We love the idea of Old is New Again. We also believe that when we experience global disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we learn to appreciate our history even more.
When we are forced to look at humanity from a wider perspective, we see the beauty of the human endeavour. The work and effort, the talent and skill, the appreciation of beauty, and the value of cooperation. Saving what is valuable and beautiful to us becomes even more important than before.
We have covered Milan-based Vincenzo De Cotiis work before, but the weekend home he renovated for himself and his wife and business partner, Claudia Rose, is currently our favourite.
He has overhauled the 5,500-square-foot (510-square-metre) early 18th-century villa in Pietrasanta by the sea in Tuscany, in a grandiose but understated, elegantly distressed minimalist style that is often evident in his palazzo renovations.
This particular palazzo was built by a local painter, Antonio Digerini, who died in 1889, but it has served many purposes over the centuries including being a cloister and a hotel.
We love the exposed patina of the walls and ceiling beams, the minimalist emptiness of the rooms and the lack of unnecessary objects. The colour palette is also beautifully muted with soft hints of cold greens and warmer brick-tones.
In several spaces, the texture and tone of the patina of the original walls and ceilings is replicated in dyed, gessoed and sanded Belgian linen used for parts of the walls and ceilings. Most of the marble is local as the area is famous for its marble quarries.
Much of the furnishings and art are of De Cotiis’s own creation and design and although their vibe is futuristic and even slightly brutalist, they fit seamlessly with the villa’s cold-cool ambiance.
The balance exudes a sense of calm but in an eerily powerful way. It isn’t cozy or comfortable overall. Yet it is inviting and interesting for those of us who love his style.
De Cotiis doesn’t promise to create an environment in any style a client might want. Those who cannot stand his style will not hire him. Simple as that. We respect and encourage this kind of brave clarity in any business. Tuija Seipell.
Photography: Martin Morell