Editor: Sarahjoy Crain
In my current SB Journal entry "Decorating A Dreamhouse" - - I'm imagining I'm living in a vintage apartment style house, like the one above. In Florence, Italy, that is!
As recorded in my Journal: in every nook and cranny around my vintage Florence home are unbelievably beautiful symbols of Italian and European culture.
I can simply pedal my bicycle and dive right into the European Renaissance by riding the Ring of the Renaissance, which overlooks Florence and borders along the Valdarno and the Valdisieve. This bike ride delightfully combines the elegance of the country's nature with its amazing art and history.
It is impossible not to fall in love with the Country's beautiful places and enjoy its incredible panoramas. Including the view from my own windows - which is to die for.
Close to the heart of the community my location allows me to taste the local foods and scrumptious wines of the area with the greatest of ease. There isn't a day that I cannot take a break and eat in one of the trattorias or cellars for a 'sensorial' experience.
Honoring the vintage style of Italy and the universal geniuses Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo I've accessorized the inside of my home by leaving the walls natural rough fresco. My color scheme celebrates the chromaticity of Tuscany, having incorporated some of the old style formalness (through both the use of antiques and reproduction Italian antique pieces such as from Bennetti's Italia, USA).
We're going inside now so please join me as I write in my SB Journal on decorating the interiors of my worldly apartment style Florence, Italy. Home.
My Dreamhouse Formal Entryway
Benvenuti nel mio Firenze casa - in English, "Welcome To My Florence House" and I do, welcome you. How does one hold in their hands, or more succinctly, place in their entryway, such a piece of history - and then invite friends - it seems so presumptuous. But this is Florence, Italy, everyday!
I love this artwork. And the accessorizing with a few plates and tall candle holders. I felt like I kidnapped this 17th century Italian credenza from Michael Haskell Antiques. Who OWNS something like this - this could be a museum piece. No reproduction here - this is a real find from Michael Haskell's shop. Secret: once in a blue moon, no matter the budget, splurge! I applaud you to invest in a truly fabulous piece, like your name was written all over it. For me, this was it.
My Dreamhouse Living Room
Now, as you decorate, understand it is okay to use reproductions. Here I have used beautiful reproductions sofa, loveseat and awesome accent chair that are available from the Something Beautiful Shoppe. Their 48" ottoman is comfortable, elegant and useful as a practical spot when entertaining to place a coffee tray and servings. The urn vase full of roses on the ottoman is integral to the overall design of the room - when building the rose display, I utilized the 'more is better' concept to hold the room together. Just in case you wondered, yes, the accent chair is favorite amongst my family and guests.
The Bell 6 Candle Vine chandelier from Studio Steel Lighting is yet another place where I indulged myself - Studio Steel creates one-of-a-kind custom wrought iron fixtures for private residences and public spaces. Each piece has a hand-rubbed finish and exquisite appointments. It adds luxurious luminescence to my home. I've piggybacked splendor and brilliance to my living room by indulging myself with a custom chandelier, picked hopefully to be treasured for generations.
My Florence DreamHouse Dining Room
"Il Mio amore che la tavola non e' affittato" will be expressed sharply and distinctly if someone at the table dare rush the Italian dinnertime. This expression means, "My Love, the table is not rented."
This is the time to sit. To enjoy the fruits of your labor. To embrace your family and friends. The adult members know this; but it is the squeamish youngsters who (silently) question this daily European dinner tradition. Questioning of this tradition is met by laughter from family members who've learned to trust this sacred old family tradition. (The dining table and chairs shown here are from the Sorrento Collection By Fremarc.)
My Dreamhouse Master Bedroom
Note how the bed is not flush to the wall. This reflects a style from the Renaissance. Back when the rooms were chilly and high framed beds also were curtained all about in sumptuous woven and embroidered fabrics. Often placed in the center of a chamber, the bed was like an enclosed room, within a room, within a house. The draperies when dropped, offered seclusion for pillow talk.
Here pulling the bed away from the wall allows for artwork to have a separate form of prominence - one can walk right up to it. It gives the room a feeling of layers - the bed and nightstand, the fireplace area, the gallery of artwork.
Staying true to my Florence, Italy home heritage, the black leather upholstered headboard brings a slight feel of the contemporary. But, don't be fooled, the sumptuous over the top bedding is too significant for any real modern feel.
Candles are a must in the bedroom, as well as sensuous lotions and scents. Create a room you are drawn to . . . that your body longs to cuddle up under its covers beside your favorite someone. Create luxury and serenity. Living in Florence, Italy one quickly learns to honor life and its gifts. In the busyness of everyday life, even here, honoring our bedroom is like honoring ourselves. Much less an indulgence than a necessity.
Bedding is Montefalco by Sweet Dreams.
Writing my "Decorating A Dreamhouse" is always a great job for me. Florence, Italy is such a big amazing City. I hope you enjoyed tasting a small slice of what my life would be like in Florence.
I could so move here. Couldn't you?
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If decorating isn't easy for you or if you are in need of some particular interior design assistance, our designers at the Something Beautiful Shoppe will be happy to work with you - working with professional helps assure you get the look you deserve while helping eliminate costly mistakes.