ISSUE 21  |  European Vacation

Pastels Go Rustic in an Italian Farmhouse

May 30, 2016 6:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

Alexander Evangelou and James Waterworth of London- and New York–based Alexander Waterworth Interiors are masters of mood and ambiance; the duo first impressed us when they introduced LA-Style Dining Comes to London, Sunshine Included. (The firm is also responsible for London’s Best Chippy and the Summeriest Restaurant in New York.) With their recent renovation of a 17th-century masseria, a farm estate in the heart of Southern Italy’s olive groves near the coast of Puglia, the pair translate their skills flawlessly into the home. We’re ready to jump on a plane.

Photography by Emily Andrews courtesy of Alexander Waterworth Interiors.


Above: The masseria was refurbished for a Hong Kong–based British family who wanted a European base for their multigenerational reunions. Throughout the house, the designers placed rustic antiques sourced mainly in Italy next to bespoke modern upholstery pieces in muted pastels.

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Above: A view of the coastline is visible from one of the living rooms. The rambling estate incorporates four living rooms, eight bedrooms, and three kitchens. Still in the process of being refurbished, it’s being designed as a series of private and communal living spaces—ideal for seamless family reunions. The good news: When not in use by the owners, the masseria will be available for rent starting some time in 2015. Stay tuned for more details.


Above: In another living room, the pastel shades of the upholstery soften the surrounding stone and plaster surfaces.


Above: The rooms are an exalted mix of ancient and modern, muted and shiny. Rising above the hearth, a half-plastered wall smoothes out the rusticity of the bricks without losing their texture.


Above: A dark blue upholstered headboard and crackly ceramic lamp create a moody contrast to the pale lavender linen bedspread.


Above: The simple bedroom with unadorned walls is rich with texture and color.


Above: A desk chair with a black linen slipcover lends a touch of classic chic to the vintage rustic furnishings.


Above L: Throughout the house simple greenery in vases, such as this olive branch, enhance the calm, otherworldly ambiance. Above R: The designers retained as much original detailing as possible, including weather-worn doors.


Above: A still-life worthy of a painting created from a few simple household objects.


Above: The candlelit exterior stairs lead up to a pool on the roof.


Above: “The best views (with drink in hand) are from the roof pool overlooking the sea or in the outdoor bath overlooking the orangery,” says Waterworth.


Above: The masseria’s walled orangery.


Above: Cofounders of Alexander Waterworth Interiors, James Waterworth and Alexander Evangelou.

For more rustic inspiration, have a look at the Modern Farmhouses in our photo gallery. If you’re planning a trip to Italy, consult our City Guide for our favorite places to stay, eat, and browse.