Mix and match between ancient and modern
Each year during Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, Italy’s leading interior design magazines welcome industry professionals to a series of meetings called the Press Cafés.
In 2021, Ville&Casali organised a Press Café with interior designer Gian Paolo Guerra entitled “Mix and match between ancient and modern. Old surface coverings combine with new materials to create contemporary atmospheres”. The idea derives from the rediscovery of country houses as safe havens after the pandemic and as a meeting point for ancient materials and building traditions, which vary enormously between Italian regions. Because they are now used for longer periods of time due to the rise of home working, these houses need to offer the same level of comfort as city dwellings, and new materials can clearly play an important role in achieving this.
Giovanni Morelli, editor-in-chief of Ville&Casali, selected two of the interior designer’s most iconic projects to illustrate this process and to offer practical ideas that would be of interest to the audience. One project was for a country cottage near the town of Porto Ercole in the province of Grosseto, the other a “lamia” (an old stone dwelling) with an adjoining Saracen “trullo” (a traditional dry stone hut with a conical roof) in the Apulia region. “While it is important to preserve traditions, at the same time it is perfectly possible to break away from convention. Metaphorically speaking, I would describe the mix and match approach as a kind of tug-of-war between client and designer with the aim of achieving unexpected results,” commented Gian Paolo Guerra. “The world of ceramic tiles is fascinating. I use these materials sparingly, especially if they are highly decorated. I’m a firm believer in the clarity of white inspired by Mediterranean atmospheres, which is my true passion.”