In the historic center of Bologna, a private house, once a former convent, was designed in the name of reuse. Thanks to the profession of the owner, an expert in climate change

How to furnish a house in an eco-sustainable way, while maintaining high attention towards the Planet? Daniela Commendatore, architect and interior designer, collaborator of Dood Design. The studio, specialized in interior projects, oversaw the reinterpretation of a private property in the historic center of Bologna, which combines an important structural history with eclectic taste and value requirements strong> of the current ownership.

The fascinating building, with rustic yet elegant features, presents itself today as a classic country house (even if located in the city) with unexpected interiors: the numerous ethnic references are associated with details traditional; in some cases a hint of the industrial style emerges, but the retro taste of the owner couple is clear.

The multifaceted language of the residence is completed by some details inherited from the centuries-old history of the structure: what was originally a convent and which today is a private home, has brought with it precious aspects such as frescoes and materials still today value.

“During the start of work, the house did not undergo any major revolutions” explains the architect. Commendatore. “In fact, there were no interventions to the structure of the building, because it had already been renovated a few years earlier, when it was part of an old convent in the historic center of Bologna”. The distribution and placement of the furnishings followed the needs of the client, leaving a large living area with a double volume overlooked by the study of Eleonora, an environmental expert.

Furnishing a home with sensitivity towards the Planet

The initial request from the client, however, was very clear. And he guided the entire project, immediately qualifying himself as the fil rouge of the work.

Particularly attentive to the responsible reuse of materials, thanks to the fact that Eleonora professionally deals withclimate changes, the owner couple needed to translate this attention in the domestic environment.

From this perspective, modern furnishings were chosen, partly coming from the old owner of the house and partly chosen from various markets. An example of this is the bookcase featured on the mezzanine, created by reusing old leftover beams; or, again, an old door of the building which has been recovered and decorated, and today forms the doors of a built-in wardrobe in the space used as a study.

In general terms, the residence has been kept faithful to how it appeared; the only real intervention concerns the kitchen, refreshed with a Marazzi stoneware tile mounted in an Italian herringbone pattern.

A house with a thousand faces

“The challenge was to combine Eleonora's attention with Jonahtan's passion for vintage and Africa” says Daniela Commendatore. In fact, intriguing African objects and sculptures appear in various areas of the house, coming from the current owner's travels in Africa.

To contribute to the definition of the expressive code of the house, there is also the retro vein that fascinates both owners: a further aspect to be included in the project, which also enhanced its exclusivity.

This inclination of the couple has to do with the passion for modern antiques markets that the two owners love to visit when traveling around Italy: on these occasions some central pieces of the interior project were selected. Examples are the glass dining table, the Cesca chairs by Breuer or the Lady armchairs by Zanuso and some storage furniture.

Last but not least, a hint of industrial style that is due to the previous renovation, from which traces of the original convent remained. Exposed iron beams, the vaulted structure on the mezzanine, but also the authentic frescoes in the bathroom are an example of a legacy.

“Our work was precisely to unite these souls that are so different and contrasting with each other, linked in some way by colour, which in fact represented the driving force behind the entire project”.

The role of color

“The use of color and above all the choice of a bright palette with strong contrasts allowed us to create a good base that linked all the elements present” continues the arch. Commander.

Also in this case the attention to the use of materials can be seen in the choice of Farrow & Ball paints, English water-based and zero furnishing paints strong> harmful emissions, respectful of environmental impact.

In some points of the house, wallpapers were inserted to characterize the space: the hallway leading to the sleeping area was covered, for example, with a material wallpaper of material strong>Artè, Belgian company, with a vague ethnic taste. While in the bedroom a Pierre Frey wallpaper was used depicting large-scale geometric signs.

Minimalist tranquility for the sleeping area

Between colors covering the entire wall and patterns depicted which seem to refer to traditional coverings, a minimalist tranquility reigns in the sleeping area which - in harmony with the rest of the house - declares a moment of break from the stimuli in which the couple loves to be enveloped.

“In the room we chose to use softer tones, a Bancha green which provides a feeling of security, stone washed linen fabrics to dress the bed and wallpaper that recalls scribbled geometries" confirms the architect.

The studio of Jonathan (English writer of historical novels), which is located in the most sheltered and internal area of the house which overlooks a small internal courtyard, instead returns a little to the intense valorization of what is the soul of the house: “The wooden flooring was recovered by a careful craftsman who arranged all the original inlays”.