Design Book of the Week: Villa by John Saladino
The Jist: Don't let the cover of this book fool you. We judged it at first and thought it was going to be a bunch of fuzzy, dreamy pictures of villas. However, this book is SO much more. It profiles the restoration of just one villa, the "Villa di Lemma." Yes, you get the joke, restoring this massive crumbled villa in Montecito, CA was a "di lemma" for designer John Saladino. The book is about the painstaking restoration process. The story Saladino tells, including the calculated design of each room, each tile, each surface, each plant, will consume you by the end.
6 Best Pics: (Note: there are SO many beautiful, artful photographs in this book, this doesn't even begin to do it justice. You could frame every other page. Magical.)
Biggest takeaway: Saladino's ability to achieve the old-meets-new mix. He describes it here:
The building is an example of American architecture from the Golden Age of the 1920's when wealthy Americans, wanting to bring Europe to the New World, copied historical styles with great accuracy. It is a pastiche of a 17th century Italian building, with massive load bearing stone walls and a tiled roof. I decided that while it would be correct to respect the house as an antique and to furnish it in an appropriate way, all the strictly functional rooms--bathrooms, kitchens, laundries--would be as streamlined and as modern as I could make them. To take historic European traditions and infuse them with 21st century ideas of comfort and technology is, in itself, very American.
This book would be great for: a man. It seems the dream of (some) men to not just decorate or remodel, but demolish, renew and problem solve. You know these men, they want to quit their jobs, buy land, travel to some exotic place where things are expensive and restore some dilapidated home while raising livestock in the fields nearby. If you know a dreamer like that who hasn't quite had the opportunity yet, but them this book ASAP.
OH, almost forgot, the villa was recently SOLD, click here for the video tour from the real estate listing. You just missed your opportunity to buy, it was only 22 million!
Inspired and in love with our job,