I’m indulging my soft spot for modern design in ancient spaces today. It’s been quite a while since I added to my I need an Italian Palazzo now collection. Here’s a perfect candidate:
The mirror behind the cook top is protecting the frescoed walls – although they’ve been painted over, the owner/architect Sabrina Bignami is in the process of uncovering works by 18th century Tuscan artist Luigi Catana. Now won’t that be a unique kitchen backsplash?
I’m only showing the kitchen here – that’s quite enviable enough. If you need more to convince you that this is a perfect palazzo, be sure to check the original article at Yatzer for even more
jealousy inducing inspiring photos. If the envy becomes overwhelming, scroll down to the end of the original article to find how you too could stay at Casa Orlandi. I’m wondering if there’s an opening for a willing, if unskilled, fresco restoration assistant?
Now, I am prepared to accept that there may not be sufficient empty palazzi in Italy to accommodate all of us. But if you’re willing to move elsewhere in Europe, and to trade an actual palace for an apartment conversion in a grand 19th century building, there are more opportunities. And more than one way to convert a casa or mansion flat too – see how this island kitchen (from Denmark’s Bolig) leaves the original architecture untouched? All mod cons, and not a mark on your grand moldings and paneling:
But wait – where’s the ventilation for the cooktop? It would be a real shame to get a greasy spot on that ceiling. You’ll notice there’s no visible lighting either, except the windows. I’ll sadly have to assume this is just a publicity shot, not an operational kitchen I could aspire to ownership of.
The reality of converting ancient spaces for modern living is usually a little more messy. Here’s a bold example from Barcelona, squeezing a little contemporary kitchen into the corner of a grand room:
Definitely not a conversion for the faint of heart – check out all the wonderful images at MiCasaRevista for more views. And maybe there’s a bit of a lighting issue here too? Peppering old lathe and plaster ceilings with holes for contemporary lighting is not an easy thing to do:
But you know, if I could live here I’d even be willing to compromise my designerly principles, and put up with a desk lamp on the kitchen counter. In fact, candlelight would be perfectly acceptable for me – how about you?