Cheekily nicknamed ‘Chiantishire’ due to the lure it holds over Brits looking for a taste of the finer things in life, the Chianti wine region in the heart of Tuscany is an idyll. It is here that interior designer Tobias Petri, a partner at Munich-based Holzrausch studio, has transformed the ruins of a country house owned by German entrepreneur Alexander Springer into Casa Morelli, a holiday home with a difference.
Available to rent, the property strikes an interesting balance between respect for the local, rural architecture and a new discreet kind of luxury.
Tobias approached the project by examining the relationship between the interior and the surrounding landscape. By keeping the décor moody and dark, he has focused attention on the incredible views.
‘Traditional Tuscan houses have small windows,’ he explains, ‘but, here, we were able to have a large sliding door to look out over the countryside, so we opted for more austere shades inside to induce tranquillity.’
The key to that sanctuary-like appearance is the magnificent terracotta floors – not the usual Tuscan red, but a deep, uneven colouring in shades of grey, brown and black. Produced by Manetti Gusmano & Figli, a family-run business in nearby Impruneta, and crafted by hand, the tiles have been used to clad the statement fireplace in the living room and are paired with bespoke marsh oak cabinetry in the kitchen. They also pave a large portion of the exterior.
‘We wanted to use as many of the same materials as possible inside and out,’ explains Tobias of his joined-up approach. ‘With the doors open, the aim is to create a single environment marked by simplicity.’
Indeed, much of the wooden furniture created by artist/designer Klaus Lichtenegger for the main living areas is mirrored on the terrace, encouraging life to flow seamlessly between the two spaces. There’s even an outdoor kitchen that’s a true replica of the one indoors.
The lights, which were custom-designed by Office Heinzelmann Ayadi in Monaco, also contribute to this property’s unique atmosphere. Some resemble strips of sunshine built into the walls, while others create intimate pools of warm luminosity, adding a softness to this calm, uncrowded home. It’s the perfect place to relax with a large glass of local wine by the open fire and watch the sun set behind the vines. theplacetobe.world; holzrausch.de