An Italian Country House

  • Located between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea’s coasts, this Puglia oil mill was abandoned for thirty years – until a transformation from PalombaSerafini invigorated the space for modern living.

    DESIGN PalombaSerafini | PHOTOGRAPHY Francesco Bolis

    Trust a designer to see the potential in a space others would have too easily written off. Such was the case with this gloriously rustic Puglia residence, home to Ludovica and Roberto Palomba of Italian architecture firm PalombaSerafini. Visiting the building for the first time, they didn’t see its quirks as barriers, they saw opportunity.

    Originally constructed in the 1600s as an oil mill, the building had long since been abandoned and fallen into disrepair by the time the Palombas came across it. But it was the buildings classic proportions – six metre ceilings and wide communal spaces framed by columns – that caught the couples eye. Looking past the steep sloped walls, lack of indoor light and fire-blackened ceilings, the designers set to work, drawing on their own architectural know-how and the skills of local artisans to bring the building firmly to the contemporary age.

    Rather than taking the typical renovation tactics of modernising and adding, Roberto and Ludovica chose to keep the structure as authentic as possible. Instead of adding new walls to break up the space, the remodel draws on floors of local stone and whitewashed walls to create consistency throughout the home without boxing it off, while light has been introduced through opening up the back of the building and peppering new skylights throughout the living areas.

    The natural, soft palette of the materials extends to the furnishings, many of which were designed by Ludovica and Robert Palomba in their design collaborations with international design brands. Karpeta carpets add further texture and detail to the living areas, while custom fixtures such as the doors and iron lamps were made by local craftsmen especially for the home.

    The impact of the soaring ceilings, natural materials and refined composition is a home that is perfectly geared towards rest and reflection – a home that makes it clear what Ludovica and Roberto saw all along.

    This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue 27. Read the entire magazine online here.

3 Responses

  1. Any information you can provide on the beautiful rattan lounge featured in the Italian Country House will be
    appreciated. I love this house and everything in it. Gorgeous.

  2. Thanks Debbs, we love this house too! The rattan lounge is the Lama Chaise-lounge by Zanotta and was customised in straw with a red structure. We hope this helps!


  3. Hi Melia!
    Beautiful article!
    Would you have any information on the timber/wooden screen next to the wall?
    Thank you,

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