Certain styles of architecture and interiors are impactful not for the innovation of their design, but rather for the exact opposite: the reassuring familiarity of the associations they evoke, the quiet certainty about the kind of experience they suggest.
Such is the case with this wonderful barn conversion in the Tuscany region of Italy, which was brought to life by local company MB Architecture. The intentions behind this home are clear: the architects didn’t strive for innovation for the sake of innovation or for gratuitously gimmicky design tactics, but instead set out to create a simple, traditional home so warmly unpretentious that no guest could fail to feel that they belong there, however fleeting the duration of their visit.
The primary materials used for the exterior of the house are perfect for the sun-soaked climate. The warm red stone of the section the left is richly evocative of summer heat waves and siestas spent lazing in the shade, while the right-hand side of the building, built in traditional grey stone, could only be a rural Italian home. The grid-like effect of certain sections of the stonework allows light to enter the building in a very specific way – which we will shortly get to see more of from an interior perspective.
The colours used in the materials of the house itself as well as those seen in the surrounding scenery are gorgeously Mediterranean and are absolutely ideal together. The sandy glow of the stonework sits directly at the opposite side of the colour wheel from the bright, clear blue of the sky behind, making the two a match made in heaven. The setting of this house is a as much a part of its charm as the design itself.
Of course, no Mediterranean getaway would be complete without a swimming pool, and this one is no exception.
This room is more or less as comfy as they come. Its generous fireplace with that lovely sloped chimney section behind is flanked by the two arched windows visible on the lower half of the building’s exterior. They are even more impressive seen from within, where we can also appreciate their understated, rustic ornamentation in the form of exposed brickwork. Meanwhile, the colours used throughout the room are very soft, neutral and non-confrontational, making this a room that would appeal to most decorative tastes.
Once again, pastoral simplicity is key here. The most outstandingly beautiful elements of this space are all structural rather than being part of the furnishings – namely, that arched window and door and the rich, dark wood of the exposed ceiling beams.
Ceiling beams are an important decorative feature in this room as well, although this time we find ourselves on the upper floor so the ceiling angled, adding an extra note of quirky charm. This photo also shows how the grids on the outside of the building function as windows on the inside.