Monday, September 26, 2011

Ex Stalle

Voluntary quarantine. A long hot summer. Camera and computer on vacation.

Myself? Concentrating on the former pigsty and sheep stalls. A condominium of mice and scorpions, as we
found it.

Now opening up for flow of space and flow of light.

Contrary to many renovators of farmhouses, we keep the original upside-down layout. Kitchen and living-area above, where daylight is optimal. Converted stalle our sleeping-area. Keeping us cool during the hot season.

On-site presence essential. Planning a house on paper is one thing. Facing realities is another.Here the architetto, literally in a brown study. Going "wide on the mark".

Problem-solving. Leaving no stone untouched. Removing "uglies" from the 60s. Finding and recycling old materials for the right patina of age. For the right image of "imperfection".

Requiring a crew of skilled craftsmen. With a high level of artistic qualities....

and a good sense of humour. A restoration project means hard manual work. Keeping spirits up affects the result....

To be continued... A presto, Ingrid

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bella Amicizia - on Mykonos

Changing environment. Changing palette. Mykonos, Greece.

Captivated by the Cycladic light. Dazzling white emphasized by daubs of pastel colours.

The Aegean sea from my window. A strong wind following me from early morning into late night.

Visiting a dear friend.

My little "party camera" taking in the cubical, whitewashed folk architecture.

Closing its eye to the brick-à-brack souvenir shops along the labyrinthian lanes of the Chora.
My friend taking me back stage.....

To a family festa in one of the countryside parish churches....

To back street hole-in-the-wall restaurants or a lagoon in the wilds. Paying friens a visit and...

guiding me among the remains of the mythical island of Delos. Bella amicizia! Getting to know un unfamiliar place through the eyes of a dear friend is just right.

Next week off for Stockholm. Change of scene - again. Except.... here I can go blindfolded. Enjoy the rest of August, wherever you are! Bacione, Ingrid.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Muted Palette

Umbrian country exteriors. A muted palette of grey, beige, rusty red and pink.

A tapestry of stone, terracotta brick and earth-coloured stucco.

An archeological jigsaw of extensions in the course of time. Leaving us with ghost windows and door openings. Here even the door holders were preserved, when the door was closed.

Raise your eyes, as you stroll the lanes of an Umbrian medieval borgo. The façades reveal innumerable footprints. A muted palette with objects. Once for everyday use. Today works of art. Still low-keyed. Former generations of craftsmen left us with wrought-iron nose rings,

Candle and fire holders - still frequently used in the after-dark summer feste. Decorative objects in daytime. Just to mention a few.

Off for Mykonos tomorrow. Looking forward to architectural contrasts - of vibrant white and blues. Enjoy summer, wherever you are! Bacione, Ingrid

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blessed Oliveland

Endless silver green slopes. Olive trees. I am in Oliveland. Green all year round. Blessed!

Dry season. Keeps us all in check. Watering the garden twice a day. All in vain. Plants collapse.

Olive trees. My best friends. Sculptural. Graceful. Rewarding. As are the grape-vines. Both will be leading actresses in my Trevi cortili, courtyards. Rusty corten steel cladding.

Pergole for the vines.

Shaded by olive branches and stems of vine. A huge barrel bathtub to cool off. What more do you need, when it is blazing hot. And it is right now! In Umbria. Enjoy summer, everyone! Bacione, Ingrid

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Integrating a Garden

When restoring our farmhouse, the garden makes an integral part. Our vision is an oasis within the massive old walls. One of the reasons we chose our architect crew for our project.

We share the same ideal. Incorporating our garden into a complete setting, creating outdoor rooms. The garden as our salotto al fresco, since we spend most of the year outside. (First photo from estate agent)

Paving our courtyards, cortili, is now on the agenda. Taking our courtyards back to what they once were. Cobbled with elements of terracotta tiles, selciata. Here a close-up from the main entrance.

The former animals' corte was just earth. This leaves us with a range of possibilities. Recycled flag stones or

developing a pattern for, again, salvaged terracotta tiles - here a herringbone pattern.

whereas we are looking for old slabs of pietra serena for the pool area.

Considering the hot, dry Umbrian summer months. Considering a reduction of water consumption, we will not include grassy spaces. The green will be of horizontal design. But that is another story.

Scouting salvage yards for old building materials takes time and patience. But is worth every effort. Bricks with patina make all the difference compared to new ones. What do you think? Enjoy your week, everyone! Bacione, Ingrid

Friday, May 20, 2011

Umbrian "Scentogram"

Sending you a spring flowergram from Umbria. Or rather a "scentogram".

Heady jasmine perfumes in my garden. Morning walks, surrounded by broom.
Seize every moment.... before the summer drought.

When watering is futile...

under a merciless sun.

The dry season means a change of scene. Into hardy décor...

and objects. Not that I mind. Each Umbrian season has the power to charm. You just have to add that "little extra". Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Bacione, Ingrid.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tomorrow is Another Day

Countryside Italy means "local time". Planning ahead. Time-line. Schedule... You may as well forget. Here "Wait and see..." is part of the life-style.

It has taken me quite some time to learn and appreciate the "state of things". That tomorrow is another day.

Ten months for building permits. Due next week, if we are lucky. How about that?

Making waiting time worth while. Filling the gaps is my way of keeping up good spirits.

Taking my camera for a stroll. Scouting for inspiration. Luckily Umbria offers an endless source of inspiration.

Here from my collection of water taps.

Working manually. Doing my chore. Saving antique terracotta floors from destruction. Piling these treasures carefully. Floors we will recycle and reuse in the restoration.

Enjoy your week, everyone! Bacione, Ingrid