Casa di Pietra stone walls with a view

Private, UK


renovation, interior and outdoor design

In the beginning there was a dry stone building, with high ceilings of bamboo and plaster, as in the Val di Noto tradition: originally a stable with the farmers living above it. In front of it, the magnificent landscape of the Modica countryside: dry stone walls, carob trees, olive trees, pastures that in spring become an abundant expanse of wild flowers. The clients, a cultured and elegant London couple, wished to arrange the house retaining its nature:. simply making it comfortable for long stays, even in winter, alone or with friends.

The owners have an appreciation of beauty which made it easy to suggest restoring the property entirely sympathetic of the genius loci. New local pitch stone for the floors was matched to accompany the original ones remaining in some rooms. The hand-decorated tiles of the old bathtub have been carefully saved and reused as a decorative element in the bathroom and elsewhere. The existing iron window gratings were not removed, retaining the original look of the windows framed by blocks of local stone. Iroko wood, glass and iron were used to create an airy, yet warm and stylish staircase. Pieces of contemporary design have accompanied the restoration of old country furniture found in the house. Travel memories and contemporary art textile works, chosen by the owners in London, have completed the interior.

The owners , true lovers of the understatement, wanted to have a large swimming pool which was not visible from the house. It has been dug into the rock, in sloping ground set to blend with the natural colours of the area in a garden of succulents, olive trees and a huge carob tree; the old rope and raw wood swing left hanging. In front of the house , the old stone floor has been restored, creating several sloping levels that accommodate, when needed, long convivial tables. A wooden veranda, covered with antique tiles, gives shelter from the sun and winter winds providing a relaxing environment for reading and contemplation, immersed in a deep. silence.

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