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.