Tag Archives: Firenze

Adrienne Warner : Take an (Italian) Seat!

Ciao Tutti! (Hi Everyone),

Chairs are a real passion of mine. Far more than just a ‘seat and four legs,’ the design options for chairs truly are endless. Recent travels abroad have allowed me to see many chairs that are not typically found in the states and I have discovered some truly incredible pieces.

On a trip to Italy last month, I saw some particularly amazing chairs. I hope you find them to be as inspiring as I did!

photo 1

A Cecotti Collezioni chair in Milano

These chairs are one of my favorites. They remind me of Beetlejuice.

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Chairs at Reverso Interiors, Firenze

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Reverso Interiors, Firenze

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Reverso Interiors, Firenze

My current favorite, I love the scale and beautiful wood back and arms of these chairs.

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Reverso Interiors, Firenze

“Designer Heaven,” these chairs are so chic and comfy.

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The Hermes Pippa Chair in the Master Bedroom of our project in Tuscany, Campo al Doccio

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Flexform Thomas Chair in the Living Room of Campo al Doccio

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Another view of the Flexform Thomas Chair, affectionally known as our short, fat (and fabulous) friend!

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Poliform Ventura Chair and Pouf in the Guest Bedroom of Campo al Doccio

Arezzo1

Great market finds in Arezzo. This small town in Tuscany has a monthly antique market where we seek out well priced, special pieces for Castello di Casole.

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More chairs at the Arezzo Market

bisazza

This picture is from several years ago but I had to share it in this post about Italian chairs. The chair is made entirely out of Bisazza mosaic tile and was designed by Alessandro Mendini. You can see Joni’s daughter, Sarah, in the bottom right.

If you see a fabulous chair, please send us a photo and tell us why you love it!

Felice Venerdi (Happy Friday)!

Baci (A Kiss),

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Design Team Favorites: Mirrors

Mirror, mirror on the wall (we asked our design team to tell us) who’s….

fairest header 

Set 1

1. Driftwood Mirror – Lauren Thomas 2. Venus Mirror by Made Goods (available through J Banks Retail) – Heather Lemieux 3. Dawn Mirror by Made Goods (available through J Banks Retail) – Lisa Whitley 4. Oyster Stick Mirror specified by designer, Cindy Munn, for the Woodfield  Long Point Clubhouse in Charleston, SC 5. Horn Mirror (available through J Banks Retail) – Jenny Ladutko 6. Coco Mirror by Made Goods (available through J Banks Retail) Jenny Ladutko

Set 2

1. Knot Mirror Haley Grant 2. Mandarin Mirror (available through J Banks Retail) – Shelley Wilkins 3. Erastos Mirror by Made Goods (available through J Banks Retail) – Lisa Whitley 4. Fennel Mirror by Hickory Chair (available through J Banks Retail) – Lisa Whitley 5. J Banks Designer, Shelley Wilkins, cleverly had these antique hand mirrors (found in an antique store in North Carolina)  hung on the wall of the ladies restroom of J Banks Design project, One Steamboat Place, Steamboat Springs, CO. 

Set 3

1 & 2. Antique gilded mirrors both purchased from the Pandolfini Auction House in Florence, Italy and installed in a private residence at Castello di Casole, Tuscany, Italy – Adrienne Warner 3. Beautiful mirrored dividers with mirrored table and chandelier – Sharon Cleland 4. ZZ Globe mirror by Christopher Guy (available through J Banks Retail) – Haley Grant 5. Twig mirror by Christopher Guy (available through J Banks Retail) – Haley Grant

Set 4

All from the J Banks Collection for Stanford Furniture: 1. The Caron Mirror and the Caron Mirror in namesake Designer Kelly Caron’s home (chest, light fixture and accessories all from J Banks Retail) . 2. The Marianna Mirror 3. The Jenny Mirror.  All of these mirrors can be finished in the purchasers choice of over 24 stains or any Benjamin Moore paint color. 

Set 5

1. Fiona Mirror by Made Goods (available in J Banks Retail) – Cindy Munn 2. Bound Mirror by Grain Design Doris Gilch 3. Nova Mirror by Ironies (available in J Banks Retail) – Laura Page 4. Capri Mirror by Kenneth WingardDoris Gilch 5. Brooke Mirror by Made Goods (available through J Banks Retail) – Marianna Barbrey

Do you have any ‘reflections’ for us? What’s your favorite mirror?

xo,

JB

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Joni Vanderslice: A Summer Under the Tuscan Sun

Ciao!

I have been traveling a lot this summer but have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring my children with me. The majority of my travel time has been in Italy as I have been putting the finishing touches on our seven year design project, the Castello di Casole.  On my first trip in June, I was able to bring my daughter Grace,  and on my second trip in July, I was able to bring my daughter Sarah and her best friend Ella.

There is something about traveling with children that makes the entire experience special. They can be less serious about the experience and they savor every bite and take in every detail.  While these trips to Italy were primarily work related, I was lucky to be able to turn them into “work-cations.” I’d like to share some pictures of the two trips through the eyes of my daughters and their friend by sharing their photographs.

My first trip to Italy was with my youngest daughter Grace.

Grace chronicled our trip with her camera.  Here she is in the Bargalgi chapel with our dear friend Lina Loconsolo. We rarely get to go in this chapel and it was so beautiful. What a treat! Lina is our right hand and more in Italy.

I love how Grace captured so many details of the trip, including these lemons that are growing in the courtyard of the Hotel.

The photographer’s feet.  Love the nail polish!

Grace was in Italy for the initial stages of the Hotel Castello di Casole installation.  It was great that she was there to photograph the install process, and I sent these pictures back to the rest of the company so that they could see the progress of the project.  In this picture, workers were installing the marble around columns in the Bar Visconti.

She also took this detail shot of the sconces in the lobby of the Hotel.

Being around during the beginning of a project has its perks.  Grace will forever carry the title as the “First American in the pool” at the Hotel Castello di Casole!

Towards the end of our trip we even came across this parade!

At the end of July, I headed back to Italy and brought my oldest daughter, Sarah, and her best friend Ella.

Here are the two fashionistas on a shopping trip for antiques and accessories for the Hotel.

Shopping for Italian ceramics.

We did a lot of sight seeing, including visiting the Duomo in Florence.

Ella was our official photographer.  She has a great eye for detail. Here is a great shot from a building in Pisa.

We ate A LOT of Gelato!

We visited the studio of Linda Leopold in Casole d’Elsa. Linda’s work is in Tosca, the restaurant in the Hotel Castello di Casole.

Here is Sarah examining her work …. totally enamored!

The girls would have a mini-photoshoot wherever we went.  Here is Sarah posing on the balcony in Siena Piazza Del Campo.

A shot with Ella and Sarah.

We were also able to eat a lot of delicious food. Ella captured the details of each meal so beautifully.

This is the bread basket at the Tosca Restaurant in the Hotel Castello di Casole.

A delicious dessert, also from Tosca.

It was amazing to see the Hotel open and to enjoy the fruit of our labors. Here are Designer, Adrienne Warner, and I in the Hotel Courtyard.

And here I am with Sarah.

This is a detailed shot of a fence in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio. Couples lock their love together forever symbolically on these gates.

Artists in Siena.

And of course…more gelato!

I came across an Italian phrase recently. ‘Cuori sorridenti e luoghi allegro danno vita a moment lieti’ translated to English means ‘Smiling Hearts, Beautiful Faces, Good Times, Happy Places.’  This saying perfectly captures what my trips to Italy brought for me this summer. If you haven’t had the chance to travel to this fabulous country, I hope you can do so soon.  Take your children if possible, or do your best to take on the experience as a ‘child at heart.’

Visit Castello di Casole!  http://www.castellodicasole.com

Ciao! Ciao!

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Adrienne Warner : Inspired by Sunny Tuscany

When Life Gives you Lemons….Make Limoncello!

Ciao Tutti! (Hi Everyone),

Maybe it’s due to all of the warm weather we are having around here lately, or perhaps the New Year has me feeling especially optimistic, because I am totally into YELLOW right now. Check out these inspiration pictures below featuring my current favorite hue.

At Castello di Casole, the Limonaia was where they kept  the lemon trees during the winter. Later this year this building will be transformed into 5 Loft style suites with private terraces. Check out the site photos (below) along with a rendering of the completed space (above).

Each suite in the Limonaia will feature an original lemon painting from Tuscan artist Cassandra Wainhouse.

Check out the onice miele marble slabs that will be the flooring in the hotel entry. I had an amazing trip to Carrara to pick these slabs with Luigi, one of the construction managers in Italy.

FAB chairs! I found these last summer at the Pandolfini Auction House in Florence. I also found this great lamp with a reclaimed terra cotta base.

My stepson Aiden rocked a yellow shirt in Rome. I love this picture of him.

Outdoor floor lamp by Aresill!

Yellow keeps popping up everywhere for me including the pages of VerandaElle  and other fashion and decor magazines – like these two that I liked so much I tore them out to keep them!

The quintessential Italian diva, Sophia Loren!

One of my favorite Italian drinks is Limoncello. Let me leave you with this easy and quick recipe by Mario Batali:

Mario Batali’s Limoncello

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vodka
  • Zest of 10 lemons, no pith at all, may substitute 15 limes, 6 grapefruits, 10 blood oranges, 12 mandarin oranges, or 8 regular oranges
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups water

Directions

Place vodka and zest in a sealable jar, like a mason jar and allow to sit in a cool place for 4 days. On the fifth day place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. Add sugar solution to the vodka solution and allow to stand overnight. Strain through a layer of cheesecloth in a conical sieve, pressing the solids firmly.Strain again through a second layer in the same manner. Chill and allow to stand 1 week. Serve very cold.

Here’s to a bright and sunny New Year!

Baci (A Kiss),

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“Ciao!” from Joni Vanderslice

It’s all in the Details – The Italians take pride in their craft and beauty is the breathtaking result. Everything from making an espresso to the hand stitched detailing on a leather carry-on is immaculate. The execution of detail is why J Banks has fallen so hard for the country.

(Each time we walk past this building in Florence we have to stop just to take in the painted detailing.)

Our projects have allowed us to scour the country taking in all the different trades and offerings. Days are filled with short moments of awe because everything you see necessitates admiration. We savor in the product and salivate over the sheer art of the display!

Here are a few shots of some of our favorite details from our most recent trip….

1. In Italian Forte dei Marmi means “Fort of the Marbles.”  Appropriately, the gorgeous stone garden display made us “lose our marbles!”

2. The entrance to the Loro Piana outlet store sets the perfect stage for the luxurious cashmere that is waiting to be purchased, beyond the effortlessly chic decor.

3. The alabaster in the town of Voltaire is a must see. We love how adding light to the stone illuminates its beauty. We have forged an amazing relationship with a vendor who creates custom tables, lighting, and even pictures frames for us! Exquisite!

4. You have to do a double take with this photo… Designers in Wonderland – the scale of this piece would make even Alice smile. Now that’s what we call a High-Boy!

5. Even the olive oil bottles are chic when properly lit! This entrance detail at Borgo San Jacopo is almost as divine as the restaurant’s gourmet fare.

4/5. There’s always something we want to take home in our suitcases… and we often find ourselves wanting to take home SUITCASES! (We heart this carry-on.)

Some items are easier to whisk away than others, but we couldn’t resist this carved fireplace surround. It will be a key focal point for one of our next residential projects.

There will always be more to come and more to share!  If you have personal travel experiences or favorite foreign finds, please share with us.

Ciao tutti! (Goodbye everyone!)

Joni Vanderslice, JB

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