The story is a bit like Under the Tuscan Sun only the villa is in Santa Barbara and the visionary romantic is designer John Saladino! His stunning new book “Villa” was three years in the making and describes the painstaking restoration of his beloved 1920s villa. This project was a true labor of love for he and his wife Betty Barrett. From the thick stone walls to the lush gardens, the villa is a supreme example of the Golden Age of the 1920s that replicated 17th century Italian design. In a 2008 video interview with House and Garden he spoke eloquently about his love of Italy, “I learned in Rome to see and to experience directly sensuality, the sound of splashing water, running my hands over old marble surfaces, the turning of corners into light filled courtyards and then again into cool shady streets.” It is with this passion for Italy that he reawakened the beauty of this romantic villa. In an interview with Erika Heet from 1st dibs, he spoke of the name Villa di Lemma, “So many important houses have provocative, even negative, names – Malcontenta, Malmaison, Falconhurst – and I thought this house is such a dilemma, and the name was set.” Beneath one of the largest windows in the house is its dedication of sorts: the horns of di Lemma, a Roman fragment from a temple frieze bearing an animal skull with horns covered in laurel garlands and classical ribboning.
Please enjoy these beautiful images from his magnificent home in the California hills. If you love what you see, you still have time to add this gorgeous book to your holiday wish list! Bella!
below, photos from John Saladino
“If I’m given an opportunity, of course, I want it all…I want to do the architecture, the interiors, I want to design the furniture, and I want to do the garden…I see the whole thing as a homogeneous entity.” ~ John Saladino, 2008 House and Garden video interview
below, close up of the dining room table, notice the touch of lavender in the glass plates…simply divine
below, photos and resources from 1st dibs ~ John Saladino shares a laugh with his wife Betty Barrett on the Olive tree terrace of Villa di Lemma ~ photo by Luca Trovato
below, The breakfast room
below, The drawing Room ~ photo by Alexandre Bailhache
below, The kitchen, at rear are three doors: the two on the right conceal the refrigerator and freezer, the one on the left leads to the office
below, The master bedroom ~ photo by Antoine Bootz
below, The entrance gallery
below, The enfilade from the dining room to the entrance hall ~ photo by Luca Trovato
below, Betty Barrett’s bedroom, her daybed was designed by John Saladino in her favorite aqua tones
below, The dining room, so romantic and elegant…
below, a view of the dining room bathed in candle light ~ photo from Veranda