Project Focus: The Lakehouse

By Oliver Burns

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March 13, 2018|Architecture

  • S

  • ituated on the tranquil shores of the Italian lakes, with a stunning backdrop of mountains and cypress-fringed water, we created this stunning villa as a family holiday home for a dear long-standing client. A derelict property that had fallen into great disrepair through the generations, our client purchased the home four years ago and commissioned Oliver Burns to lead and manage its thoughtful transformation.  
Image via Oliver Burns

Responsible not only for the architectural interior design, but also the development management of the project, our brief was simple: to return The Lakehouse to its former glory.  We assembled a team of architects, builders, surveyors and project managers to work on the house, signing off and overseeing each element at weekly site visits. From blast-proof windows and sourcing marine-grade materials through to obtaining consents to build a basement level and a new road, this project was undoubtedly complex. Yet with all its undiscovered beauty, we knew it could be transformed into the ultimate year-round holiday home.

Image via Oliver Burns

The design concept truly showcases the villa, inspired by its unique and enchanting location. The combination of a soft and sophisticated palette, locally sourced marble and rustic wood finishes lends a sense of Italian elegance, whilst celebrating the natural beauty of its surroundings. Accents of midnight blue and seafoam mirror the ever-changing surface of the lake.  The sense of bringing the outside in is further enhanced by the full-height windows which overlook the water, flooding the space with natural light and showcasing the uninterrupted views to stunning effect.

Image via Oliver Burns

Comprised of six ensuite bedrooms over three expansive floors, and an additional guardhouse, this holiday home has been thoughtfully designed to cater for year-round use. From the chalet-style bunk bed room and inviting snug with a roaring fire to the swimming pool surrounded by Mediterranean inspired landscaped gardens, this home is equally as appealing for a ski break as it is a summer getaway.

Image via Oliver Burns

The most distinctly Italian space within the home, the spacious entrance hall marries traditional architecture with modern touches. A trio of pendant lights draws attention to an original arch that was carefully reinstated, as well as accentuating the grand ceiling heights. The sense of understated elegance that pervades this space extends to the Botticino Fiorito marble floor exquisitely finished with a Corinthian beige marble border.

Image via Oliver Burns

Designed to cater for entertaining, the reception room offers three distinctive spaces to within; a welcoming snug, a seating area facing directly out onto the lake and a formal dining room. Stunning natural oak flooring exquisitely inlaid with Marron Emperador marble has been cleverly used to visually demarcate these three areas, providing an alternative to traditional rugs.

Image via Oliver Burns

Each area within this open-plan space benefits from a unique and beautiful vista, taking full advantage of the 360-degree, uninterrupted views. Two picture windows, positioned on either end of the house, ensure the snug and formal dining area enjoy views looking both up and down the lake. The central seating area has been skilfully positioned in front of a trio of floor to ceiling doors which open out onto the water, flooding the space with natural light and creating a fluidity between inside and out.

Image via Oliver Burns

Downstairs, a beautiful bar and games room awaits.  This cool entertaining space includes a pool table, fully stocked bespoke bar and low seating areas – the perfect spot for après ski.

Image via Oliver Burns

Another key space for entertaining is the bespoke kitchen. This state-of-the-art kitchen has been fitted with Sub Zero & Wolf appliances, skilfully concealed in the joinery. A marble island forms the centrepiece, accentuated by a wrought-iron pot hanger with copper cookware sourced from Trento in north east Italy. An informal dining area with a polished blue marble pedestal table and loom weave chairs provide the perfect spot to enjoy the views out across the pool beyond the pocket doors. The bespoke design of these chairs has been incorporated into the bar stools which feature the same wicker weave finish, creating a rustic yet sophisticated feel.

Image via Oliver Burns

Upstairs, a bespoke fretwork headboard forms an impressive centrepiece in the Master Bedroom. Extending floor to ceiling, this headboard cleverly doubles up as a vanity unit on the opposite side, crafted from the same high-gloss, warm veneer. An antique brass wall sconce mounted on the mirror perfectly complements the warm tones of this space whilst a stool in embossed leather, walnut and brass completes this elegant pairing. The eye-catching fretwork design also adorns the front of the TV cabinet as well as the curtains, creating a seamless flow throughout this well-appointed space.

Image via Oliver Burns

Two sliding doors allow for smooth access and privacy between the master bedroom and ensuite and further enhance the light and spacious feel of this room.  The walls and floors are clad in polished white marble, sourced locally by our interior designers in nearby Verona. A free-standing bath perfectly positioned by the window adds the finishing touch, creating the sensation of floating on water.

Image via Oliver Burns

A marriage of contemporary comforts and old-world Italian elegance, this expansive villa is truly one-of-a-kind, which is why the locals call it ‘La più bella casa sul lago’ – the most beautiful home on the lake.

To view the Lakehouse video click here

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