A Renovated Farmhouse in Northern Italy

written by:
photos by:
March 31, 2012
Originally published in Light & Energy
as
Going Big, Going Home

A couple in northern Italy trade a cramped flat for a renovated farmhouse in the country.

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  Rising to a catwalk above, a huge glass-and-steel central stair envisioned by the architect spans four floors of the Chiavellis’ newly expanded house.

    Rising to a catwalk above, a huge glass-and-steel central stair envisioned by the architect spans four floors of the Chiavellis’ newly expanded house.

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  In the dining area a vintage table from a shop in Barcelona is surrounded by Giandomenico Belotti Spaghetti chairs. The space, which also includes the kitchen, occupies a 1970s addition.

    In the dining area a vintage table from a shop in Barcelona is surrounded by Giandomenico Belotti Spaghetti chairs. The space, which also includes the kitchen, occupies a 1970s addition.

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  Locally sourced Italian slate covers the ground floor rooms; the coat rack near the entrance is from Zanotta.

    Locally sourced Italian slate covers the ground floor rooms; the coat rack near the entrance is from Zanotta.

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  “We wanted a big kitchen to live in, not a small technical place to cook,” says Guido Chiavelli, who returns from work every day to have lunch with his wife and son. At the far end, a glass ceiling presents an open-air feeling. “Cooking while it’s raining is fascinating,” he says.

    “We wanted a big kitchen to live in, not a small technical place to cook,” says Guido Chiavelli, who returns from work every day to have lunch with his wife and son. At the far end, a glass ceiling presents an open-air feeling. “Cooking while it’s raining is fascinating,” he says.

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  The sitting area and office are on the second floor, reached via the catwalk. “We watch TV here, use the computer, and sit by the fire,” says Chiavelli. “The way you access the space is part of the architecture, and that’s part of the beauty of it.” Near the sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina is a Bourgie lamp from Kartell; on the large table, made from old roof beams, is a Taccia lamp from Flos.

    The sitting area and office are on the second floor, reached via the catwalk. “We watch TV here, use the computer, and sit by the fire,” says Chiavelli. “The way you access the space is part of the architecture, and that’s part of the beauty of it.” Near the sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina is a Bourgie lamp from Kartell; on the large table, made from old roof beams, is a Taccia lamp from Flos.

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  The top floor holds the Chiavellis’ bedroom suite, with a dressing room and built-in spa. “The farmers dried their crops up here,” says Chiavelli. “We knew right away this was the spot that we wanted to have our own room.”

    The top floor holds the Chiavellis’ bedroom suite, with a dressing room and built-in spa. “The farmers dried their crops up here,” says Chiavelli. “We knew right away this was the spot that we wanted to have our own room.”

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  A firewood nice and hearth infuse the interior of a renovated farmhouse in Italy with coziness. Photo by Helenio Barbetta.

    A firewood nice and hearth infuse the interior of a renovated farmhouse in Italy with coziness. Photo by Helenio Barbetta.

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  “At first we thought we might not need that much space, but then we started thinking long term. We look at this house as the home of our lifetime.” —Guido Chiavelli

    “At first we thought we might not need that much space, but then we started thinking long term. We look at this house as the home of our lifetime.” —Guido Chiavelli

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  Caprioglio paired the indigenous sandstone of the existing structure with teak mounted on two-foot-wide panels. The structure at right holds the glass-topped kitchen.

    Caprioglio paired the indigenous sandstone of the existing structure with teak mounted on two-foot-wide panels. The structure at right holds the glass-topped kitchen.

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  The architect placed the windows at Sabrina’s eye level so that she’d be able to see her son, Rocco, playing in the yard outside. “You can feel the seasons changing here,” says Chiavelli. “I grew up three miles from here, outside in nature. This is a house for experiencing life.”

    The architect placed the windows at Sabrina’s eye level so that she’d be able to see her son, Rocco, playing in the yard outside. “You can feel the seasons changing here,” says Chiavelli. “I grew up three miles from here, outside in nature. This is a house for experiencing life.”

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  Detail of the kitchen counter.

    Detail of the kitchen counter.

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  The floor plan shows three of the house’s four levels; the basement level contains a wine cellar and laundry room.

    The floor plan shows three of the house’s four levels; the basement level contains a wine cellar and laundry room.

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