Tim­ber & sky

Pair­ing wood with shades of cerulean blue brings out the depth of both. It’s a cut­ting-edge way to add heat to the coolest of pal­ettes

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

Pair­ing wood with shades of blue brings out the depth of both. It’s a cut­tingedge way to add heat to the coolest of pal­ettes


Com­fort is im­por­tant in the home, but it is bold dec­o­rat­ing choices that de­fine your liv­ing space. To­day, nat­u­ral wood, with its Scan­di­na­vian aes­thetic, is be­ing teamed with up­lift­ing colours to el­e­vate it be­yond the neu­tral and make a strong, con­tem­po­rary state­ment. This com­bi­na­tion of tim­ber and brights isn’t just on dis­play in this dreamy home in north­ern Italy. It can also be seen at the new Mar­ket Hall in Lon­don’s Vic­to­ria – a be­guil­ing mix of wooden ta­bles and emer­ald and sap­phire hued tiles – and Casa Pas­tor, a restau­rant in the new Coal Drops Yard retail de­vel­op­ment at King’s Cross (see p52), where an indoor tree has been paired with neon chairs. Con­fi­dence and warmth: it’s the per­fect com­bi­na­tion for 2019.


Ste­fan Rier, ar­chi­tect and owner of this spec­tac­u­lar home in Siusi, north­ern Italy, elected to mix nat­u­ral wood with a sin­gle colour: blue. This re­stricted pal­ette an­chors his home in its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings. The pair­ing is as fresh as the clear moun­tain air of the Dolomites. Teal – clas­sic and re­fined – gives weight to the pale tim­ber tones and off­sets metal­lic ac­cents, such as cop­per side ta­bles in the liv­ing area and a pol­ished brass coun­ter­top and fit­tings in the kitchen.

The choice of colour and ma­te­rial also has per­sonal res­o­nance. Ste­fan grew up in this vil­lage, and by us­ing tim­ber and the lo­cal farm­house ver­nac­u­lar – the struc­ture is de­signed to re­flect the hay barns that dot this land­scape – he is pay­ing homage to his roots. He spent decades liv­ing on the coast in south­ern Italy, too, and the blues also re­flect the sea, the sky and the ef­fect of ‘sun­light on tiles,’ he re­calls from his time there. ‘Blue is tra­di­tion­ally thought of as a cold colour but here, the red­dish-toned wood and the fabric walls warm it up.’ The trick to work­ing a con­cise scheme like this, he says, is not to rush: ‘The build took four years, so I had time to cre­ate mood­boards, do mock-ups of the rooms, and find ex­actly the right shades.’


The house that Ste­fan shares with his wife Stefanie and baby daugh­ter Tilda con­sists of a tim­ber frame that con­tains a ten-me­tre­high, open-plan liv­ing/din­ing/kitchen space. With a wood­burn­ing stove at its heart, this is the so­cial hub of the home. ‘I de­signed it to be an out­ward-look­ing space, like a town square,’ ex­plains Ste­fan.

Two cubes con­tain­ing bed­rooms are clad in geo­met­ric-pat­terned blue fabric by Arte and sus­pended at first-floor level, and an­other at the top of the build­ing houses a sauna. These spa­ces are con­nected by a dec­o­ra­tive, laser-cut metal stair­case that winds its way through the prop­erty like a rib­bon. Only the bed­rooms and en-suite bath­rooms have doors, lend­ing the build­ing an airy feel.

Three sides of the house are clad en­tirely in wood. The fourth façade is floor-to-ceil­ing glass, dec­o­rated with a slen­der cross­beam lat­tice – the ef­fect is es­pe­cially strik­ing in the sauna, where the tim­bers frame the views of the nearby moun­tains. There are play­ful touches through­out: white mice – in the form of Seletti lights – scut­tle along beams, and a ‘Mon­key’ pen­dant light hangs in the liv­ing area. ‘I tried to cre­ate a play­ful space,’ says Ste­fan. ‘Life is fun – it isn’t just for work.’



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