A Renovated Apartment in an 18th-Century Sicilian Building Pays Homage to the Sea
LYGA architecture and design studio was founded by Lycia and Gaia Trapani, two Sicilian sisters with a strong preference for Mediterranean aesthetics. The studio often works with historical architecture and restored materials to create stunning, colorful, contemporary homes.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design
This 2,691-square-foot apartment, which the sisters named Casa a Nord-Est (house in the north east), is located within an 18th-century building. The home was previously owned by a seaman who docked his boats at Palermo’s La Cala port, which is located in front of the building.
The apartment is now owned by an Italian entrepreneur couple with two young children. They wanted a home overlooking the sea in the center of Palermo, and they were thrilled when they found this historic property.
The couple purchased the ground floor of the building and part of the second floor. They set aside a section of the ground floor to create a vacation rental apartment with interiors that were also designed by LYGA.
For their own dwelling, the couple asked LYGA to preserve the architectural and decorative features of the existing house while adding contemporary details, an articulate and scenographic staircase, and a large pool in the bedroom that looks out to the sea.
Shop the Look
"The house was formerly connected to the sea through an underground passage that was called il passagio delle amanti – passage of lovers. Though this underground passage was later walled up, a small section of it is still attached to the home, and we turned this space into a wine cellar," says Lycia.
LYGA restored all the floors and walls. They used an intense blue-green paint for the low arched threshold in the main living area to create chromatic richness and a romantic mood.
"The gray-green used on walls and fixtures creates an effect of great impact, but is at the same time delicate and in tune with the ancient architecture of the house. In the bedrooms we painted the ceilings to create 'hats' of color inspired by the sea. From within, the apartment looks like an inverted horizon that corresponds to the skyline of the sea framed by the balconies," says Gaia.