One of the funnest parts of restoring a home in Italy, or even building an Italian Rustic style home anywhere else in the world - is the chance to pull together elements that have a story. Tiles, fireplaces, bricks and stones can give any home an almost instant sense of history and place. This is one of the reasons why I wrote Italian Rustic, with my husband, Italian architect Domenico Minchilli. It was a chance to explore the various building blocks that make up rustic architecture in central Italy.
“We try to leave the pieces exactly as we find them," says Velia, “We don’t like to clean up, or restore terracotta or stone. Even if they have a little dirt on them, I would rather ere on the side of doing too little. When you are buying a old tiles, or a fireplace, I think you’re partly paying for a bit of age and wear, no? We would never take that away.”