This week we've asked Jennifer Perez to take the Knock Knock reigns. I came across Jennifer via Instagram. I am a huge fan of her company called Ivo Angel Store which sells an excellent range of tableware by Giulio Lucarini and superb Italian sheet metal signs, which I can't wait to get my hands on. So a huge thank you to Jennifer for taking the time to show us around her home.
If you walk down Via Nazionale, the main street in the hillside Tuscan town of Cortona, you are almost guaranteed to see Vizz, our dog and Gilda, our cat sitting on our front steps watching the townspeople walk by.
It could surprise some, but not those living in this small medieval Tuscan town. With only a population of approx 800 people, the piazza feels like my living room, and I never get tired of the endless 'buongiorno's!' on my way to the bakery to buy our daily bread. I'm an adopted Cortonese since my background is a mix of Canadian, Spanish and Italian, but the closeness and welcoming nature of the town makes me feel like it's a part of me.
I moved to Cortona 9 years ago and met Saverio, a tall, handsome Aretino who was spending the weekend at his family home. On the second meeting, Saverio asked me to go for a walk, and we ended up on his terrace. It took five flights of stairs since his home is seven stories high, but the view, the centre staircase and the stone floors took my breath away. I felt like I was on top of the world.
Saverio began to tell me stories of his childhood with his great-grandmother and grandmother in this house. 'The structure has not changed at all, and most finishings are original'… being an antique and vintage collector, one of his philosophies is to preserve.
Today, the house has become our home and to that of our 3-year-old son Ivo Angel.
The kitchen is where we spend most of our time. Everything about it inspires me, from the smell, the sky blue 1940s tiles, the fireplace stove, the herb window, the bread box that we use as a pantry, the salt boxes(the same ones his grandmother used) but most of the doors that open to the view of the Valdichiana, the olive tree grove and grapevine valley below Cortona.
In our living room which is connected to the kitchen, we spend our evenings looking at that same view. Still, through the bay window, Saverio's great-grandfather Carlo built at the turn of the century after a trip to London, where he first saw this type of window architecture.
The frescos on the ceiling in our master bedroom and in Ivo's bedroom which is attached, tell so many stories that Ivo often helps me tell.