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I’ve read about La Bandita, a country house near Pienza and have seen photos of it in various shelter magazines/design articles.

A little over a year ago, John Voigtmann and his wife Ondine Cohane opened La Bandita Townhouse converting a former convent in center of Pienza into a 12-room boutique hotel.

My friend Gillian and husband stayed there recently.  She told me I had to see it in person.  Gillian knows my taste and said I would love it.

She was correct.  I know people are sick and tired of decorators using words like swoon! obsessed! and dying! when describing interiors.  However, let me say, I swooned when I saw my room. I was obsessed with the design of the kitchen and was dying over the views.

I’ve written before about the mix.  It’s something you see frequently in French and Italian interiors.  It’s not easy to pull off.  Sometimes the space is too modern for the architecture and it feels cold.  Or the design is so faithful to the past, it’s dated.

Working with Florence based architects, Arianna Pieri and Ernesto Bartolini of DA.Studio, John and Ondine have created a lovely space. In a hotel, all the beauty in the world doesn’t mean a thing if the service is awful. It was fantastic and I will write about a post about that and Pienza soon.

I absolutely adore this type of décor.  The same architects worked on Monteverdi with interiors by Ilaria Miani.

i found out that one of the main resources for La Bandita Townhouse was the store Barthel.  No wonder it spoke to me as we sourced most of the items for the bathrooms in our Tuscany project from Barthel.

This was my room, number 12.  I arrived late afternoon.  The amount of light during the day is unreal.  I love that they retained the stone wall.  The view from the tub was sick.  The Ortigia products were a nice touch, as were the free water and soda in the mini-bar.

In my next apartment I would like a canopy bed. The colors, the lighting, the bed linens, I really didn’t want to leave this room after two days.

I have to ask if they have a room with a desk, because La Bandita is a perfect spot for writers.

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Tears of happiness when i saw this huge shower stall.  I really need to move.

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Gorgeous.  The main hallway is the first thing you see when you walk thru the door. The convent dates from the 1400s.

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Again, stone walls.  A lot of natural materials with pops of orange throughout.

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This kitchen is everything.  In the States open-plan kitchens are preferred but not in Italy (or the Caribbean).  Notice the overhead window over the bar?  It drops down.  Once you close the door on the left of the bar, you have a closed kitchen that lets in light.   A friend of mine, who lives in a loft in Rome, did something very similar.  It’s a brilliant idea.

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An old map of Italy in the library/lounge.

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I was very excited to see so many classic LPs in different genres. I could’ve stayed up all night listening to music.  I still have some vinyl and for my next apartment (I know, I know) I will buy a turntable.

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You know how I feel about books and magazines.  It was freezing outside.  It was nice to curl up on the sofa and just chill.

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John is former music industry executive.  Some of his gold records sit on top of the bookcase.

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Aperitivi time!

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John has said he and Ondine wanted to create a beautiful, comfortable hotel where people could come to relax and enjoy Tuscany. They have. La Bandita is a special place. I cannot wait to return during warmer weather so I can eat outside on their fantastic terrace.

Photos: (except for the one of the kitchen and of the bookcase) me and my iPhone.

Click HERE to see more from La Bandita’s great photo gallery.

La Bandita Townhouse

Corso Il Rossellino, 111
Pienza (SI) 53026
Toscana, Italia
Tel +39 0578 749 005
info@la-bandita.com

 

As always, one of my favorite shows from this week’s NYFW Spring 2015 was Carolina Herrera’s.

She somehow makes classic clothes that are fresh, not dated or matronly.

To see photos from her collection, check out Tom and Lorenzo.

I’ve been looking at mosaics tiles for a client’s potential bathroom renovation.

I’m curious to know the influence for this dress.  How is it constructed?   Where would one wear a dress like this?   On the red carpet?  Or perhaps it would be prefect for a fashion-forward bride at her high-end outdoor wedding in a French or Italian villa.

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Buon weekend a tutti!

 

All over my neighborhood are signs like this:

siamoferieBefore I was on Hollywood’s schedule, so August was a busy time for me.  While all my friends and neighbors fled the August heat and tourists, I stayed behind in Rome writing and pitching TV projects.

Now I’m on a local schedule and it’s a trip.   Last week I was running around town making sure to touch base with my vendors before they closed up shop for the month.

There will be NO furniture deliveries in August.

September will be out of control.  Everything is being pushed to that month.

In the meantime, I’m going to use this period to catch up on office paperwork. I also need to find more space in my tiny apartment for all the new books I have.  I’m literally running out of room.

One friend (who just left town for the rest of the month) suggested I see a few movies.  Then we started laughing because most of the movie theaters are closed too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I re-read “Rose Cumming: Design Inspirations.”

This book, about one of the pioneers of a  “new” field called interior design, was a gift from my friend Erica for my birthday last year.

The following quote from Ms. Cumming jumped out at me:  “I feel that upon entering a house one should at once be made conscious of the dominate note pervading its scheme of decoration.”

I was just speaking with a friend regarding how sometimes hallways are neglected spaces.

I agree with Ms. Cumming.  A hallway shouldn’t be a dumping ground for keys, shoes, etc.

If you live in a small space you could create a hallway that’s functional and stylish.

Here are three fab hallways:

Designed by Darryl Carter.

Designed by Darryl Carter.

Photo: Veranda

How gorgeous is this staircase?  I love the contrast of the very dark wood with the white paint.

Rita Konig's Hallway Kitchen

Rita Konig’s Hallway Kitchen

Photo: The Kitchn

Designer Rita Konig’s kitchen is a perfect example of a hallway serving more than one purpose.

Designed by Kathryn M. Ireland

Designed by Kathryn M. Ireland

Photo: Remodelista

A hallway is a great space to showcase art.

Felicia and I met a few years ago through a friend in NYC.   She’s wicked smart, funny, and has a killer sense of style.  Along with being a ridiculously talented writer, Felicia is also a gifted photographer, baker, and cook.

Felicia recently left her high-powered/profile job and is traveling in Italy and France for three weeks.  It’s not easy to walk away from something that looks great on paper (especially in this economy).  It takes a certain kind of fearlessness to step toward the unknown.

I love her blog. The way Felicia writes about life, love, food, etc. is extraordinary.

I just read her Florence dispatch and I all I have to say is, “I need to book a train ticket pronto.”  I hope her writing and her photos will inspire you.

Buon Weekend!

 

Audrey Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, has edited a book about his famous mother.

“Audrey In Rome” has over two hundred photographs, many of them never published before, taken during the time Ms. Hepburn lived in the Eternal City.

Ms. Hepburn was a resident in Rome for over twenty years after marrying, Dr. Andrea Dotti, an Italian psychiatrist.

I cannot wait to buy this book filled with photos of Rome and of fashion from the ’50s to the ’70s.   The release date is April 16th.

Hope you have a stylish and fantastic weekend.

Book Cover: Audrey In Rome

Book Cover: Audrey In Rome

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