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Transforming a 100-year-old house in the middle of a vineyard

Emma Kristensen
Emma Kristensen, Communication coordinator
Piedmont Italy holiday home residence

Totally undisturbed on a hilltop in Piedmont, towers the unique house that the owners of MH04 Comfort have just started using. On a clear day, the majestic Alps can be seen in the background, surpassed only by the lush vineyards that extend 360 degrees around the house. You really feel the North Italian atmosphere here, with vines as far as the eye can see. The home has been renovated, while preserving the many authentic features that are part of the history and traditions of the home and the area.

UNCOMPROMISING LOCATION

The house has UNESCO protection and is located on a plot of land covering around 6.000 m2, which, as a special feature, includes a small area of vineyard that the owners can taste the benefits of in the future. The site is accessed via a private gravel road and has no immediate neighbours, but is only 3.5 kilometres from one of the area’s most well-known and attractive cities, Nizza Monferrato.
The completely uncompromising location was also the first feature to capture Rikke Skouboe’s attention when she inspected the property on behalf of MH04 Comfort.

“It was clear to me, even from home, that this was something that really had potential. You could see this from the photos in the sales presentation – a dream home in the heart of the vineyards. Fortunately, this perception was confirmed in full when I flew down to view the home. It’s quite rare for this to happen,” explains Rikke, MyHomes’ Property Development Partner.

Below you can see the amazing view of the landscape that the owners of MH04 Comfort can enjoy.

THE EXTENSIVE TRANSFORMATION OF THE HOUSE

But it’s not just the picturesque surroundings that make this home totally unique. The house is more than 100 years old, with numerous authentic features, which have been preserved as far as possible in the extensive renovation programme. This beautiful property is now a modern home, furnished with an eye for functionality. Inside, everything is new, apart from the old walls, ceilings and terracotta floors on the first floor, which have been sanded down and then treated. On the outside, the house has been provided with a swimming pool and covered terrace, where the owners can enjoy the unique atmosphere all year round. The new house is in complete contrast to the old one, explains Rikke.

“The previous owner lived on the lower floor of this large house. He had a tiled stove, but no real kitchen – just a small stove that was fuelled by firewood, and this was where he prepared his food. So it was all very primitive. The modern house has undergone a major development, and now offers all home comforts.”

Today, the Italian holiday dream is a modern home with high ceilings and a wonderful influx of natural light, which contributes to an incredibly airy house with plenty of space. The home is energy-efficient, which is a financial advantage for future operations. At the same time, the house will not require much maintenance for many years to come, as everything has been renovated.

Below are the photos of the old house.

TRADITIONAL FEATURES

The house has been renovated with a high level of respect for the traditional building style in the region, and all details have been carefully considered in the renovation process. If we zoom out onto the façade of the house, you can’t help but notice the elegant combination of shades, which sees the delicate shade of yellow complemented by the pastel green of the shutters, windows and doors. Rikke describes the thoughts behind the choice.

“It’s a classic Piedmont combination, but not one of the most widely used, so it’s less frequently seen in the landscape. I took photos as I explored the area and encountered it from time to time, because I was so captivated by the colour combination.”

Opposite the entrance to the house stands a decorative monument that used to function as a well. The well was sealed off for safety reasons, but our architect and project manager, Thomas Jensen, came up with the idea of bricking it up in the traditional way, as is they do with features such as haylofts in Northern Italy.

The home’s covered terrace used to be a large space that has been added to the house and used as a garage, which is very typical in Piedmont, where locals love using sheds, barns and garages to store all kinds of equipment that is typically used to take care of rural properties and the surrounding land. During the renovation, the garage was transformed into a large, covered terrace, with lounge furniture and a pizza oven, and a view of the idyllic vineyard.

The inside of the house is also decorated with traditional features that give the home a very special character. Among other things, some of the existing walls and ceilings have been sand-blasted to expose the beautiful original tiles. The first floor is covered with the original terracotta stone on the floors, and the impressive fireplace has also been preserved and restored, so that it can serve as decoration and create atmosphere in the home.

Below are photos of the features in the home.

OWNERS’ REPORT

The last details that makes the transformation of this beautiful house perfect are, of course, the feedback from the owners about the finished result. We asked Jan and Kirsten, who were the first owners to use the property, about their experience of this new North Italian home.

“We really enjoyed our first holiday in our house in Piedmont. We look forward to going there again this spring.

Piedmont is always worth a visit, with its wide range of good food and fine wines, and its amazing towns and cities. We particularly enjoyed walking around Nizza Monferrato with its small pedestrian streets with lots of speciality shops, ice cream parlours and cafés.

Our house is beautifully situated in the heart of the vineyards – it’s wonderfully spacious and has been tastefully restored and furnished. The large terraces provide a magnificent view on three sides, and the nearest neighbour is a long way away. Both children and adults made good use of the pool.

This is exactly how we would have created a house in Piedmont – but this gives us the opportunity to enjoy it within our own financial means.”