– a designer designs for herself –
Hey everyone! On the blog today we are featuring Francesca Albertazzi. Francesca has worked in the interior design industry for more than 15 years and runs her own design firm called Rudy Winston Design.
Francesca finds inspiration in her travels and loves incorporating European elements into her designs. We’ve been working with Francesca for many years on various projects and her designs are second to none! This time, however Francesca’s project is renovating her childhood home that she has lived in almost her whole life and is turning it into a dream home for her and her family. Today we are letting Francesca take over the blog to share a couple of her spaces. Take it away Francesca!
Hello – this is Francesca! A little bit about myself before we jump into the details of the project. I am of Italian heritage, both of my parents are Italian, Tuscan father and Sicilian mother. Italy has always had a great influence on me, both personally as well in in the work that I do. My partner, Sandy, is from Scotland and he and I travel to the UK quite often. So I’ve added the UK as a design influence and we’ve created a home that is a reflection of all of our cultural histories as well as being fresh and new.
Main Entry Light
I wanted to make sure that the house felt welcoming. The old house had often been filled with friends of my parents and mine, dropping in for an impromptu dinner or card game and the entrance to a house is the first impression so it has to be a good one. The space is a large enough space that it can hold a few people at once.
We have lots of natural light in this space as it streams in from the top floor skylight, the stair window as well as the front door. But when it grows dark outside, we have the warmth of the 3-bulb fixture in our foyer to keep things bright. I love this fixture, it has charm and it’s a bit bold with the bronze but still quite elegant in form. It looks great on or off! And the entry light, tucked up passed the cased opening in this photo, is also a 3-bulb fixture but with a diffused opal shade which gives off a more uniform and soft light. Good to have on for putting coats away and finding the dogs leashes!
The kitchen is the heart of every home, in my mind. This kitchen was destined to hold court and work hard but I wanted to make sure it looked good doing it too! It’s an eat-in kitchen, with a custom-made 9’ solid wood dining table. Made from the old beams and posts of the original house, and it serves as both dining table as well as island.
The cabinetry colour is one that I have wanted for years. A dusty green that is a reflection of the garden that we love so much (and work so hard in!). I knew that the lighting in this space was going to play a key role as well. I wanted something vintage-looking and something that would stand out from the dark backdrop of the cabinets. So I chose these milk-glass beauties in order to have enough coverage over the dining table.
The sconce over the kitchen sink is in an aged brass finish that works well with the cabinetry hardware. The sconce has a similar finish to the hardware but different in finish from the pendants. I love mixing finishes, it’s important to maintain harmony but I find that mixing finishes and metals tends to make the space feel warmer and less rigid. If everything is chrome or black or gold, it can look a little too severe.
We love this space and we tend to have only the pendants, sconce and under-cabinet lights (all LED) on to work and eat in the kitchen, providing plenty of light for what we need. Also, everything is on a dimmer – which I find very important to set different moods with your lighting!
The living room called for something modern as well, to off-set the traditional fireplace millwork and all the crown moulding. I liked this pendant instantly as it has a ‘shrubby’ quality that echoes the garden which is right outside the two windows. The black of it ties in with the black of the gas fireplace and draws the eye up. We have over 9’ high ceilings and it gives some interest to the ceiling which is a surface that should not be neglected!
I fell in love with this pendant before I knew where to put it. Sometimes that happens: you fall in love with something and then you figure out where it goes. But it didn’t take long to realize that this beauty needed to be in my office space (OK, Sandy’s office space too…!). Something about it says ‘modern Italian design’ and I think it’s just perfect for this space. Giving a bit of a modern touch to the more traditional wallpaper.
– Francesca Albertazzi
Rudy Winston Design
There you have it! Thanks for sharing your home with us Francesca, it turned out so beautiful and of course, we love your lighting selections! If you want to see the rest of Francesca’s project please see our portfolio or visit her blog post on Jillian Harris’ site here. And if you have any questions about any of these items, please send us a note via our contact page, or give us a call at (604)576-8733.