An Italian Vacation Home...Spettacolare

It's always fun to see great design around the world....

Thanks to my friend Janice, I heard about this fabulous rental property in Muro Leccese in Puglia, Italy (picture the's in the heel). 

It's near the Adriatic Sea; still unspoiled by tourism.

The interior design of 'Il Muro' is almost entirely antique and modest, but the overall effect is very modern, fresh and molto chic, thanks to the minimal decor, clean architectural restoration, and carefully curated accessories. Enjoy the tour...

Case in point...There is not a single modern element in this cucina, yet it has all the elements of today's trendy young kitchens: glossy white tile, clean lines void of trim, pendant lights, black and white contrast, and pale walls. 

This paint treatment has been used for centuries in Italian farm houses. Blogland is full of hip abodes featuring the same wide colorblock banding.

The walls were left with a natural patina. The pink is perfect here!

More pink with modern touches in the sun soaked living room. Here the archways look modern with sliding glass doors.

I love how they filled this archway.

I know a few Atlanta designers who would really dig this bathroom vignette.

 The house sleeps 16, with 6 bedrooms. All of them are simply adorned, with subtle touches of color.

How do you like the pendant over the bidet?

I love that they kept the doors in the original rustic state.

The dining room is the most contemporary space in the home.


My favorite color. Notice the porcelain hardware and broken rush seat. Love it all.

This stone mantle and all of the stairs are made of 'tufo', a soft stone indigenous to the area.

I'll take the tile, the table and the art, grazie.

Dining al fresco under the wisteria covered pergola.

I will be copying the painted stripe on the adirondaks.

So much money being spent on ostentatious outdoor kitchens in the US these days....I prefer this look.

I assure you, the best meals have been made here...I'm not missing the Viking range a bit. Btw, how many of those really get a workout?

Someday, I will have an oval window...

And someday I hope to visit Il Muro. For more info on this property, please contact Priscilla Daroda


A New Look

Ciao Belli! Today I'm sharing a little secret with you. Mind you, this happened to me by accident...I had NO idea what I was in for when I called photographer Marsha Mifsud. I was in need of a professional headshot for my website and press purposes, and thought I'd hop into the Savvy Photographer for a quick pic or two. Packing post-vacation lbs. and bad skin, I almost cancelled my appointment, (but she promised to edit out the bad stuff).

The Savvy Studio, located in John's Creek, GA, is a wonderful loft-like space with white walls and floors, cool vintage furniture, and lots of light. 

Marsha is a sweetheart, and makes you feel relaxed and right at home immediately with great music and yummy treats.  After an hour of hair and makeup by the darling and talented Theresa Stone, I was utterly transformed. I gave her carte blanche without peeking, and ended up with wavy curls and lots of dark eyeliner...a look I have never sported, but LOVE! So much so, that I went straight to Target to get a curling wand and some makeup for those special nights out.

The photo session consisted of several changes of clothes (I brought my own, but she has a whole rack of chic, flattering outfits), and dozens of shots with various backdrops.  Marsha is encouraging and a master not only at her craft, but also on how to get the best angle and pose for your body type. She warned me I would leave there feeling sore after some of the contortions she had me in, but that it would look great on camera, and that it did. 

One week later, I had probably 60 great images to choose from.  It took me an hour to whittle them down to four, and I am still wishing I had more.
 Mission accomplished, I now have some great professional shots. The unexpected benefits: a new friend, and a little jolt to my self-esteem. My only regret? Not planning a special night out in my new hair and makeup.  Instead, I spent the day hauling furniture and waiting in the auto body shop... then I waited till 9:30 for my family to get home so they could witness the transformation. Lorenzo was floored and even thought I had plastic surgery (no joke). Need I say more?

Call her for your Beauty Portrait....and tell her I say hi.