For many years, a British family made the annual pilgrimage to central Italy for their summer holidays. At first they rented rooms in a bed and breakfast called Bellaria, located in the Umbrian hills. But, after falling in love with the natural beauty of the countryside, it wasn’t long before they decided to look for a home in the area that would allow them to spend more time in Italy. As luck would have it, the owner of the bed and breakfast was looking to sell the home, so the family immediately snapped up their dream home.
With a 17th century farmhouse full of furniture, the family sought help from two Dutch designers alongside an Italian architect to give Bellaria a stylish renewal. After seven months of hard work, Bellaria was finally given a new lease of life with contemporary interiors.
With a classic farmhouse exterior, Bellaria blends modern design with traditional Umbrian elements. Here, we see the sloping roofs and arched doorways that characterize Italian architecture. The designers wanted to retain the home’s unique character while still keeping the home fit for a modern lifestyle.
Bellaria is surrounded by plenty of lush greenery, easily accessible through the home’s glass doors. Although now fully air-conditioned, windows remain scattered around the house to keep it cool during the summer.
The kitchen now serves as the central hub of the home, fully fitted with white and gray countertops that give contrast to the warm shade of the terracotta floors and vaulted ceilings. Complemented with the sleek hanging pendant lamps, the kitchen mimics traditional kitchen layouts with a central kitchen island. With over 300 years of history, the designers were also careful to keep the brickstone just outside the kitchen intact.
There’s no shortage of space in the kitchen, with modern shelves installed to make maximum use of the room’s high ceilings. The glass railing separating levels is a nice touch to the space, giving the kitchen an uninterrupted flow of light while still staying functional.
The kitchen connects to the living room through elevated steps that lead out to an open plan living room and dining room, divided only with arched ceilings.
It’s interesting to know that what used to be an old cowshed was transformed into a vibrant living room with plenty of space for rest and relaxation.
The living room sofa is a soft beige sectional with playful patterned cushions to match. It’s wonderful to see the use of color to brighten up Bellaria’s traditional interior structure, as even the dining room features country style spindle back dining chairs in vibrant blue and yellow.
With a set of mid-century modern nesting coffee tables, the room is brought together with a red rug that brings out warm tones from the ceiling.
Previously, the home had been filled with dark brown furniture. The designers wanted to create a lighter atmosphere in the new space, so they made sure to add plenty of color to complement the home’s white walls. Similar to the glass handrails of the kitchen staircase, the library room features two ghost coffee tables that blend seamlessly with the geometric patterned rug.
The staircase is another addition to the home, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an authentic part of the building. Made to look like it was traditionally part of the home’s original structure, the designers used old bricks to build the staircase, retaining the room’s historic charm.
The home also has a game room, great for friendly competition between friends and family.
Bellaria has a total of five bedrooms that can fit up to a total of 12 people. Each bedroom is designed with a unique set of colors to keep the atmosphere cheerful. We love the idea of using ceramic plates as wall decor, as seen in this bedroom.
The sunny yellow wallpaper is a showstopper, exuding a beautiful arabesque pattern. Faithful to the vintage furniture trend this season, the antique vanity table adds a rustic feel to the space.
The master bedroom plays with a blue and yellow color palette echoed by the bright blue study table and two-seater couch, naturally drawing your eyes to the corner of the room.
Here, the ceilings have been painted white, in contrast to the other bedrooms in the house. We can’t help but notice the curved white ceiling lamp that adds movement to the overall look of the room.
True to the farmhouse charm, the bathrooms are accessed through sliding doors. What a dream it is to wake up to Bellaria’s enchanting bedrooms.
The fusion of old and new is perfected in the en suite bathrooms, which feature clean minimal white bathtubs and bathroom sinks. If not for the slanted wooden ceiling and terracotta floors, you wouldn’t think you were staying in a 17th century farmhouse.
The family adored Bellaria’s Umbrian farmhouse structure, which they admired frequently during their holidays. But as the new owners to a revitalized home, they were delighted to come home to an entirely new house on the inside.
Nestled in the recessed part of the house, an outdoor dining area sits across stunning views of the hills. It’s an amazing place to gather around with wine and cheese, especially on a sunny afternoon.
What do you think of Bellaria? Let us know in the comments.
Interested in reading about other traditional farmhouses? Check out this rustic Italian farmhouse with minimal Scandinavian interiors. Make sure to follow us on Pinterest and Facebook, as well.
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Design: Special Umbria, and S.P.R. Studio
Photos: Kristian Septimius Krogh