At Home gift guide: creature comforts from Tuscany

Help local businesses from across the miles

Editorial Staff
February 4, 2021 - 17:30

Bring Tuscany to your home this winter with handcrafted items from the region we all love. From Prato-produced mattresses to candle bowls shaped by a Scottish potter, watercolours painted by an Australian in Florence and complete kitchens made in Tuscany, here are a few suggestions for nesting in the colder months that will last in the future. Plus, it’s a valuable way of helping local businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

A touch of whimsy

 

 

Spread a little light with three little bird candle bowls (18 euro) by Little Acorns Pottery. Handmade in the Tuscan countryside by Scottish studio potter Kirstie Marie Mathieson, the cobalt blue bowls make a lasting gift for loved ones across the miles and for ourselves this winter and beyond. Sitting snuggly side by side, the little birds convey a feeling of togetherness, joy and positivity in these difficult times. Kirstie came to Italy in 2002 to teach English with a History of Art degree. She now lives in the Valdarno with her husband, three children, four cats and one dog. Bowls, coffee cups, vases and soap dishes are all inspired by a love of nature and the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. All pieces are made on the potter’s wheel and decorated by hand, this means that every piece is unique.

 

Get your candle bowl here.

 

 

 

 

Tuscany on your walls

 

 

Brighten up your four walls with a hand-painted commission from Florence. Whether it’s a graceful poppy or a portrait of your pets, these scenes will gladden the heart and add colour to your home. Lisa Brancatisano was born in Melbourne, Australia to an Italian father and English mother. She first travelled to Florence in 1993 to learn Italian, discovering the joys of watercolour painting at the same time. Her private food and shopping tours paused, Lisa returned to painting due to the pandemic and she now accepts commissions for family or pet portraits, Tuscan landscapes, botanical and still-life. Portraits start at 150 euro and mini landscapes from 50 euro. More details on size and prices can be found on her website. 

 

Get your watercolor here.

 

 

 

 

Airs and graces

 

 

Embrace wintertime scents for your home made by luxury hotel Borgo Santo Pietro’s ethical and organic brand Seed to Skin. Transport yourself to the 300-acre estate nestled in the southern Tuscan countryside with a rich home fragrance. Winter Smoke room sprays (89 euro) and diffusers (98 euro) tell a sensory tale with a forest walk before returning into the warmth with the comforting aromas of wine and an open fire. The deeply rich fragrance is tinged with spices, laden with woody notes of cedar and intense musky undertones: perfect for this winter season at home. Each step of production takes place in the onsite laboratory, ensuring the highest quality and traceability, as well as directly supporting the local community.

 

Get your home fragrance from Tuscany here.

 

 

 

 

Crystal clear

 

 

Add artisan touches to your dining table with blown crystal candle holders made in Florence. Headquartered in San Frediano since the late 1800s, Moleria Locchi started out producing sublime glassware for luxury boats, garnering international acclaim. A pillar on the global glass art scene, the expert Florentine artisans now craft beautiful objects for the home using centuries-old glassblowing and engraving techniques. These candlesticks—very tall “AD” model (300 euro for the pair), renamed after being featured in Architectural Digest, hollow stem (580 euro for the pair) and drop blown stem (280 euro for the pair)—are made in 24% lead crystal and individually dedicated to Made in Tuscany lovers: a perfect reminder of how Florence will always withstand the test of time, and in utmost beauty.

 

Get your artisan candle holders from Florence here.

 

 

 

 

For enlightenment

 

 

Colour and light are mood boosters as we continue to spend extended hours in our homes. La Corallina’s lampshades do the job. Entirely handmade, the Florentine family business entwine canvas and trims in all shapes (cylinders and truncated cones) and sizes (25cm-55cm in diameter) with price tags ranging from 35 to 100 euro. Gioia Bernardini and Piero opened a small studio in Florence in 2010. The winning formula of combining creativity and innovative craftsmanship paved the way to immediate success. Etro, Bergdorf Goodman, Martini and Rossi, and Four Seasons are just a few of the La Corallina’s client base, who also love the store’s many other home décor objects.  

 

Get your Florentine lampshades here.

 

Lungarno Francesco Ferrucci 21, Florence

 

 

 

 

Time to reflect

 

Ph. Francesca Pagliai

 

 

Indulge in a mirror (or two) and up the natural light effect in these darker months. We adore these “soulmate” specchi by Florentine brass company Bronzetto. Available individually (350-390 euro) or as a pair (700 euro)—they look so at home together that it’s almost impossible to split them up!—the looking glasses are timeless yet contemporary. The stylish geometric design and nickel finish make them the ideal fit for minimalist or traditional surroundings alike. Opened in 1963, the Florentine workshop is dedicated to crafting home décor and lamps fused in bronze and brass, training an entire generation of artisans along the way. In 2019, as part of a community renewal project, Bronzetto famously cast the backrests of benches and the fountain in piazza del Carmine, based on designs by two young Florentine designers.

 

Get your artisan Florence-crafted mirrors here.

 

Via Romana 151r, Florence

 

 

 

Project kitchen

 

 

If you can’t come to Florence’s kitchens any time soon, have a Florentine kitchen tailor-made for you. Historic brand Officine Gullo designs and manufactures luxury kitchens on its Antella site based on the client’s needs and aspirations. Emblazoned with the Florentine giglio, the kitchens are commissioned by Italy lovers all over the world, from Manhattan penthouses to Victorian homes in the English countryside, as well as villas in the Tuscan countryside. Produced in materials painstakingly researched to stand the test of time, an Officine Gullo kitchen is detail-driven and destined for the next generation, perfect for families who love to cook in stylish surroundings with the same technology found in top restaurants.

 

Get your complete Tuscan kitchen here.

 

 

 

 

Hug a cushion

 

 

We still can’t hug one another, so here’s the next best thing: embrace a comforting cushion by Tappezzeria Petrarchi. With prices ranging from 50 to 100 euro, favourite Florentine facades and motifs—the city’s emblem, the lily; the basilica of Santo Spirito; the Duomo; and Santa Maria Novella—take centre stage on plush fabrics in vibrant hues or more sombre colours. The fuss is minimal: Alessio sells what he makes and displays his latest creations in his sdrucciolo dei Pitti window (as well as on his popular Facebook page, where he receives commissions outside Italy). Cute and huggable, the soft furnishings will bring Florence to your sofa for years to come.

 

Get your Florentine cushion here.

 

Sdrucciolo dei Pitti 23R, Florence

 

 

 

 

Sleep easier

 

 

Suffering from a smidgen of insomnia is normal these days, but having the right bed can make a difference. MC Materassi manufactures made-to-measure mattresses and bed frames in their Prato factory and provides free delivery and assembly to homes in central Florence after consulting with the helpful staff in the via il Prato showroom. Innovative, hypoallergic memory form mattresses make for a sounder sleep, reducing pressure and absorbing movement, while spring, water or latex versions might be preferable for children’s or guest beds. Discounts are currently available on double memory mattresses, starting at 240 euro.     

 

Get your Tuscan-manufactured mattress here.

 

Via il Prato 23R, Florence / 055 2741556

 

 

 

 

The advertising in this article was generously gifted to businesses by The Florentine readers David Bach and Alatia Bradley Bach. Email [email protected] to find out more.

 

 

 

 

This article was published in Issue 275 of The Florentine.

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