Projects in Paris and Italy are keeping our HH Paris team buzzing at our little "European HQ" on rue Augereau in Paris.
Ann's officially Euro-based now, managing design projects for clients who are purchasing and renovating their dream pied-a-terres in France and Italy and scouting fabulous finds for these clients and for our store in Atlanta.
Ann’s Italian has improved recently as she and her Italian-based team wrapped up their fifth project in Italy, a beautiful 16th-century palazzo in Florence that we’ll be excited to share with you down the road. Prior to this, they recently finished some lovely apartments in Rome and Florence for our dear friends at Italy Perfect.
Ann fluffing an outdoor space at one of our Florence projects.
As romantic as it sounds, running projects from start to finish in Florence or Rome 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.
In Rome, we worked on a lovely little apartment. The Sonata has an unbeatable location, smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood filled with local charm and Roman character, close to Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona.
The building dates back to the 1400s and the apartment had beautiful bones to work with, from old beams and juliette balconies to graceful arches. We designed the furnishings to be clean-lined and sophisticated with a palette of grays, black and a warm ochre.
Old beams in the living room were painted white and add texture and visual interest.
We chose a modern and functional kitchen to contrast with the antique elements in the apartment.
We loved the arches and played off their beauty with a lighted niche, perfect for a interesting piece of sculpture.
A colorful palette welcomes the gorgeous Roman light that spills into the bedroom.
Just another view of Roma.
And a private terrace to boot!
If you'd love to have a home away from home for a week in Rome, the Sonata is available for rent from Italy Perfect. Click here for more information.
Next stop: Florence!
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 and with glimpses of the Palazzo Pitti (the Medici family palace):
Ann was able source all kinds of pieces from antique dealers 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 says.
Dreamy grisaille wallpaper reflects the Tuscan countryside and anchors the dining area, along with a 19th century fruitwood chest.
Ann kept the kitchen design sleek and modern with special touches like brass hardware and art depicting Florentine architecture.
"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 suitcase.
A rich Hermes scarf sets the mood for the bedroom.
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.
The very good news? The Maestro apartment is actually offered as a fractional property, meaning you can actually purchase a share for your very dolce vita. For more information, read on right here.
Two other Florence projects were also the brainchildren of Italy Perfect and we were so thrilled to be called in for the interior design.
The Concerto apartment, located near the Uffizi, is a symphony of saturated colors that speak to Florence's deep love of art. "This was a fun project to incorporate some iconic Florentine elements," says Ann.
"We played with sage green and a deep aubergine in the living area. The mirror may be the focal point but I love how the sleek sconces and abstract paintings add a little attitude," says Ann.
The dining area.
The sleek modern kitchen.
That romantic terrace is pretty hard to beat!
Also in Florence, the Allegro apartment is located in a building that was constructed around a historic medieval tower, the Torre Lambertesca. So there was already plenty of charm, character and history surrounding the apartment, which was given a clean slate for design.
"The minute you step outside, you're surrounded by centuries of architecture, buildings and churches. We thought it would be a visual respite to step into a cleanly designed space that skews a little more modern," says Ann.
Every room in the Florence Allegro apartment has a mix of something ancient and something new.
The living room is airy and bright, with walls of antique Italian mirrors surrounded by modern sconces.
White walls and thick, dark doors anchor the design of the apartment.
In the bedrooms, we paired rich Italian wallpaper design with modern art
Ann's latest project, an apartment in a 16th-century palazzo, has our jaws dropping. We're not quite ready to show that one off but stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you're headed to Rome or Florence, your own dolce vita is only a click away.