Liguria is a coastal region in the north west of Italy, sandwiched between the Alps, the Apennine mountains and the Ligurian Sea. On a small stretch of the western part of Liguria called Riviera di Ponente is where you will find Villa Libera, a wonderful Art Nouveau residence from the beginning of the twentieth century (1903). This historic home is set in an enviable position that allows for a panoramic view over most of the Ligurian coast. The property has been subject to thorough renovations and an appropriate technological upgrading by Milan architectural firm Studiodonizelli. Work on the villa began in 2004 and ended in 2009, with the area covered by the property being roughly 2000 square meters, which is divided between the main house, the guesthouse, caretaker's house and the surrounding gardens. Today we would like to take you on a small tour of this dream holiday home, showcasing a great example of early 20th century Italian architecture and modern interior design.
Like any restructuring project, the hardest part is finding the right balance between change and conservation. The primary design intention was to bring to light the ancient splendor of the villa, stripping back any previous renovations, to allow the original aesthetics of the building to shine. The result of this work is a residence that is still classical but built to modern standards. The recovery has remained true to the art nouveau style in vogue at the time and recorded by numerous buildings in this coastal region.
A few steps from the main house, which is spread over four floors, there is a circular swimming pool and detailed entertaining area. The outdoor area has multiple levels, from the pool to the raised dining platform, showcasing a view of the pool itself, the perfect place for a leisurely lunch with guests.
Villa Libera is surrounded by a garden that has returned to being the protagonist of the life of this residence and no longer a bare space surrounding the house. The garden has palm trees, banana trees, desert plants and flowers of various kinds, as well as all the essences that were originally in the property. Small paved paths and stone create walkways between the lush and relaxing gardens, as well as the lilly pond complete with small fish.
Finally we arrive at the interior of the home. Here Villa Libera reveals its new motif, timelessly elegant but also modern The designers have called this interior design a
new mood liberty, reinterpreting the architectural movement in a contemporary way.
The house reveals a theme of a contrasting colour palette in which a comparison between the dark floor and the white walls are evident. In this entrance the owners opted for a lavish chandelier that gives an immediate impression of opulence when first entering the villa.
This room combines style and elegance, in keeping with the bold choice of black flooring matching the white furnishings. The modernist approach to the furnishings works well with the monochrome palette, opting for white leather couches and a modern rug. The beautiful wall hangings are highlighted by the modern down lights.
The kitchen is bright and modern, an essence you would come to already expect from Villa Libera. The benchtop design follows the perimeter of the room, as do the LED downlights on the roof. Modern stainless steel appliances blend perfectly with the black floor theme throughout the home, white walls and pale timber cupboards. A great place to spend a cozy autumn Italian night drinking red wine, preparing fresh pasta.
At first glance this bathroom may look like any other bathroom you seen in an interior design magazine or website. Look a little longer, and you will realise there is something different about this wash basin. At a closer glance you can see this sink is actually a small fish tank, complete with fish, flora and fiilter system! A unique addition to this already extravagant home.
Villa Libera has ensured the summer months are taken full advantage of with large windows, maximising the lighting available from the abundance of mediterrainin sun. The addition of large windows further harnesses the suns lighting abilities, making sure this ground floor room is in use as much as possible, in keeping with the theme of utilizing every bit of space in the house as much as possible.
There is a little surprise to be found in the basement of Villa Libera. A wine cellar has always been a traditional part of Italian of history and tradition, and this home is no exception. The cellar can be accessed via a flight of stairs partly plastered and partly leaving the existing brickwork exposed.The small cellar has all the features required for the long term storage and aging of wine, including horizontal storage racks, proper ventilation and no access to sunlight.
Such a luxurious modern home would not be complete with a home spa room. Part of the home has been set aside for a home spa, in keeping with the theme of owning the ultimate modern home in a early 20th century villa. After a turkish bath it is possible to finish it off with a spa bath in the swimming pool or a waterfall shower.
The addition of a home gym falls within the concept of modernising the home and redifining the available space. A logical decision to maximise the floorplan of the home, which previously left rooms underused, or not used at all.
We conclude our brief tour of Villa Libera with an evening view of the outside of the home and surrounding gardens. This nighttime view gives us a different perspective of the true beauty of this opulent property, and reveals the intricate lighting on the house itself and hidden amongst the gardens, a feature you would easily miss viewing the house during the day.