Creative Dissonance


Interior Designer

Zenucchi Design Code


Paolo Neé, Paola Metelli

Having the courage to move forward, to innovate for the future, yet never forgetting the pull of memories, the tales of our past

Having the courage to move forward, to innovate for the future, yet never forgetting the pull of memories, the tales of our past: this is the lesson that guides many of today’s journeys through the cultural, artistic or architectural landscape of Italy. It’s a lesson which aims to bring together opposites, and seems to be the inspiration for this villa in the centre of Forte dei Marmi. Set on three levels – two above ground and one below – and about 200m from the sea, it stands in a particularly prestigious and desirable area for property. Architect Paolo Neé, who headed up the project together with architect Paola Metelli, conceives, plans and carries out a renovation based not on an attempt at disguise, trying to simulate the style of traditional Tuscan properties, but on an open encounter of history, culture and design, on the creation of creative dissonances that are meant to be lived and enjoyed. The Forte dei Marmi project represents the bold physical incarnation of a balanced dialogue: the charm of the original features of the building on the one hand, and the unexpected playfulness of the interior design, which is modern and contemporary, on the other. The styles of the villa are inspired by Tuscan tradition, and in particular that of Forte dei Marmi, as evidenced in the materials, finishings and architecture. These elements dialogue with the contemporary interior design, expressed in the colours and materials of a holiday home; recurring themes are blue, in all its shades; soft, natural linens; and a colour palette of sand and earth tones. Personalising the space are furnishings and reclaimed objects, selected with care and recontextualised to achieve a fresh, welcoming family atmosphere.

Even the finishings are contemporary, but in keeping with Tuscan tradition and customs, such as soffits in Cardoso stone. This stone recurs throughout the project like a unifying motif, appearing in the windowsills and thresholds, as well as several other internal details such as the stairs that lead to the upper level, the worktop of the stunning Boffi kitchen, and other design details. On the ground floor lies a generous living area with access to the pergola, where there is an outdoor seating area. The living area leads to the kitchen, which connects to another pergola with a more private outdoor dining area. The prestigious but unusual furnishings were chosen specifically to create just the right feel, with fresh, crumpled fabrics suitable for a seaside home, and very natural fabrics used in the Fischbacher curtains.

Even the finishings are contemporary, but in keeping with Tuscan tradition and customs

The seats were chosen with the same aim, with most by Gervasoni; the made-to-measure wool rug is by GT design, while the living area furniture comes from an old French boulangerie. Dating from the mid-19th century, it has been restored and embellished with new crystal surfaces sourced from 100Fa, who also supplied the old-fashioned flatbed trolley used as a coffee table and the leather armchair in front of the fireplace. The fireplace cornice comes from New Guada SRL, the company that also supplied the bathroom floorings and facings and created all the plasterwork in marble. Still on the first floor, through a sliding door decorated with a reproduction vintage photograph of the beaches of Forte dei Marmi, lies the second bathroom and guest bedroom, which has its own en suite bathroom. The Cardoso stone staircase, lit from above, leads to the sleeping area. Here lies the master bedroom with en suite bathroom and access to the terrace and relaxing furniture, and a second bedroom, also with en suite bathroom. A verdant garden surrounds the house, with outdoor furniture (by B&B) from Carnet per Abitare.

The works involved the extensive renovation of an existing property built in the 50s, and included the almost total reconstruction of the supporting structures, walls, loft space and roof, together with the creation of the new subterranean level.

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