“Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
Though I picture the design elements particular to my taste and personal aesthetic values when I’m asked to describe my dream home, what is most important to me is the “spirit” of the place – that oft intangible quality, – the way a space makes us feel.
So it came as no surprise when I ended up doing home design for others and I was fortunate to work with some lovely people resulting in some beautiful homes I am proud to have had a hand in creating. That said, there was always something missing in it for me.
Not long ago, I had the realization that if I instead created spaces for people to come to and enjoy, then I could focus on this intangible quality more. In fact, my primary focus could be uplifting and inspiring others in spaces designed for this purpose! (This seems an obvious conclusion but it was an exciting epiphany for me.)
Taking it a step further, when I combined all the things I am most passionate about, I could see myself owning a boutique spa hotel and retreat – a healing, restorative, i n s p i r i n g place for people to come to practice yoga and meditation and overall just a serene, uplifting and special place to be. I would design it, live there and welcome guests to a unique accommodation with custom amenities and a variety of life-enhancing activities and classes.
pouring out of me and I began writing a description of every aspect
of what the building and gardens would look like, feel like and how every space would function.
had allotted to meditate and write about Casa di Lucia and each day I expanded on the vision and thoroughly enjoyed visiting this place of my dreams.
So when Cindy Hattersley of Rough Luxe Perspective recently asked a group of us to write about our Dream Home, I thought “Great, this will be easy. I’ll just share excerpts from the many pages I’ve written describing Casa di Lucia, my ultimate dream home. “
It’s so obvious now, but I guess because Casa di Lucia lives so vividly in my heart and imagination, it didn’t really occur to me that it would be difficult and time-consuming, if not down right impossible, to find images to share here to adequately convey my vision. (help!) Still, I was determined to try, so without further ado, what follows are a few lines from what I’ve written about my dream home (aka Casa di Lucia) along with a few photos that I hope will at least give you a glimpse of this special place I visit in my dreams…
[The very first thing I did was to draw up the floor plan I saw in my mind’s eye. It has a center courtyard which is an integral part of the design so it became clear early on that I should look for convents or monasteries in my property hunt as they often have this feature.]
Casa di Lucia is a rectangular shaped structure comprised of ancient stone and plaster with a courtyard at center…
…There is an interior balcony overlooking the courtyard on all sides. All rooms open out to the balcony with stairs in each corner leading to the lower level courtyard.
There is a large balcony on the west side extending out from the kitchen and this stretches the length of the building, with stairs for access out to the pool area and yoga pavilion ( an iron structure which opens up completely to the panoramic view.)
Our property is the perfect combination of a well-maintained landscape, but not overly formal or manicured. It is a romantic garden but not fussy and blends seamlessly with the surrounding area, comprised of many lovely old trees. We have a variety of beautiful plants and flowers…climbing roses and fig vines, rosemary, lavender, wisteria, verbena, lemon trees, olive trees, cypress…many mature beautiful plants and trees were already in place allowing us to tailor the remainder of the garden to compliment the house with meandering paths and tranquil meditation spots throughout the property.
Massive arched and beautifully-carved wood and iron entry doors are intriguing and beckon guests to them. They appear as guardians of the house, shielding and protecting its inhabitants while also hinting of the wonderful revelations to come.
Stepping inside the front doors, you feel as though you have entered another dimension, embraced by a quiet peaceful quality in the entry and from here you can glimpse the inner courtyard and garden and pick up the sound of the courtyard fountain as you continue through.
Casa di Lucia has beautiful beamed ceilings and elegant rustic features throughout.
Spa treatments are available in our intimate on-site spa. Massages and other treatments can also be taken in the Cabana type beds surrounding the pool.
We have a well-stocked wine cellar and an intimate grotto-like dining/tasting area within it.
Guest rooms – Each room is simply furnished – All white linens, stone floors and stone or plaster walls. Dark wood beds (custom design), fireplace in every room and private bathroom attached to each room. The decor changes with the seasons…thick area rugs in winter…warmer tones and textures in the pillows and accents. In summer months, everything is changed out to lighter rugs, white or light shades on the pillows and white slipcovers on the furnishings.
There’s so much more I could tell you about Casa di Lucia, but it’s getting late so perhaps I’ll share more on another day.
In parting, I want you to know that as much as I have enjoyed imagining my ultimate grand dream in Italy, I’m grateful for where I am right now, in the cozy little cottage I call home, about to settle into a bit of meditation. Namaste.
|linen & lavender
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