Perched on top of a hill southeast of Tuscany, a harmonious farmhouse renovated from a stunning rural setting by the London-based designer and gallerist Shiro Muchiri.
It was a classic Tuscan wreck. Built-in the 19th century, the farmhouse was one of many on the sprawling estate of Villa di Torre a Cona. It was actually home to two farmer families. Untouched since the Forties and semi-derelict, it had been used more recently as a shelter by hunters.
The roof notwithstanding, the building was structurally sound. The terracotta bricks on the floor are nearly all original; Where the plaster had fallen away from the stone walls, new plaster – carefully color-matched on-site by a local artist – was applied. The beams on the ground floor were in good condition, so they were kept, their rugged imperfection enhancing the feeling of a house that has simply aged.
The house is roughly U-shaped, creating a sheltered courtyard towards the back. The owner and guests can enjoy lunch in the sheltered area at the back of the house. The courtyard leads down to a pool, which is set just far away enough from the house to feel part of the landscape. There are more than 400 olive trees.
Perched on top of all this is the tower, where Shiro has created a study for herself with views over the landscape.
The birds merely join in with the bees and crickets and the gentle breeze to create an ideal soundtrack for languid days by the pool. It doesn’t get much better than this.