Yesterday we featured Villa Lena, a new hotel and artist retreat on an 18th-century estate in the hills of Tuscany. French designer and creative director Clarisse Demory was in charge of furnishing the center's guest quarters. We especially like Villa Lena's apartment kitchens, which, thanks to Clarisse, have an understated easiness to them. Working with what was there (granite countertops and outdated cupboards), she made simple, inventive updates. Here are two Villa Lena kitchens followed by a breakdown of the key elements.
Above: Clarisse whitewashed the kitchen walls and tall ceiling, and she transformed the old cupboards with a few coats of pale sage-green paint. Photograph by Coke Bartrina.
Above: Another apartment at Villa Lena has similar components. Clarisse furnished each with a different table and set of chairs.
Above: Farrow & Ball's Pale Powder paint with an Estate Emulsion finish—a chalky, water-based finish that enhances depth of color—is $95 per gallon. For white paint advice, go to 10 Easy Pieces: Architect's White Paint Picks.
Above: The Aga Legacy Range Hood has an adjustable duct cover and a charcoal-filled, stainless-steel filter. It can be vented inside or out; $999 at AJ Madison.
Above: Source unusual granite for countertops from ABC Stone in Brooklyn, such as Blue Eyes (shown), Black Marinaci, or Guanabara Blue. The patterning in some of ABC's slabs is so unique, it might be enough to convert the anti-granite set.
Above: The 36-inch Dacor Renaissance Gas Cooktop RGC365 has continuous grates, a one-piece spill basin, and powerful burners (up to 18,000 BTUs); $1,799 at ABT Electronics. Weigh the pros and cons of different types of ovens by reading Remodeling 101: Range vs. Cooktop.
Above: Ikea's 29 3/4-inch Framtid Self-Cleaning Oven has a convection oven function and a 4.1 cubic foot capacity; $849.
Above: The Grohe Dual Spray Pull-Down Faucet is a great budget choice that Remodelista's Izabella opted for in her kitchen remodel; $351.54 at eFaucets. Have a look at her post High/Low: Dornbracht vs. Grohe Kitchen Faucets. And for more options, see our 10 Easy Pieces: Best Budget Kitchen Faucets.
Above: The Stainless-Steel Double-Bowl Kitchen Sink by Elkay is $525.78 at eFaucets.
Furniture & Hardware
Above: A classic by Danish wicker maker Robert Wengler, the Wenger Chair is available in polished natural (shown), polished antique, or matte black; $600 CAD at Mjölk, in Toronto. On the other end of the pricing spectrum, Ikea's Holmsel Chair is $69.99 and the Storsele Chair is $119.
Above: Clarisse built dining tables using recycled planks of wood and wooden trestles. Ikea's solid birch Norden Extendable Table has a similar look; $299.
Above: To build open kitchen shelves, consider Home Depot's Common Board, 12 inches wide, 10 feet long, and one inch thick. It can be cut down to make shorter shelves or left as is for a long, single shelf; $20.82 each. Photograph from our post DIY: The Sawhorse Holiday Table for Less Than $100.
Above: The Everbilt White Shelf Bracket measures 10 by 12 inches; $1.67 at Home Depot.
Above: A solution for small spaces: Muji's Beech Folding Chairs are $79.75 each.
Above: The Oaxifornia Red Clay Round Pot with Top and Handles is made in the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, and measures 12 inches in diameter; $180 at March.
Above: The Tall Glass Bottle Vase, available in Pollen Green (shown) or Fog (a shade of gray), is on sale for $12.99, marked down from $29, at West Elm.
Above: Ikea's Hederlig Red Wine Glasses are $1.99 each.
Above: West Elm's Pattern Palette Dinnerware Set in Solid White is $32 for a set of four dinner plates and $24 each for a set of four mugs, bowls, and salad plates.
Above: The Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe is $69.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 at Objects of Use. For more brooms, see An Artful Sweep: Display-Worthy Household Brooms.
Above: The Unisan Black Metal Dustpan is a budget take on the currently popular black handcrafted dustpan; $13.93 at Betty Mills.
Redesigning a kitchen and looking for more sources? See our Steal This Look posts on a Well-Stocked Modern Kitchen and a Glamorous London Kitchen. And go to Gardenista to learn The Only Two Secret Ingredients You Need to Make a Refrigerator Smell Fresh.