It didn’t take long for fashion entrepreneur Loris Lodi and his wife, interior designer and owner of Sdlstudio_design Sabrina Di Lorenzo, to fall for the charms of this sunny slice of Puglia.
‘It’s one of the most magical places in Italy,’ says Loris of the location of his new home. Named La Celeste, after the couple’s daughter, it sits proudly on the slopes of the Itria Valley, just outside the small town of Carovigno.
When Loris and Sabrina first viewed the land, though, there was no contemporary villa. Instead, what stood here among the olive groves was a traditional lamia – an old stone building with a curved roof, much like the region’s well-known trullis – elements of which are integral to the character of La Celeste.
‘It is a house with two souls,’ explains Loris. ‘One is simple, ancient; the other modern, sleek, fashion oriented.’
Striking a careful balance between them was key for Sabrina, who enlisted the help of Ayllon Architects for the external works. The project took four years to complete, and in her careful hands, minimalism and history coexist in harmony.
The entrance is set into the lamia’s original dry-stone wall, but from there the home opens up, with its living room, dining area, four bedrooms and bathrooms all making the most of the views. ‘I wanted the sea to be visible from every room,’ explains Sabrina. ‘Even from the shower.’
For the couple, who describe themselves as ‘researchers by vocation’, the act of discovering pieces to decorate the villa was one of slow, considered editing. Finds picked up from markets around the world are combined with local design gems. One of Sabrina’s favourite discoveries was Puglian artist Bernardo Palazzo, whose creations she stumbled upon by chance while walking through the streets of nearby Locorotondo. He designed the pendant lights in the living and dining areas, which are made using recycled materials.
Just as important as the interior, perhaps more so on summer days, is the black pool. It’s the focal point of this home – its colour working in stunning contrast with the bright white of the villa’s walls.
‘I come from the fashion world, where black is the colour,’ says Loris. ‘I took inspiration from the black pools I saw during my business trips in Asia – it’s the latest trend there.’
And if you are wondering where to find Loris, the answer is the sunbed at the edge of the water. ‘It’s in the perfect position to catch the very last glimpse of sunlight,’ he explains. Because on holiday, every single ray is precious. sdlstudiodesign.com; ayllon.it