An Insanely Dreamy Rental Apartment in a Converted Stable in a 14th Century Italian Villa — House Tour
Name: Whitley Glasgow, her husband Josh, and pup Maxwell
Location: Vicenza, Italy
Size: 4,500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
When Whitley and her husband, Josh, first imagined themselves moving to Italy, they knew they had to find a place with character. When they came across this rental apartment—a part of the Villa Fracanzan Piovene—they found it in spades. Though it’s a bit far outside the city center of Vicenza (located in a small town called Orgiano), the Glasgows say they’re used to living in rural areas, don’t mind the commute, and actually love having the land—Whitley even has a small brood of hens! And who could mind living in the country when you’re waking up in a 14th century Italian villa everyday?
After receiving feedback that most Italian homes are smaller than the typical American home, Whitley and her husband didn’t bring most of their furniture when they moved here. But landing this rental, at a whopping 4,500 square feet, means she’s been tasked with filling this home. And she’s decided to do it with Italian goods! While she looks like a minimalist now, Whitley swears she’s a maximalist at heart, and has worked hard to fill their home with quality, second-hand Italian objects on a budget.
Because Whitley is a floral designer, her home is also filled with plants and beautiful floral arrangements that she’s made. The villa features a large garden, and one of the largest citrus collections in northern Italy, so Whitley often helps herself to many of the things growing on the property for her arrangements.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Right now, my style looks like I am a minimalist. However, I am not! I have an old soul, and love basically everything antique. I would have to say my style changes a little with every house. I am eclectic but it all has to flow with the house! I like to have items that tell a story, and love buying second hand.
Inspiration: I get my inspiration all over! Places I visit, Pinterest, other people’s houses, and just “things!” I love things; I get inspiration from different items all the time! I am always like “Oh, I could do this with that,” or “I can totally fix that!” or “Oh, that would be cute here!” My thrifting buddies and husband probably get tired of hearing those things all the time.
Favorite Element: The character! When we found out we were being stationed here, I knew I HAD to have character and my husband and I really wanted to “feel” like we lived in Italy. The Villa does just that! I mean how many people get to walk out their back door to a sight like we do! We are so blessed.
Biggest Challenge: When we came, we were told to prepare for tiny spaces, and no closets. So basically, we brought nothing. My husband had lived in the barracks before, so he didn’t have much to bring. But me on the other hand… let’s just say I am a bit of a collector. I have a large stash of collectables at home that I didn’t want to risk breaking, or not having storage for, so we kept it at my parents. God bless their loving souls for storing my hoard! But it ended up being a blessing in disguise because now we have all that extra room for ALLLLL Italian things!
What Friends Say: “Oh my Gosh! YOU LIVE HERE?!?! I am so jealous! You live in a castle!”
Biggest Embarrassment: This place is nearly impossible to keep clean, no matter how often and hard I try! I am no clean freak, but my husband would say otherwise, simply because he thinks I am cleaning all the time. The dust is out of control, leaves blow under the doors, and don’t even get me started on the bugs. The first time we found a scorpion, my husband and I both about died.
Proudest DIY: My antique carriage bottom coffee table
Biggest Indulgence: Italian antiques. I NEED them all! Chandeliers are a big one! We will only have this chance once, so we might as well take full advantage!
Best Advice: Be selective, and only purchase things you love! It’s okay to spend big money on select pieces, but there is no shame in bragging about a great deal you got! Also, if you are on a tighter budget like we are, don’t be afraid to get creative with your DIYs. I was able to fill a lot of space and make it feel homey without breaking the bank!
Dream Sources: I love everything, and I wouldn’t say I fit one specific style, but my dreams are made of ALLL the auctions, flea markets, and garage sales!
FORMAL LIVING ROOM
Green couch — Borrowed from our landlord
Throw pillows — Sorgente Mercatino in Italy
Throw blanket — Thrift store on Caserma Ederle
Coffee table — Purchased second hand
Chairs — Gift from a friend
Side table — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Rug — Trieste Market
Bar cart — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
Jade coffee set — ReadyMade in Padova, Italy
Chandelier — Mercantino in Italy
Dining table — Citta di Usato in Este, Italy
Dining chairs — Very small Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Centerpiece — Elio’s in Nove, Italy
Wooden bowl — Claudio’s in Este, Italy
Chandelier — Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Armoire — Purchased from German lady when we first moved to Italy
Dining set (plates) — VBC Ceramics in Nove, Italy
Silverware — Collected over time back in the states.
Rug — Citta di Usato in Este, Italy
Kitchen table — Purchased second hand in Arkansas
Chandelier — Sorgente Mercatino Vicenza, Italy
Assorted chicken pitchers — VBC Ceramics in Nove, Italy
Cake stand — VBC Ceramics in Nove, Italy
Wooden crate — Arkansas –I was driving and saw this closed down Antique store. I ended up making a close relationship with the couple as they were clearing it out, and sending stuff to an auction. I bought SOOO much stuff off of these people (farmers both in their 80s). Most of my treasures from them I left at home!
Red utensil holders — Mercatino in Italy
Copper pieces — Weekly market near Nove, Italy, and the other from a mercantino
Scale — Purchased second hand in Arkansas
Colander — Italian mercatino
Spice cabinet — Mercatino in Brendola, Italy
Coffee table — Antique carriage bottom from a garage sale in Freetown, Indiana and made the top from old fencing that I tore apart! The whole project cost me a whopping $2! I will never get rid of this sucker!
Rug — Purchased second hand
Throw pillow — Included in the couch upstairs
Throw blanket — Gifted from my mom
Couch — Gifted from my mother-in-law
Painting — Mercato Riviera in Longare, Italy
Chandelier — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
White bedding — Bed, Bath and Beyond
Fur throw pillow — Ovvio in Vicenza, Italy
Green throw pillows — IKEA
Custom throw pillow — Wedding present
Green throw blanket — IKEA
Tray — Handmade Christmas present from my sister, Kaylyn
Side table — I repurposed both from plant stands, one with a clay pot bottom as the top, and one with a wooden crate.
Trunk — Mercato Riveria in Longare, Italy
Dishes at end of bed — Cooperativa Insieme Sociale in Vicenza, Italy
Candlesticks — Italian mercatino
Marble table — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
Wire basket — Italian mercatino
Flannel — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Wooden stool — Usatoland Italy
Leather pillow strap — Portobello Market in Padova, Italy
Desk — Borrowed from landlord
Desk chair — Gifted
Map — Cooperativa Insieme Sociale in Vicenza, Italy
Sewing machine — My sister and I got this together back in the states
Dresser — Loaner furniture
Chandelier — Mercatino in Torri Di Quartesolo, Italy
Bookcase — Second hand in Arkansas
Vase — VBC Ceramics in Nove, Italy
Picture holders — Door Handles from Arkansas, and repurposed them into picture holders!
Wooden shelves — DIY’d them from wood and rope at Leroy Merlin (an Italian hardware store)
Wire shelves — Bought at an estate sale in Arkansas. Boy, were they gross, and they were tar covered from them living in a smoke filled home. It would have been cheaper to buy brand new after the amount of spray paint I had to use on them! But hey! I will never forget it!
Hanging planter — Purchased second hand
Floral pictures — Random thrift stores over Northern Italy
Hanging basket — Purchased secondhand
Linens — Gift from a friend and Martha Stewart
Silver mirror set — Bought at a garage sale in my hometown Columbus, Indiana
White couch — Purchased secondhand from a German woman
Wooden crate side table — Second hand in Arkansas
Throw pillow on couch — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Throw blanket — Purchased secondhand from a German woman
Lamp — Portobello Market in Padova, Italy
Small table for coffee stand — Purchased second hand
Bedspread — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
Throw pillows on bed — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Side table — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza, Italy
Elephant — Bought from a Facebook garage sale site here in Vicenza
Lamp beside bed — Sorgente Mercatino in Vicenza Italy
Wooden hanging shelves — DIY’d them from wood and rope at Leroy Merlin
Crate shelf — Portobello Market in Padova, Italy
Olive wood clothing rack — Cut down a tree limb from an olive tree on the property, sanded it all the way down. Took rope from Leroy Merlin and wrapped in and hung it from the ceiling!
Rattan hangers — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
Mirror — Mercatino Dell’Usato GPU in Padova, Italy
Wooden crates — Commissioned from someone local
Towels — Gifted a few from my best friend, and the others from the Post Exchange
Shower curtain — TJ Maxx