The spacious living area, with its ceiling of trussed beams, is dominated by ceiling lights from the Fun-Mother of Pearl series by Verner Panton (Verpan) and floor lamps from the Akari range designed by Isamu Noguchi (Vitra). Hanging Rhinoceros sculpture by Stefano Bombardieri. Opposite page: owner Elisabetta Avanzini Morandini.
The owner wanted something different from her holiday home, not just a standard villa. After viewing numerous properties, Elisabetta Avanzini Morandini chose a 19th century stone building in the historic town of Verisilia; a former marble workshop converted into an art gallery by the previous owners. The charming wife of a businessman from Lombardy in the North West of Italy, Elisabetta is an art lover, passionate about fashion, painting and – in general – objects with an exclusive appeal. As enthusiastic as she is resourceful, she was personally involved in the renovation and furnishing of the house alongside Giacomo Zenucchi, the owner of a number of interior design showrooms and her trusted advisor. Zenucchi oversaw the building work and installed the various works of art carefully chosen by Elisabetta. Stylist Paola Moretto suggested sourcing sculptural light fittings, in particular the stunning mother of pearl lights by Verner Panton (Verpan) and the rice paper lights by Japanese designer Isamu Noguchi (Vitra). The project is the result of a collaborative effort. While the owner likes to seek advice, she has a clear idea of what she wants: her choices are inspired by an eclectic taste and what appeals to her, but the final decision is the result of balanced consideration and a sense of proportion. “I never go over the top with the design, in order to maintain a sense of minimalism and light,” she explains. This philosophy informs and unites the entire design of the home. Her initial concept centred around the undivided space of the living area, set off by the imposing beams which are over nine meters high, key to creating a space that would convey a sense of uncluttered immensity. This was achieved by knocking down the dividing walls to connect the living and dining areas.
A corner of the living area is connected to the guest area, concealed behind matching walls.
Lounge Chair by Charles & Ray Eames, Vitra. On the wall, on the 1950s shelf, are a scented candle by Fornasetti and bronze hands by Novello Finotti; picture by Ivan Cattaneo.
Opposite page: sculpture by Stefano Bombardieri.
In the airy open space that has been created, natural light is free to flood in in all its glory, defining a volume that is extremely contemporary. From here, an iron staircase leads to the first floor, where the night zone and bedrooms are found, divided by a mezzanine overlooking the lower floor.