Sculptor and furniture designer Otmar Prenner reconstructed his own home, a mountain chalet nestled in the foothills of Vinschgau, a comune in South Tyrol, northern Italy. He purchased the dilapidated 14th century farm from his uncle with the hope of someday fixing it up. He had spent the past twenty years living in Munich, so there was not much impact to the stone building which has a living room, pantry and a hayloft. After the renovation began, the designer visited often and eventually had the desire to make it a permanent residence. The ruins were transformed into a modern chalet with the help of the designers brother who is a carpenter and his father and uncle who also became enthusiastically involved in the process. The distribution of the floor plan was reconfigured to meet the lifestyle needs of the homeowner. Where the former living room was, there is now a bedroom, a new home office was configured into one of the staircases, and an open plan kitchen, dining and living room were created. The designer enjoyed walking along beams during constructed, so he decided to incorporate them into the interior. The design is very functional and immaculate, with almost everything in the house custom designed by Otmar, who is a sculptor, painter, designer and decorator. Wood proved to be a beautiful material in the new chalet, which can be seen as an element used throughout the interiors and the exterior facade. Modular furnishings decorate the spaces, with a mix of designer items, as well as vintage and antique finds.
This alpine home is situated off the beaten path from the nearest village, where there was initially no water or electricity. Now is is fully equipped to live here year round, with the occasional drive to replenish food. The area is very pristine, which can be seen through picture windows in the home, which showcases snow-capped peaks.
We have featured some stunning mountain chalets in the past here on 1 Kindesign, take a look: Contemporary luxury chalet in The Yellowstone Club and Chalet Pearl with jaw-dropping mountain views.
On one of the staircases, Otmar built a home office for himself.
The hallway floor is comprised of marble from the village of Laas, with vases designed by Otmar Prennera.
The scenery of this mountain village of only fifty inhabitants is very beautiful. The nearest town with a supermarket is a half an hour by car.
Photos: AD Magazine
This 17th century country residence was renovated and historically preserved for a family with a passion for art and design by Visionnaire, located in Bologna, Italy. Rolling hills covered with cypress trees surrounds the ancient villa, an imposing structure that features classical lines. The three-story home had been abandoned and neglected for years and was in need of new life being infused back into it. The home is that is designer Eleonora Cavalli, creative director of Visionnaire, the Bologna-based company that since 1959 creates furnishings and beautiful design. Generous outdoor spaces offers plenty of area for entertaining family and friends, with a garden sofa and chairs designed by Visionnaire. Inside, an open plan living room and kitchen features darker wood beams on the ceiling that contrasts nicely with the lighter wood plank flooring that travels throughout the interiors. All furnishings are the exclusive design of Visionnaire. The walls are hunts with works of famous artists, decor features sculptures and artists’ proofs. A bevelled edge glass bookcase houses the homeowner’s extensive book collection, which is overflowed into the basement. The basement is an inmate space that not only offers bookcases but more of the owner’s art collection and the perfect space to accommodate overnight guests.
A staircase leads to the upper levels, which showcases a preserved wall of brick to emphasize the structure’s past. The sunlit bedrooms on the upper level are filled with Visionnaire furnishings. Bathrooms feature colorful mosaic tiles. The finished result is a perfect blend of rustic and luxurious, classic and modern… simply fantastic! What do you think?
We have featured many Italian countryside villas here on 1 Kindesign, take a peek: Italian dream villa reminiscent of a knight’s castle and Picturesque dwelling in the Italian countryside.
Photos: Courtesy of Visionnaire
An old stable has been converted into a stunning loft apartment with original details by MdAA Associated Architects, located in Trastevere, the 13th rione of Rome, Italy. The region played host to many stables up until the late 1900s, with the barns being more spacious that the typical homes in the area. They were typically covered with immense trusses, which was preserved in the restructuring of the home. The interiors feature soaring ceilings, with the tallest hight being 32 feet. The biggest design challenge to fulfill on the client’s brief involved the master bedroom retreat. They desired to have complete privacy in this space, completely closing it off from the main living spaces on the ground level, where voices would carry. Wood flooring flows throughout the entire space of the home, which helps to infuse it with warmth. Above the living room is the bedroom structure, which takes on a tree house effect. A private retreat away from all the disturbances of the social spaces. This space is suspended high off the ground, with structural supports that emulate a tree trunk. The geometry of this private zone takes on an unusual shape, comprised of pieces of riveted iron.
Custom bookshelves creates a nice little niche against the wall for reading. The light fixtures have been well placed throughout the home to help set the mood. The ceiling has been punctuated with skylights to help diffuse natural light into the home. The finishing result is an intriguing apartment design that has a warm aesthetic and spatial intimacy, while at the same time fulfilling a childhood fantasy of a treehouse.
Our favorite design feature of this conversion is how the heart of the home is the master bedroom, an intimate treehouse design within the interior of a home. It doesn’t get much cooler than that! What do you think? If you were inspired by this old stable conversion, we have featured a couple of others here on 1 Kindesign awhile back: 18th century horse stable converted into artist’s loft and Monumental Coach House breathes new life.
Photos: Massimo D’alessandro
A stone farmhouse, Villa Noci, part of the Castello di Reschio estate, is a charming display of rustic architecture, located in the rolling hills of Umbria, Italy. Originally constructed in the 17th century, the property is nestled in a lush field of olive and cypress groves with a stunning infinity pool. A luxury retreat, the home was jut recently renovated with three bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. Featuring all the amenities you could possibly want in a home away from home, but with the added perk of the estate’s staff waiting to pamper you. Outdoors there are two covered pergola terraces and one loggia, a perfect spot to relax, dine and enjoy the fresh smells of the gardens and panoramic views.
To stay at this fabulous retreat, rates range from $1,210 – $1,906 per night, from here.
Inside, an open concept living, dining and kitchen area creates a spacious and breezy atmosphere that is very inviting. Nods to the buildings heritage includes old world porcelain tiling throughout, vaulted ceilings and a grand fireplace in the living room, mixed with modern additions of arched windows and doors. The design aesthetic is cozy and modern, with all the comforts of home. In the main house there are two en-suite bedrooms, one with a beautiful fireplace, study and private loggia with access to the gardens. There is also a guest annex with its own living area and kitchen as well as bedroom and bathroom.
We have featured other sensational Italian vacation villas here on 1 Kindesign, in case you missed them, have a look at a couple of our past favorites: Restoration of a historic castle in Tuscany and Converted farmhouse into a luxury villa in Tuscany.
25 Green was designed by Luciano Pia as a residential steel structure appearing like a forest where trees are rooting in terraces, located in Torino, Italy. Built in 2012, the building has been thought as a living forest, a house on the trees like the houses children dream of and sometimes build. The property also features ponds which are crossed by footings and lush gardens covering the roofs.
The project comes from the necessity of making a residential building of 80,729 square feet (7500 square meters) to complement a block featured by lack of homogeneity and heterogeneous prospects. The aim of the project is both the construction of the block perimeter with a continuous facade and the making of a filter between the internal inhabited space and the streets. The project wants to create a flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable. The smooth and changeable transition is emphasized by a targeted use of the green and the building materials so to create a structure which is compact and distinct but also transparent, mutable and enjoyable.
It is a special building because it is alive: it grows up, it breaths and it changes since 150 trees with tall trunks cover its terraces. Together with 50 trees planted in the court garden they produce oxygen, absorb carbonic anhydride, cut down air pollution, protect from noise, follow the natural cycle of Seasons, grow up day after day and create a perfect microclimate inside the building so diminuishing the fall and rise in temperature in summertime and wintertime.
The streeps in solid wood that floor the terraces filter the sunlight in summer, while in winter they let the light break into the house. The wainscot in larch shingles is a sort of soft and vibrant surface. The metal structures look like trees and they “grow” from the groundfloor to the roof while holding up the wooden planking of the terraces: they become entwined with the vegetation to form a unique facade.
One of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green.
There are 63 residential units in the building and they are all different and fitted with wide terraces of irregular shapes that surround the trees. The last floor is covered with private green roofs.
The green is diversified: big vases on the terraces, court gardens, green walls and roof gardens just in front of the lofts.
In the vases there are trees or shrubs of different heights from 2.5 meters to 8 meters. Deciduous species have been planted to have sun irradiation in wintertime too. The choise of the species, even if diversified according to the different needs, has been made to grant a variety of leaves, colors and flowering.
When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house. You can dream of a house or live in a dream!
Photos: Beppe Giardino
From the architects: Casa Pina white and bright, as we all imagine an apartment on the sea. Resin, walls and white boiserie bring out the “frake”, a wood with many contrasts of light and dark, used for all furniture. Natural light ripples on the wave of artificial light, which softens and gives taste to the rigid lines and square volumes of the walls.
The table divides the kitchen from the dining room, both are bounded by a closed / open boiserie.
The white is imperative and enhances the window overlooking the terrace, from which you can admire the garden and breathe the typical atmosphere of the sea.
And the eye runs through the bed of the master bedroom that shows a glimpse of the precious vessels of the bathroom on one side, and the panoramic terrace on the other, and, on request, the view is obscured by an electric curtain.
Photos: Fabrizio Carraro
Corte San Pietro Hotel is an abandoned structure that was beautifully restored into a luxury hotel by architect Daniela Amoroso, located in Matera, Italy. Matera is one of the most ancient cities in the world and its territory contains the evidence of human settlements as from the Palaeolithic times.
The Sassi districts, World Heritage site, are the original urban core of the city and, based on natural caves, they have been further extended over the millenniums to be turned into even more complex structures.An intricate network of streets, alleyways, inner courtyards and neighborhoods overlooked by habitations of all sizes, ancient defensive walls, towers, warehouses, wine cellars and cisterns. A never-ending excavated and built system.
In the very heart of the Sassi district, an abandoned structure in disuse dating back to the XVII. C and which surrounds an internal courtyard has been restored and reinvented to be turned into new spaces of a 5,381 square foot (500 square meters) hotel.
Useless architectural contaminations and superfluous layers of pavement have been removed, uncovering the original tufa stonework topped with vaults: the historical structure has been laid bare, as an architectural evidence to confront and dialogue with. In this search for essence, authentic, pure space free from excess, we can recognize the Wabi spirit conceived by the Belgian Axel Vervoordt.
The historical places, full of an attractive identity, harmoniously and precisely combine to the comfort and to the refined and elegant design.
Turned into refined hotel rooms, the former habitations at the ground floor overlook an internal courtyard which, thanks to long and accurate restoration works, is characterized by an original stone pavement called “a chiancarelle”.
Enlightened with candle lights in the evening, the courtyard becomes very cozy and intimate, giving a sense of protection.
The rooms located all around the courtyard are rigorously monochromatic, characterized by chestnut brown shades, from the beige of the stone to the brown of the wood and the weathering steel. Soil, stone pavement and the natural colour of the stone become wall, ceiling and sitting.
The constant search for a connection between the various inner rooms and the landscape is the very base of this combination of local stone, wood and iron in each single room with different proportions according to a linear and essential design. Poor elements usually combined to a country style become light and modern.
The linen curtains of the entrance doors skillfully made by hand let a bright light reach the first area of each room dedicated to sitting/living area and relax whereas the following private areas carved out from the rock face, are enlightened through skylights from the vaults. These small windows, from above, allow beams of light to alternate with large dark intimate areas.
Tufa arches introduce to bathrooms, intimate and cozy spaces featured by niches and cavities now containing large stone bathtubs or showers.
The interior design is based on restored vintage furnishings and typical tools. Nature and timeworn objects perfectly suit each single room through various furnishing elements: old benches in century-old chestnut tree become either doors, shelves or tables, old wooden chairs frames become towel holders, tree logs become stools or bedside tables.
The whole hotel develop horizontally all around an area, the courtyard, characterized by slight differences of level and surrounded by five rooms, the reception hall and the breakfast room, in an ancient typical system which features the whole structure.
Under the hotel, below ground, are located eight bell-shaped cisterns, evidence of the former system for the collection of the rainwaters and excellent example of sustainability. Rainwaters were forwarded through gutters, drainpipes and channelings down to the cisterns connected to the habitations. Cisterns are visitable through narrow inner passages. Going through the changeable silence of a cave and adapting ourselves to these dark environments means to be immersed into another dimension, where it is possible to seize the deepest and ancestral meaning of these places, of this land. It is a place where to feed our souls and feel a strong well-being.
From the entrance in Via B. Buozzi, visitors are greeted as in a private house in the graceful and cozy reception, elegantly furnished, through which it is possible to access the private courtyard.
Photos: PierMario Ruggeri
Casa MT is a modern renovation project centered around the extension of an existing detached house by architect Rocco Borromini, located in Traona, Italy. The lot on which the intervention was, nestled in the mountains of Valtellina Rhaetian, is bordered to the east by the bed of a small stream, bordered to the north and west with the typical terraced vineyards to the south and enjoys a view of the valley and Orobian. The existing building, from traditional architectural composition, is placed in the frieze at the creek.
The intervention of extension consists of two parts. The first, used as a bedroom and bathroom, spread over 60 square meters on two levels, is located upstream of the existing house, and it takes the shape. Regarding the finishing of the interior of this area you have chosen to use an ash termocotto wall and a light marble lightly brushed to the floor and the shower.
The second part, with a surface indicative of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters), is used as a kitchen, pantry, bathroom, dining and living area with a swimming pool and is characterized by a play of volumes floors, fully clad in natural stone, for the most part covered with vegetation and open to the valley through two large windows.
The design idea arises from the need to relate to the pre-existence, from the choice of what dematerialize as possible the volumes causing them to become an integral part of the context, as a result of a major excavation in rock we proceeded to restore the original section terraced making them they themselves of the terraces.
For the flooring of the kitchen, bathroom and to the lining of the pool you chose to use an absolute black granite, sandblasted and brushed while the flooring in the living area and the area adjacent to the pool was used ash termocotto, this’ last choice to leave a strong interconnection between interior and exterior.
Also in this context it was decided to pay particular attention to alignment between interior and exterior through windows completely collected on all four sides, with sections of very thin profiles despite important light.
Photos: Marcello Mariana
This private house in the foothills of northern Italy was designed by Caprioglio Associati Architects for a couple who wished to trade a tiny apartment for a renovated farmhouse in the country. The couple wanted to move out of the city of Asolo to move to the country where they could start a family. They moved a short drive from Asolo to an area called Monfumo, or “silent hills.” After two years of searching and three real estate agents later, they found a crumbling and abandoned farmhouse with an overgrown vineyard, tucked away amidst the rolling hills. They were not able to raise the existing structure due to strict government protections of existing buildings. It would have been faster and cheaper to tear down the existing structure, yet the homeowners liked its character so much, they wanted to keep thinking their home would be the old structure.
After preserving the exterior facade, the interior was given a modern update. Because this was once a farmer’s house to store crops, the rooms were tiny and there were a lot of them. The homeowners wanted a luminous space to capture the beauty of the surrounding environment. They wanted their living areas to be at the very top to make the most of the light. The most defining element of the first floor is a massive central staircase and catwalk system composed of glass and steel. Due to the high volume of the structure, the team decided that the home would be comprised of four floors connected via an elevator accessed from an underground garage and wine cellar.
The homeowners wanted. The homeowner stated that
Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
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