Friday, March 19, 2010

Classical Epihifany

A couple bought the deconsecrated church and an adjacent apartment in La Convertoie, a fortress in Italy’s Chianti region that dates to the 11th century, and asked Siena architect Marco Vidotto and Vero Beach, Florida, designer Susan Schuyler Smith to fuse them into a single residence.

The nave—now the living room—was restored to reflect its original design. The 16th-century oil depicts Christ’s presentation at the temple.

Restoration of the church was done under the direction of the institution charged with preserving Italy’s cultural heritage. Smith’s goal was to “create a warm and cozy space with the use of lighting, furnishings and color,” while honoring the structure’s rich history. Vidotto brought the fresco above the altar’s replastered arch back to life.

Converted to a study, the sacristy had been added in the 1800s; Smith chose a wainscot chair and trestle table from that period. Kravet sofa fabric.

The dining room, with its original beams, previously served as a loggia connecting the apartment to the church. Lounge chair fabric, Kravet.

Smith installed the center island and cabinetry in the kitchen. The mid-19th-century fireplace “was kept as the focal point,” says the designer.

In the terrace garden, Chianti-based landscape architect Nancy Leszczynski planted Italian sage, rosemary, a pomegranate tree and assorted other flora.

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