For most of the year, stylist and producer Annette Joseph lives in Atlanta, but her summers are always spent in Italy. Annette has been going to Italy since she was a child and she and her husband continued the tradition with their own family. Finally, after 20 years of taking their two children there, they began looking for a permanent Italian home. Six years ago, they found this home in the Cinque Terre region. Now the kids bring their friends and there’s a nonstop flow of U.S. visitors enjoying the good food, good wine and the beach! Annette is an amazing stylist (she was just featured in What’s in Your Toolbox!) and I love how her Italian home is a modern take on a beach house with plenty of nautical stripes, orange and hints of blue. Additional photos of Annette’s beautiful Italian flat are on Flickr! Thanks Annette! And thanks to Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn for the amazing photos! — Amy A.
Image above: Since the flat is by the sea, I wanted to infuse a little seaside energy into the décor. I am all about the textural elements of the sea. The design concept was fishing town meets retro Riviera vibe; this is reflected throughout the home. There are whimsical and literal nods to the sea and groovy retro chairs strewn about. I am very relaxed and quiet when I am there, and I wanted the décor to reflect that. By using natural colors I achieved it, along with pops of Aegean blue (for the sea) and bright orange (a nod to emergency gear on a boat or flotation device on a ship). I also used a lot of rusty patina metal reminiscent of an old fishing boat along with sleek cool finishes like the Travertine floor pavers and white Carrara marble. The effect is cool, crisp with a little fun thrown in for good measure; it is a vacation home after all.
Image above: The chalkboard wall was so that guests can write a little thought about their stay as they leave. I love this aspect, and so do our guests. We use a market basket to shop every morning, one of the best parts of the day.
Image above: The bed is from a company in Genova, Molinari. I designed the headboard with light ply-wood; the design became known as the Mondrian wall because of the varied squares. It’s a clever bed with storage under the mattress — it pulls up much like the hood of a car. Italians are all about storage and using space efficiently, I love that! The beautiful patina iron porthole on the wall is repurposed as a mirror, a nod to a rusty old boat and the sea.
Image above: I love the lighting in Italy — there is a vast selection. The industrial light above the bed is just fantastic. I hung cone-shaped safety lamps in the master bathroom, they are hung with industrial weight boat rope (another boat reference). The ½ glass wall to the ceiling (above the headboard) allows light to fill the master bathroom located behind the ½ wall/headboard.
CLICK HERE for more of Annette’s Italian flat!
Image above: The marble trough is my favorite thing. The very large sliding glass door is my next favorite element in the room. In Italy, when you ask for a marble trough, they ask “how big?” It’s no big deal. The trough cost 500 euro — a steal! Handmade and super long!
Image above: The kitchen is my favorite place in the flat, great views and a dream to work in. It took 11 men to bring the island’s marble slab, I have a great photo of it! The lights are from the U.S. via France, thanks to South of Market here in Atlanta, and yes I sent them over from Atlanta, crazy yes, but so worth it! They make just the right statement!
Image above: This is an antique bottle dryer I use for mugs. I drink so much espresso, it’s usually never this full.
Image above: This cafe table and green metal folding chair is my place to sit and gaze at the view — it’s perfect!
Image above: Rubber buckets, made from recycled tires and bought in St. Tropez at the best little hardware store, hold my collection of European and American magazines. I love design and can’t stop reading and studying them even when I am on vacation.
Image above: This is the coolest room, the floor-to-ceiling glass wall was genius. It separates the rooms (this is the guest room) but still makes the flat look larger — my Italian designer friend suggested it. The stone wall closes in the original archway that was part of the original monastery, it is done in typical Ligurian style of stonework.
Image above: This gray on the bookshelf is actually the typical color used in Genova. People usually associate Italy with warm rust tones, so when my friend (a designer living in Genova) introduced me to the color while walking in the city one day, I knew I had to incorporate it in the design somehow.
Image above: The loggia fills with light and has the most amazing few of the mountains behind us and the sea in front of us. We spend a lot of time in this room. The coffee tables turn into dining-height tables with the flick of the wrist, and we use the stools scattered around the flat plus the banquet to seat guests. We can seat 14 at a dinner party here!