Casa Flora is a bespoke design apartment that welcomes travellers with comfort and convenience of a boutique hotel, with an added freedom of a private home. A large house in the heart of Venice; a space that is open, designed to inhabit, work and socialise in, a home to experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities, feeling Venetian for a few days.

The project reflects the vision of two people from different worlds coming together: hotelier Gioele Romanelli and creative director Diego Paccagnella. Romanelli, born and raised in Venice, is the heir of a hotel that has been in his family for three generations. Paccagnella is a global entrepreneur and the founder of Design-Apart, a platform that connects artisanal furniture companies from Italy producing bespoke pieces with clients in New York City. Casa Flora is the result of these two worlds coming together – hospitality and custom design. The final outcome is a place that didn’t exist before in the lagoon, one that challenges traditional hospitality models and uses design to foster sustainable tourism.

In Casa Flora, every piece of furniture is custom-made by Italian and local artisanal companies, more than 20 were involved in this project, and the entire design layout repurposes Venice’s imagery in contemporary forms.

The house is divided into two parts: a flexible public space for social gatherings on one side, and a private, more reserved area on the other. The main entrance leads directly to the noble floor, which is also the social core of the house. A sort of domestic “campo” that can be used for dinners prepared in the adjacent kitchen by local chefs, or for work related meetings.

On the other side, the private bedrooms are designed to enhance privacy and people’s well-being. The characteristic colours of the Venetian lagoon, such as light pink, green, yellow and blue are the same ones used for this intimate part of the house. Each room includes a dedicated reading area and a SPA with hammam. The wide restroom space is conceived as a small private garden, a relaxing greenhouse, a seamless extension of the garden in front of Casa Flora.

Traditional Venetian materials have been clevery repurposed in a contemporary way by architect Matteo Ghidoni from Salottobuono and Laura Sari, interior designer at Reveria. The bathrooms are made of palladiana terrazzo tiles, a stone treatment technique usually used for flooring in the lagoon’s houses. The TM kitchen top repurposes a green stone that recalls the colour of the city’s canals, and can also be spotted on facades of historic palazzi, churches and altars.

Fabrics are from Rubelli, a Venetian based company that exports fine local textiles all over the world. Murano glasses are from Salviati and the dining room table and bedroom’s doors are made of treated briar wood from Xilia, a local artisanal wood company.

Everything that is on display at Casa Flora can be purchased online, bringing together a selection of special design pieces crafted by the best Venetians and regional artisans.


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[Images courtesy of Casa Flora. Photography by Valentina Sommariva.]


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