Make use of natural colours such as off-whites, creams, black, grey and earthy browns.
Crooked walls with layers and layers of centuries-old paint are just one of the imperfections that made us fall in love with this gorgeous home.
Giuseppe’s home near Reggio Emilia is a rural paradise of cultivated fields, old vineyards, centuries-old oaks and rows of mulberry trees. Giuseppe’s apartment was added to the compound at the beginning of the 19’h century to store crops on the lower floor while the farmers lived upstairs. This is the world where he grew up…
Life is a garden
It was here that Giuseppe learned how precious country life is and about the cycle of growing products and maintaining a garden. Above all, he realised the importance and beauty of the agrestal landscape. All this led him to study agronomy and later on to specialise in landscape and garden architecture. The originality of his apartment lies in the close connection between inside and outside, as if it is all one big garden.
‘In all my work,’ says Giuseppe, ‘the relationship between the interior and exterior of the house is a priority. I like to see it as if the garden was entering the house in a gentle way, on tiptoe. I like to use plants in pots as if they are pictures to be hanged on the walls in the kitchen, bathroom and corridor. These things help to increase the unconscious emotions that make you feel good at home, but to me the most important thing is what I see through my glass wall overlooking the external garden.’
‘When it gets warm,’ says Giuseppe, ‘I always eat, rest, work and spend time with my friends in the open air, enjoying the landscape in the shade of the old oak trees that have been inhabiting my garden for centuries. Normally, winter would force a sad break in this habit, but I was able to recreate an indoor space that makes my days just as relaxing and full of meaning. Each space, plant and material I use provides its own special contribution. They are never redundant and this is the key to turning a simple house into a unique manor.’
Nothing is forever
The apartment restoration was done in 2007 and before starting the process, Giuseppe promised himself he wouldn’t fall into the ‘country-style’ cliche. That same year, he developed an interest in wabi-sabi, a Japanese way of seeing the world based on accepting the transient nature of things. This led him to accept three simple truths: nothing lasts, nothing is complete and nothing is perfect. The inspiration for the restoration of his home naturally evolved from these basic concepts.
Following his instincts, Giuseppe remained mindful of the historic aspect of the building but didn’t reject ‘modern’ materials out of hand. ‘I decided to keep the ground floor as a unified space,’ he explains. ‘Originally, it was designed as a warehouse for crops; it’s definitely tall and the ceiling is embellished with wooden beams. To personalise this context, I felt the need to play with contrasts, juxtaposing the old materials with a more modern resin floor. In the same way, the kitchen counter provides a connection between two worlds: I was looking for a warm shape and colour that would come out as unique and in the end I chose a polished concrete that I made myself after a long investigation into what were the right ingredients.’
Beauty in imperfections
Giuseppe loves to bring out the beauty that already exists in a space, as well as imperfections such as the layered wall paint, the old wooden beams, the floors, the crooked walls and ancient doors. ‘I revived many pieces of furniture and had lots of fun creating inspiring contrasts,’ he adds. ‘My work is to design outdoor/indoor green spaces that bring wellness into people’s lives. What’s most important to me is to create spaces that transmit harmony and sensuality, filled with that engaging pathos that leads us to interact.’