Tommaso Spadolini and Serena Spinucci inspired by world of yachting as they redesign a villa

06/01/2023 by

Can a villa offer the same emotions experienced on board a yacht moored in a harbour? The answer is… yes, absolutely. Just look at the villa of the entrepreneur and influencer Serena Spinucci, co-founder of the Milaner brand, which markets a careful selection of clothing and accessories produced by the best Italian artisans.

This 650 square meter three-storey villa, nestled among the hills overlooking Lake Lugano, in Switzerland, was designed by the influencer herself with the help of the architect Tommaso Spadolini, whose son Giovanni dealt with the architectural work.

I met Serena and her husband in 2011, because they were friends of an Italian owner for whom I was following the refit of a yacht,” says Tommaso Spadolini. “It was on that occasion that they asked me to refit their yacht, Virginian, which was followed by the refitting of two more of the family's boats. After so much experience together, Serena kindly asked for my help in designing the interiors and arranging the outdoor areas of her new villa in Lugano.”

A villa on a lake “with the sea in its heart”

Starting from this premise, thanks to the vision of the environments shared by Serena, the leitmotif of the project was immediately clear, both in the selection of colours and materials.

Tommaso studied every detail with the expert eye of a naval architect and, thanks to his many years of experience, he understood our requests and needs perfectly,” says Serena Spinucci. “He really managed to create a welcoming environment that often makes us feel we are on board our own yacht.”

Developed over three floors, the villa integrates perfectly into the hilly landscape overlooking Lugano and its lake. However, the original building had small windows. This was the first challenge: to connect the inside of the house with the outside as if they were one, so that the garden and the landscape would become an integral part of the villa.

To cancel the separation between interiors and exteriors, various structural interventions were required, such as the elimination of some pillars, so that large windows were obtained in every room and harmony created among the different spaces.  The large glass walls of the living room, for example, once opened, merge into a single environment with the surrounding garden.

Glass and crystal are two elements that we also wanted to use inside the villa,” explains Spadolini. “For example, the light on the staircase that starts from the garage and reaches the upper floors comes from a single skylight. This is why we have created glass plates, which allow the light to reach the lower floors as well. In this way, the almost aerial structure of the modern white painted steel staircase is enhanced, which contrasts with the classic style of the wooden cladding."

Oak wood is the characterising material of the interiors, prepared in different ways by the master craftsmen of the Del Curto carpentry in Chiavenna, where mock-ups of all the rooms were also created before they were set up in the villa.

The interior furnishings are a skilful mix of modern and traditional styles, ensured by the presence of family furniture heirlooms, such as the large tapestry that dominates the wall of the dining room, flanked by two ancient rudders, which blend perfectly with the Mars round table, the Audrey chairs and the modern Golden Cloud chandelier designed by Paolo Castelli.

Everything is extremely elegant; natural light guides through the spaces, seamlessly connecting the dining room and the living room, warmed by the large modern fireplace (which also acts as partition, separating the large TV area).

In the living room, Promemoria large sofas and central coffee table create a fascinating contrast with the large antique carpet.

The master sleeping area is on the same floor: the bedroom, which overlooks the lake directly through a large window, opens onto a terrace that is perfect for breakfast or relaxing moments.

The sleeping area for children and guests is located on the lower floor, next to a spacious and well-equipped fitness area. 

In the garden, Tommaso Spadolini and Serena Spinucci studied a layout that was at the same time elegant, comfortable, practical and that could emphasize the “green furniture”, the work of the Hortensia garden design company. “Together we have studied all the external paths that connect the swimming pool, the changing room and the relaxation area with television," explains Tommaso Spadolini. “By using the inclination of the hill slope, we placed a gazebo on the roof of the villa, which is at the same level as the swimming pool: when you sit down at the table to have lunch, it really feels like being on the flying bridge of a yacht!”