Friday, August 14, 2009

The New Bohemians

This photograph has always captured my imagination.

from House and Garden 2002

The rustic setting with it's rough hewn table and mismatched chairs are very charming. I love how they have used simple ivy vine to drape the mantel and table adding some drama to the room. Yet it still has an air of elegance about it.

The home belongs to concert pianists, The Labeque Sisters, Katia and Marielle. This is their Tuscan getaway. It totally captivates me. The story of the house comes from a back issue of House and Garden and the article started with.....

"The remains of a memorable Indo-Russian-Tuscan inspired dinner (and several bottles of burgundy) were scattered among the silver ware and flowers on the wooden table. The rain had stopped and the warm damp air from the enclosed garden was filled with the sweet scent of Olea fragrans and the sumptuous wisteria spreading its ancient tentacles over the seventeenth century loggia. Katia Labeque, beautiful in a richly embroidered ottoman gown, sat at her Steinway and began to play, softly at first, a sensual interpretation of a Chopin nocturne".

And on it went........I was transported to an idyllic place......

"Soon Katia moved from Brahms waltzes to Hungarian dances, and later with the support of Marco Postinghel on the bassoon and Guido Corti playing the French horn, she ventured into jazz".

The villa is outstanding. The sisters love to incorporate luxurious items into everyday living.

The table is set with 18th century pewter plates and 19th century silverware. The villa and its' furnishings were sourced or produced by famed antiques collector and interior decorator Axel Vervoordt.  By the way, I love the mandolin motif on the napkin. Don't you ?

As Katia says " I'm not interested in living in a museum where all the good silverware is stacked away and no one dares to drink from ancient glassware......One needs to be respectful of precious objects, but they must be enjoyed".

I love the beautiful mix of modern and antique in this room . The combination is superb. A contemporary sofa and chair by Axel Vervoordt complement an 18th century Venetian mirror and 18th century wine table. In the background an antique Venetian mirror front cabinet. The simple wooden stools and sisal carpeting complete the look.

What a gorgeous view. Oh, to have tea here in the morning or a lovely aperitif in the evening. Wouldn't you love to be a guest at this romantic, soulful house ?
Be still my beating heart......

If you are not familiar with the Labeque sisters, here's a quick intro. 

Update: I  know Madonna's attitude is a bit patronising, but what can I say ? She's being Madonna ! I highly recommend a visit to the Labeque sisters website as well as other You Tube concert videos (which are a bit longer). 

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