Villa S on Lake Como

After many visits, our clients had fallen in love with life on Lake Como and decided to purchase a home of their own. They decided to become the gardians of a historic villa, the first home built on the east coast of Lake Como. They had the vision to lovingly restore the villa to its former glory, while updating it for a modern lifestyle. 


The house sits directly on the lake and has a large garden on either side. The southern garden is the historical one, which features a new metal gazebo - the perfect spot for a casual lunch. While the garden to the north is its more modern twin. Here you find a new steel and glass addition to the house, as well as a metal pergola and raised pool.


Our goal with this project was to be inspired by the grandeur of the existing house and its location, to respect those traditional aspects which are an innate part of its character, and yet infuse the home with a modern sensibility. This is most clearly demonstrated in the grand living room, with it's beautiful existing mosaic floors and painted ceiling. The new furniture and lighting immediately gives the room a modern elegance, while feeling as though it had always been there.


The generous Kitchen was created by combining two smaller rooms and has a 3.5m vaulted ceiling. Here, we created a simple panel design for the cabinetry around the perimeter of the room. The delicate shade of light green was created by special colored wood veneers by Schotten & Hansen.

New terrazzo floors were created on the Ground Floor outside of the three primary rooms. We chose a simple off-white color to give a contemporary, yet classic feel, but have a more traditional mosaic border to tie them back to the original floors. There is a playful arrangement of new mosaic flowers that are sprinkled around these rooms, and once again refer to the history of the place, but in a completely modern and unexpected way.


We found an incredible stone, Calacatta Arni, with undulating patterns of green and beige veins within a white field, to pair on the island with bronze cabinet doors. This jewel box is truly the heart of the Kitchen, where the entire family can gather around.


We were excited that our clients understood that an interior is much more than a few well-placed pieces of furniture. They understood that each layer of the interiors enhances the previous one, and in the end, the overall is so much stronger than the mere sum of its parts – in this case, starting with the existing architecture and beautiful mosaic floors, then adding the furniture, to the accessories and lighting that add highlights and bejeweled moments, to finally our client’s own curated collection of art which was the perfect enhancement in each room.


In the three main rooms of the Ground Floor, there exist the original terrazzo floors, each with different central decorative mosaic rosettes. The colors of the stones used in these terrazzo floors, the deep green of the Verde, the white of the Carrara, and the red of the Rosso Levanto, as well as the salmon colored stucco of the exterior, became a starting point for the color palette of the first two floors of the home, and inspiration for the exterior elements.


Dark woods bring a masculine flair to the office, while oversized chairs in front of the only fireplace provide a cozy nook for cold winter nights.


All of the bedrooms have sweeping views out over the gardens and Lake Como, and beg one to sit and linger. Custom linens were designed with a logo created using the same flower motif used in the new terrazzo floors, based upon one of the original mosaic rosettes.


The luxurious texture and stunning designs of Dedar fabrics truly elevated the space and added a touch of elegance.


The bathrooms feature a beautiful green Verde Antiqua stone used to create accent walls, as well as the carved stone tops on custom designed vanities. Light fixtures by Marc Woods give the room a pop of elegance.

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Layers of green add depth to this bedroom, which features custom linens and a silk dividing wall to create separate sleeping and dressing areas.


This elegant bathroom and dressing area feature the incredible white and green stone, Moon Ray, and custom green cabinetry, which was hand-finished by Schotten & Hansen.

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We decided to paint the wood and steel beams of the roof a soft blue color inspired by that used on all of the exterior doors and windows, thereby giving this attic space a much lighter feel. The wood planks of the ceiling were painted the slightest hue lighter to create a small visual contrast.


The round oculus windows on this floor help to reinforce this nautical feeling of almost being on a boat.


The Basement Floor might hold the biggest surprise for the coming visitor. Originally, the open space under the house was the docking location for the owners’ boats. One bay was left open for a boat, while the other two bays have been enclosed and made watertight to create an indoor swimming pool, fitness and spa area. The marvelous existing stone and brick vaulting becomes the backdrop for a new sanctuary where the owner can relax and rejuvenate


New outdoor furniture was selected which carried on the color palette from the house and provide moments of luxurious relaxation throughout the garden.


The clients wanted a space near the pool to barbeque, but which also offered plenty of seating to enjoy drinks and each other’s company as they look out over the lake.


Taking cues from the salmon colors of the exterior stucco of the house, we chose Brecchia Pernice marble for the 3 meter island. We paired this with natural teak wood cabinets and doors. To add a playful modern touch, we installed several rope-like luminaires by XAL to add visual interest.


This villa on Lake Como offers the perfect combination of modern elegance within a traditional property.


Private Historical Villa 

Lake Como, Italy

Scope of work
Interior Architecture
Furnishing Interior & Exterior

Reto Guntli & Agi Simoes



Studio di architettura Fabio Bianchi
Petazzi Costruzioni srl
Maria Silvia Giulietti Cemak, LA/AAM