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January 2019

Interior happiness, Puglia

Interior happiness at Casa Vita

Dear readers,

One of the things I love to do is decorating, redecorating, making a place cozy and pretty.

At Casa Vita we started with a fully furnished house, mostly by Ikea. The former owners were great in reshaping and rebuilding the two old trullis and in making a beautiful yard. But I guess for the interior of the house, they preferred the simplicity of Ikea. Could be a practical side to it too, renting out a house brings along a big risk of damage.

We rent the house out as well. But if we stay at Casa Vita, we don’t want to live in an Ikea showroom 🙂 And so far, our guests have appreciated a more personal approach too.


We didn’t want to throw anything away, nor did we want to buy expensive things, so this is what we mainly did:

  • we had two big grayish Ikea armchairs which were comfortable, so we had them upholstered with dark green velvet
  • a few dark wood racks and side tables I painted white
  • we added some old antique furniture from my parents’ home (a coincidence, when we bought Casa Vita, we had to empty my parental home at around the same period), that otherwise would have had to be given away
  • we bought a few things: a new carpet (Sanderson) and Fermob furniture that we use indoors as well as outdoors
  • I regularly check Zara Home for sales, and buy sheets and covers to bring in colors
  • I made a lot of outdoor and indoor cushions myself
  • I adapted some pictures (of Sofia Loren and Claudia Cardinale) in photoshop and had them printed.
  • recently we added the two pink tabourets and golden side table
  • we chose dark green and pink as main colors for the living room and kitchen
  • all the outdoor cushions were also redone in dark green
  • with some help, I used leftover wallpaper (remember my wallpaper addiction?) and designed a new screen

We did do a big renovation. The kitchen is totally redone, in Puglian style. I searched through a lot of books with old Puglian kitchens, and we had the kitchen made by a local carpenter. We are very pleased with the result! For the custom made tiles we also stuck to green and raspberry pink. The countertop is from pietra di Trani, a local stone. The floor was also made from the same stone. By the way, Trani is a beautiful town a little further north in Puglia.


But let me show you in several pictures:
the armchair with old fabric:

Upholstered with good quality velvet fabric. The screen you see here is from Maison du Monde, I found it attracted a bit too much attention

So I designed a new screen, with leftover wallpaper from home

And we put the other screen in one of the trulli

Here you see the pictures I redesigned.  And the old dark side tables I repainted white.

Cushions I made and the new carpet – tropical style 😉

The old Ikea kitchen and the new one in Puglian style

The dark green comes back in the cushions in the outdoor areas


Can you give me advice?

In each room I have a Fermob chair to put some clothing on. I want to use these chairs for the outdoor table now. What do you think of these rattan ones instead? Other suggestions? Let me know!

On the left, you also see an old closet and a little mirror from my parents home. And you can see that this trullo room is made on the rocks of Puglian ground.

Some white rotan chairs
Image result for rattan chair maison du monde

Thanks for your help!

Ciao, ciao, Sophia

Most of the photos are by Marie Bouly Photography and Mable Photography



Qualche giorno in Puglia

Hi There,

Did you celebrate well? I wish you all the best for 2019!

We went to Casa Vita for a few days, together with a couple of friends. The weather was so-so: two beautiful days, one terrible with hail and heavy rain, and one a bit cloudy.

That was ok!

What can you do in Puglia in winter? Well, more or less the same as in summer. Visiting cities can be easier, because hot summer days just make you lazy and make you want to stay at the poolside 😉

What did we do? Enjoy the delights of Puglia. The house was nice and warm (thanks to our caretakers!) when we arrived in the afternoon. We had a late lunch and relaxed a bit. In the early evening we drove to Borgo Egnazia, just a twenty minute drive from Casa Vita and one of the most magical hotels in the South. It was beautifully lit from the outside, and magically decorated in the inside. We tasted a cocktail with live music. Dinner we enjoyed at Il Punto in Torre Canne: fresh fish – era deliciosa! – while we could hear the waves hitting the rocks just outside the restaurant.

Matera is the cultural capital of Europe in 2019 and our friends hadn’t been there yet. I have written two posts on Matera already: An old city with old friends, and Winter in Puglia.
So I am just going to spoil you with some pictures.

Are you intrigued by Matera? Italy unpacked also paid a visit to Matera. Watch the movie if you have the time!

On New Year’s Eve we tried a new restaurant: Mehta! A great choice, it is located in Martina Franca, a beautiful town, half an hour drive from Casa Vita. The menu was a bit too much (certainly the main dish), but the young cook was so enthusiastic and eager to get everything right, we surely want to return.

And the new year started bright. We still had some time to go to Ceglie Messapica, just a ten minute drive. I really adore the main square. All men (old and young) gather around the Clock Tower, women stroll in between, dressed up as if they are going to a party each time. In summer, children play here till midnight.

This day it was a little calmer. We could enjoy the view, while sipping our cappuccinos outside, and have a chat with the very funny (it would have been impolite to have taken his photo) Fruttivendolo (fruit seller). Here you see his Ape (three wheel car).

Alla prossima!



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