The Dolce Vita in Blue | International Design Excellence Awards

Book Summary:

On the island of Capri, the Villa delle Scale is one of the few remaining Caprian villas from the early 19th century. This historical mansion is a typical all-white house surrounded by an elegant terraced garden. It was the focus of The Dolce Vita in Blue development.

The main features of the house have been restored in order to preserve its character, including old tiles for the flooring and a high ceiling with arcades. This enabled the blending of antique (the old marble fountains) and modern (furniture and lighting) features − a blend of memory and modernity. Items of contemporary art were specially commissioned from the artist Philippa Smith who stayed in the villa for several weeks in order to create paintings onsite, inspired by the Mediterranean sea and surrounding nature.

This villa has a peculiar name, Villa delle Scale, meaning ‘villa of the stairs’. This is the house’s prime feature; 45 stairs must be climbed to reach the main entrance while inside. The living room is also connected by an internal staircase, consisting of an upper and lower level. This upward movement was a main source of inspiration for the project, with careful design-work conveying the stairs as metaphorically leading to the (blue) sky. Inclusion of the low table in this area was also inspired by the shape of the stairs.

The mood of the villa takes its inspiration from an iconic period, re-interpreting the codes of the Dolce Vita, with a poetic and contemporary twist. Here, as in dreams, it is tinted blue. Special care has been taken with the lighting and colour scheme of the textiles. Pale blue, greys and subtle greens are inspired by the nature and sea that the villa overlooks.

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