Alice-in-the-house-of-wonders-Biancucci-Living

ALICE IN THE HOUSE OF WONDERS

The landlady fell in love with this abode at first sight: “I’ve been looking for a house like this for a long time. It’s beautiful, full of energy and strong bonds with the past. A place of the soul that offers sublime silence. It is my sacred temple.”

After spending her childhood in the Langhe, Alice lived in Australia for several years, where she became famous as a fashion and art photographer; however, she still has a base in her homeland, on the second floor of a noble palace in Mondovì: her pleasant Italian retreat.

The 1400s interior – mighty and austere as in an ancient castle with frescoed ceilings – has been brought back to life after a careful restoration.

The project, carried out by the interior designer Michela Curetti, who turned this space into a glimpse of contemporary life, as only a paintress could have done…

“I attended the art school and the Brera Academy. Caravaggio, Delacroix… Many artists and periods are given a new lease of life in my works, above all, through the colours that I use to convey feelings” the decorator says.

Here, the colour palette matches the Piedmontese lands, with dove-grey and chestnut nuances cleverly distributed between bearing structures and furnishings. This choice is in harmony with the environment, such as the goal of respecting the ancient nature of this house and recovering the pre-existing structures, as much as possible.

Bare walls without a single frame, except for the living room, where the refined decor could call to mind a boiserie.

Alice-in-the-house-of-wonders-Biancucci-Living

But “It’s a trompe-l’oeil, dating back to between the 15th and 16th centuries. We found it under layers of paint. In the other rooms, we did not skim coat walls, they were left untouched with their unevennesses. Intense and dark, they are rich in history and look like a painting. Those can be admired in every corner, between still-life paintings delicately evoked by glass vases and light effects that seep in through a single window in each room. “The only weak point of this house is darkness, there are just a few small windows.

Painting this abode with light tones would have made it detached and distant, so I indulged its dark nature with warm colours and some delicate powder pink, sage and sky-blue touches.”

Framed by well-preserved original frescoes, the current design flirts with bygone elements.

“I looked for contemporary elements that were elegant and linear, such as the table in the dining room, which is extremely simple.

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Glossy and lacquered in Air Force blue shades, it perfectly matches the context, so the room doesn’t need any other piece of furniture.” the designer explains.

The satisfaction is palpable. Also thanks to the professional esteem and trust that Alice – her childhood friend – showed her.

Thanks also to this precious alchemy, we can breathe a deep serenity while moving from one room to another.

Interior designer by Michela Curetti – Photography by Michele Biancucci

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