A short bicycle ride from the centre of Forte dei Marmi, very close to the sea-front promenade and against a backdrop of the Apuane Alps, the garden of this villa, set in the tranquillity of Versilia, welcomes us with the vibrant cheer of flowering shrubs. Although theirs was a seaside house and a holiday home on paper, the owners didn’t want it to have a provisional, summer-season character, unsuitable during the temperate week-ends that Versilia offers in winter. Our studio was entrusted with the choice of materials, furnishing of the indoors, and refurbishing of the outdoors. The result is a second home in no way second-best: the choice of beautiful floors of Carrara marble and various other marble details animate the house, establishing a strong rapport with the area. Surrounded by greenery, this villa is the classic Versilia holiday home.
The views, through large windows opening onto the veranda, and the garden surrounding the house, form a natural extension of the indoors. The area outside the living room is shaded by a pale canvas canopy; the ample iron chairs with their big white cushions offer comfort and relaxation: the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink with friends. Covered in pastel-coloured wisteria, the porch has a large shell-shaped bench for those who enjoy reading in quiet solitude. There is also an area for eating out of doors: a Must for any self-respecting seaside dwelling. This is accessed from the modern and functional kitchen, lacquered a glossy grey, echoing the natural veining of the Carrara marble floor and enlivened by insets of yellow Siena marble. Illuminating the various rooms – flooded in daytime by the warm sunlight of Versilia – there are lighting fixtures that have made design history.
The alchemy between the traditional style of the house, the choice of extremely linear furniture and a few accents of outstanding quality combine to create the warm and welcoming atmosphere that characterises this home. In the ample living room on the ground floor, overlooking the garden in bloom, the Bellini glass table by Urbinati is complemented by Gino Sarfatti’s 2097 suspension light, and by Frau chairs of black leather; next to these, a French marble-topped secretaire of mahogany featherband softens the stark lines of design furniture. Providing a counterpoint, the imposing classical fireplace with mouldings of yellow Siena marble is matched with the Frau sofa Quadra – white, ample and comfortable – and with the low-standing glass coffee table, again by Urbinati. The large black grand piano is set off by the studied importance of the curtains framing the view of the garden.