How to turn a building into a charming hotel Small intuitions and flashes of creativity are often enough to change the appearance of an environment, without altering it.


Goodwill is the first core ingredient you need, then you have to follow a design input from the beginning to the end, and have a clear coveted result in mind.

If “originality” is the keyword, then following the inspiration that comes from within is a must. Perhaps, you can share your vision with trusted people of your entourage and finally give them concrete follow-ups with your own hands, through what is commonly identified as “Do-ityourself”.


This is what happened to a historic building very close to Sanremo, famous for having hosted a young general named Buonaparte in 1793.

In recent years, this Ligurian residence has turned into a holiday home. The owners are a couple of creatives, who already own another valuable accommodation in Apulia. They renovated the building with care, expertise and manual skills, preserving its unique specific characteristics. They gave it a sumptuous and meaningful name: Maison Buonaparte. The staircase was first covered with steps made of Carrara marble and grit; they replaced them using aged-effect cement tiles, in order to look naturally used.

They also replaced the floor using aged-effect oak wooden slats.


In the sleeping area, they restored the original stone walls in the bedrooms and added a canopy bed from a flea market. The wall lights come from junk shops and have been later customized.


Furthermore, the terrace has changed its look and atmosphere thanks to a trellis pergola, which casts its light and shade effects on the ground, making the outdoor area cool and comfortable during summer. This enjoyable outdoor space has been complemented with sun loungers and a loveseat, in addition to a rattan table with chairs, found in a second-hand furniture warehouse.

Photo courtesy of Olenka Interiors – Written by Germana Cabrelle

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