mind this design style is supposed to look timeless and comfortable. While you can have formal details, the overall aesthetic should make you want to escape the busy world outside and retreat into soft tones, comfortable fabrics, and a vintage vibe inside your home. This is a beautiful trending style and we have plenty of different spaces decorated in shabby chic that will hopefully bring some interesting ideas and inspiration to your design project.
Do you love shabby chic? Have you have adopted or planning to adopt shabby chic interiors into your home? Please let us know in the comments section below!
Malinard Manor is a luxurious dream home situated in Austin, Texas, designed by Cravotta Studios. This spectacular project took six years to complete, with a castle-like interior and impeccable detailing that is out of this world. The architect designed this dream home for a retired couple with a rather large budget and extraordinary ideas. The inspiration for the decor and finishes of this dream home required research into Tudor, Jacobean and Gothic architectural styles, as well as incorporating the client’s love for dark and macabre theater. This luxurious home displays remarkable artisanship and historical design in every detail. Every piece of woodwork and stonework was drawn out and created by skilled artisans. The furnishings are a mixture of custom pieces that were designed by the architect, as well as European antiques and a few pieces brought in from high-end manufacturers. The bar sits on the upper level and was inspired by post-Renaissance and Gothic periods. The home’s light fixtures were hand-picked, a combination of antique fixtures and the architects own designs, if he couldn’t find it, he had it made.
An upstairs bar with a balcony looks down over the kitchen and adjoining family room.
The limestone fireplace took a year to complete; the stone was given a unique aged look with olive oil, applied by hand.
French limestone was used for the countertops and backsplash, while the cabinetry is solid walnut.
One of three individually climate controlled wine bays within the cellar.
A cellar at the bottom of the house holds the couple’s impressive wine collection.
Detail of leather flooring.
Shabby Chic interior design entails distressed finishes, soft as well as delicate colors, mixing checks, stripes, and flower-patterned fabrics, using a rumpled but neat look, and using home decor that is worn but also elegant. If you want to decorate with a Shabby Chic style in your home, use mostly vintage decor and comfortable slip-covered furniture, and try mixing new decor that appears old and worn. The end result is a delightfully decorated space that features a comfortable, lived-in look. Shabby Chic decorating ideas are abundant; you will probably find fresh cut flowers, antique lace tablecloths, scented candles and crystals hanging from the antique chandelier. All in all, you will be comfortable and at home with Shabby Chic if you enjoy a soft, floral, feminine style of decor mixed with edgy vintage elements. Below we feature a collection 43 of the most unique and inspiring Shabby Chic interiors from homes across the globe. Let us know what you think, which one most inspires you?
A spacious apartment filled with bright light is nestled in the village of Girona, a city in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains. This cozy two bedroom apartment is organized into two heights, with the lounge centered around a cozy fireplace. The simplicity of the furniture and accessories were chosen for its decoration and are responsible for the special charm that they transmit throughout. Everything fits in this space; Nordic furniture coexists wonderfully with pieces of antique and rustic air accessories. The generously sized kitchen communicates with the dining room through a large serving hatch to facilitate the movement of food on the weekends. The open counter in the kitchen is used for casual dining with bar stools from Ikea. The sloping nature of the house housing made it possible to open holes in walls and the sloping roofs by placing many skylights. This renewal in the structure of the house increased the entry of natural light and ventilation in almost all of the spaces. Bleached pine wood and honey-colored finished oak combines in a nice contrast throughout. The internal structure of the master bedroom is the most ingenious of all. A wall of wood at medium height along the bed as a headboard creates, at the same time, a small dressing room on the other side. Via
Villa Michaela sits majestically atop a mountainside with magnificent views over the floating temples of Wat Plai Laem and out across the ocean in Koh Samui, Thailand. Upon entrance through a palace like, ancient wooden entrance gate is an eye-catching contemporary stone waterfall feature and beautiful inner courtyard. This contrast of contemporary and antique styles sets the tone for the rest of this impressive property. A wide tiled walkway leads directly through to the main living space. On either side of the walkway there is a sitting area and a pond with wide stepping stones leading to the wooden decked entrances of two bedroom pavilions.
Stepping into the starkly contrasting interior of the main living space, one is faced with a wall of glass overlooking the pool and the sensational views. The contemporary minimalistic black and white styling has just the right amount of accessories and touches to make it aesthetically pleasing, interesting and comfortable. The choice of accessories, artworks and ornaments are distinctly Asian in origin and antique in design adding a sense of history to an otherwise very modern space.
The entrance courtyard features two identical bedroom pavilions that sit on either side and each contains two double en-suite bedrooms. A glass door opens to reveal a pebble surrounded sunken terrazzo tub which is the size of a small plunge pool, beyond that is a rain shower which is partially open to the sky with a bamboo cover. The en-suites for these four bedrooms epitomize the vision of extreme island luxury. A lower level features a billiards/games room, home cinema room, and another double bedroom. A private spa with a dedicated massage room, steam room, bathroom and shower room completes this fabulous villa.
What do you think of this fascinating villa? For rent from $900-2,000/night here.
This beautiful stone house is located in the district of Jose Ignacio, Uruguay on 2 km of coastline of fine sandy beaches, secluded lagoons and creeks. This three-year-old house was constructed from local fieldstones and materials that had been salvaged from older houses nearby. The structure was designed Argentine-based architect Guillermo Alonso Reyes, so that every room including the kitchen has an ocean view. Polished concrete floors run throughout the spaces.
The home is on a two-and-a-half-acre property with a swimming pool, a rock garden and landscaping dotted with native plants. The great room feature dramatic 20-foot high ceilings and a wall of French doors that spills out onto the terrace. The beautiful gourmet island kitchen features a hand-made 100-year-old pinewood cutting board. The cabinetry is custom antique pine wood, and the 80-year-old English porcelain farm sink was discovered in a local antique shop. The countertop material is Carrara marble. The home also features maidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quarters located just off the kitchen. The home contains four bedrooms, two on each side of the great room, designed with exposed stone walls, French doors and en-suite bathrooms.
The stone arches in the great room are held together by compression, not masonry.
An island in the kitchen is topped with Carrara marble. The cabinets are pine. There are polished concrete floors throughout the house.
The kitchen sink is porcelain. It is 80 years old and was found in a nearby antique shop.
The bedrooms are laid out with two on each side of the great room. Windows brighten the hallway leading to one pair of bedrooms.
The bedrooms all have exposed stone walls, French doors and en-suite bathrooms.
The bathtub, right, is fashioned from a depression in the concrete floor of the room. Each bathroom also has a stall shower.
The house is a long, narrow rectangle, laid out so that every room faces water.
An antique tub in one of the bathrooms. Lavender grows outside the window.
This gallery is an informal outdoor dining area off the kitchen. The wooden beams that shade the patio were reclaimed from an older house in the area.
Lavender seen in silhouette through the curtains.
A view out to the pool. Light is abundant with skylights and windows throughout and the interiors are decorated in earthy tones and with exquisite taste.
A terrace on the roof gives a view of the surrounding countryside.
The home has 100-year-old roof tiles and ceilings with exposed aged wood beams, giving the house an antique charm but with modern comforts.
The property features a very large deck complete with barbecue that opens out onto the lawn and swimming pool with hydro-massage and solarium.
The front door is made from reclaimed pine and antique iron hinges.
The lighthouse. Jose Ignacio is a resort town with upscale restaurants and a spa. It’s about a mile from the house.
Photos: Horacio Paone