Ann and I have been having so much fun with the Huff Harrington "Mini", our office-design studio-boutique in Paris. We've laughingly dubbed it the Mini because it's literally a replica of our store here in Atlanta (aka HQ), but just a wee bit smaller.
We officially opened the Mini a couple months ago and to catch you up, Ann's now Paris-based and managing multiple design projects for clients who are purchasing and renovating their dream pied-a-terres, plus always scouting fabulous finds for our store in Atlanta.
The design jobs aren't just in Paris. She recently finished up a project in Florence for one of our favorite clients, Italy Perfect.
As romantic as it sounds, running a project from start to finish in Florence can be as challenging as it is rewarding. "La dolce vita" means things move just a little bit more slowly and as Ann told me one time, our sweet Italian contractors and subs use about 100 words when we use 10! So, we chalk it all up to a wonderful and educational learning curve and enjoy the pasta when we can.
Take a peek at some images from the Maestro apartment, which is dreamily situated in the historic center of Florence, just steps away from the Ponte Vecchio:
Like most European apartments, space is at a premium so the main living area does triple-duty as a living room, dining area and sleek, and functional kitchen.
Ann was able source all kinds of pieces from fairs in Italy. The mirror, an 18th century jaw-dropper, is the piece de resistance in the living area, especially when paired with a moody green velvet sofa. "I was inspired by the rich jewel tones that Florence is known for," Ann told me.
Dreamy grisaille wallpaper in a Italianesque mural anchors the dining area, along with a 19th century fruitwood chest.
"We wanted the kitchen to be clean and a little contemporary to play off the antiques in the adjacent spaces. Everything in its place and a place for everything," Ann said. The paintings, by Sarah Robertson and Sherrie Russ Levine, came from Huff Harrington and were schlepped over in a suitcare.
"We love using a vintage Hermes scarf as an inspiration starting place," Ann said. "This one brings in all those luxurious jewel tones."
The terrace is perfect for enjoying an Aperol spritz or a glass of rose. "When the weather's lovely, you want to spend every waking minute outside enjoying Florence," said Ann.
The feedback we've heard is that the Maestro apartment is like a sanctuary in the heart of Florence. Bathed in light, with terraces on either side of the apartment, you can soak up the cacophony of every day Florence from the outside or shut the doors and enjoy the soothing calm of your own quiet sanctuary.
Ann is working on a few other projects right now in Florence and will be sharing glimpses of them soon. If you're tempted to know more about the Maestro apartment, we know our friends at Italy Perfect will be happy to share!
Ciao for now,