Tag: Architecture

Terrazzo flooring has stood the test of time, enduring for centuries as a durable and versatile surface.

To arrive in Venice for the first time is to be transported into a completely unique world—a city of gothic buildings floating on water, where grand palaces and churches stand above the ubiquitous canals, and an array of building materials is on permanent display. From the dusty-rose clay bricks that can be found on the exteriors of houses, palaces and churches, to the dazzling white Istrian stone that typifies many of the grander Venetian establishments, and the marble mosaics that adorn surfaces throughout the city, Venice is a city of contrasting textures and styles—and this is something that is reflected in one of its most famous exports: terrazzo flooring.

You might know it as that speckly concrete from government buildings of the 1970s and ’80s, but this hybrid flooring material was actually created in the 15th century. Venetian mosaic workers would gather up offcuts of marble and repurpose them, combining them with clay and other materials to use for flooring in their own residences. The workers would grind the stone down for an even walking surface, but without being coated, the color of the aggregate flecks would not emerge; terrazzo was merely a convenient and utilitarian choice for flooring.

The flooring style gained popularity when workers refined the process of installation by creating a grinding stone called a galeto to even out the surface, and discovering that a coating of goat milk would bring out the color and sheen of the stone. Since then, technology has advanced (and coatings other than goat milk have been developed), and terrazzo has established itself as a durable and attractive flooring material, first in Italy, and then across the globe.

In palaces and buildings throughout Venice, terrazzo is omnipresent, having been chosen for its aesthetic appeal and durability. In the centuries since its invention, the surface has made its way around the world, and recently, it has enjoyed a resurgence as a style statement in modern architecture and design.

David Filippi, Vice President of American Terrazzo Co., has a long family history with terrazzo, beginning with his great-grandfather Antonio’s emigration from Italy to the United States. Antonio Filippi set out for the United States from a small town called Casasola, not far from Venice, in the early 1900s. After an arduous journey and years of hardship as a foreigner in a strange land, Antonio established what is now American Terrazzo Co.

“Like so many Italian immigrants, my great grandfather left behind a wife and young child to board a ship and set sail for the country of his dreams,” Filippi says. “Some seven years after arriving in America, he called for his young family to join him and eventually secured a piece of property where he built his shop and home next door. Relatives and friends from the ‘old country’ joined my great-grandfather, and together they earned a reputation for performing the finest in terrazzo and masonry work.”

Terrazzo flooring has stood the test of time, enduring for centuries as a durable and versatile surface. image 1

Filippi’s family is dedicated to the continuation of the business, which is a testament to Italian ingenuity and Filippi’s great-grandfather’s hard work. “Over the years, terrazzo has had its ups and downs,” Filippi says. “Today, it is very popular.

Historically, you would have seen terrazzo mostly in airports and hospitals, and in the lobbies of large commercial buildings. Now, it has expanded to retail stores, universities and high-end homes.” As with many design and architectural trends, terrazzo has come in and out of style, but one of the enduring benefits of the material—and what makes architects and designers come back to it again and again—is that it is durable and versatile.

“Generally, of all building types, airports have the most foot traffic,” Filippi says. “One of the main reasons that terrazzo is so widely used in airports is that it is extremely durable.” It’s because of this that, even though the initial financial outlay for terrazzo might be greater than a simpler form of flooring, terrazzo is considered to be the most cost-effective flooring that there is—because it will never wear out. Fifty years from installation, a terrazzo floor will look as fresh as if it were installed yesterday.

Another major benefit of terrazzo flooring is its uniqueness, and the ability to customize its look to suit any setting. “It has many options,” Filippi says. “There is a wide spectrum of available colors, as well as many aggregate sizes and colors.” In recent years, terrazzo has been embraced as a wildly versatile material that can be used as a refined surface in professional buildings; for a fun and colorful addition to a retail space; and as a personality-laden feature in a beautiful home.

Because terrazzo is poured during installation, a fluid, unbroken surface can be achieved, providing continuity and connection between spaces in your home, which most other flooring and wall surfaces are unable to achieve. And designers are now experimenting with precast terrazzo, opening up a whole new channel for design experimentation—it’s no longer limited to just flooring and walls.

“Over the years, we have fabricated terrazzo sinks, bathtubs, tables, chairs and even sculptures,” Filippi says. “Terrazzo can be placed anywhere and everywhere. It has no limitations.” This expansion from building surfaces to accessories and decor is indicative of the strength of terrazzo in today’s design palette. Modern design outlets jumped on board, with Anthropologie selling a range of terrazzo-inspired bath accessories, West Elm doing a collection of melamine terrazzo-style dishes, and multitudes of furniture and fabric designers incorporating the material’s aesthetic into their products.

If you’re considering terrazzo for your home, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Consider your time line, because terrazzo is still laid by hand, and is considered artistic and artisanal work. If you’re going with traditional cementitious terrazzo, be prepared for it to take more than a month to install. Epoxy, on the other hand, can usually be completed within one to two weeks.

Cost varies, starting from $30 per square foot for installation. If you’re looking for intricate designs or installations in challenging areas, the cost will increase. But remember, the long-term maintenance costs of terrazzo are virtually nonexistent compared with other types of flooring.

Lastly, when you’re choosing the color and aggregates for your terrazzo features, make sure that you’re making a choice based on personal preference rather than trend, because this surface, with its virtual indestructibility, will be with you permanently.

The post Terrazzo flooring has stood the test of time, enduring for centuries as a durable and versatile surface. first appeared on Century 21®.

Source: century21.com

Former OPI Exec Lists Italian-Style Villa in Beverly Hills for $33 Million

Miriam Schaeffer, a former executive at nail polish giant OPI Products, is looking to sell her Italian-style villa in Beverly Hills, CA — and won’t settle for just any amount.

The nail polish mogul — who is also the former wife of George Schaeffer, founder of the popular nail polish brand — is asking a hefty $33 million for her opulent home set in one of the most sough-after streets in the area, Roxbury Drive, a historically popular address among celebrities.

Located on N. Roxbury Drive, the property has a rich history and has been considerably upgraded and expanded in recent years. In fact, Schaeffer invested heavily in the property, expanding its footprint by roughly 40% and significantly boosting the amenity roster.

Originally built in 1926 by the architectural firm Camduff and Camduff as one of the partners’ own homes, the architectural masterpiece was revamped by renowned architect Richard Manion in 2016. The current owner worked alongside the architect to add amenities like a media room and a wine cellar, and to expand the beautiful grounds. 

Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

The combination of Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean revival architecture is probably why this property is also known as Casa California. It’s a perfect representation of relaxed California living, featuring a long list of fun amenities that includes a fitness studio, a media room, a spa, and a swimming pool. 

The property offers roughly 210 feet of frontage along N. Roxbury Drive, also known as ‘street of the stars’ (a highly popular destination for celebrities living in Beverly Hills), but it also offers privacy from prying eyes via a gated and hedged entrance.

The mansion has 7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and an impressive total of 13,765 square feet of living space. The rear grounds are home to the pool, the spa, a guest house, and a fitness studio, all surrounded by complete privacy and tranquility.

Inside, a two-story entry greets visitors, leading to a living room with a stunning fireplace and doors that open to the front grounds. There is also a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen, complete with a breakfast room and a wood-paneled family room that opens to the pool. 

Living room of ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Kitchen of ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

Upstairs, there is a gorgeous master suite that incorporates a sitting room, custom-made closets, and a terrace with fabulous views. There’s no shortage of space for family or friends, as the upper levels also include no less than 5 guest suites. 

Bedroom of an ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

Additional amenities include a wine cellar, an elevator, an entertainment room, and a bar, making this house perfect for any type of entertaining. 

Entertainment room of an ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive.
Ultra-luxurious villa on N. Roxbury Drive. Image credit: Simon Berlyn courtesy of The Agency

This luxurious N. Roxbury Drive property is marketed by The Agency, with Jacob Dadon handling the listing. The current owner is Miriam Schaeffer, the former wife of George Schaeffer, who founded the popular nail polish brand OPI. 

Schaeffer bought OPI (then Odontorium Products Inc.) in 1981 in Calabasas. At the time, the company was in the dental supply business, but Schaeffer and partner Suzi Weiss-Fischmann turned the brand into a global nail polish giant. The brand’s products were used in movies like Legally Blonde 2 and Alice in Wonderland, and they are known for their chip-resistant formula and bright colours. The company was acquired by Coty, Inc. in 2010, and Schaeffer stepped down as CEO in 2013. 

Miriam Schaeffer, George Schaeffer’s ex-wife, once worked as an executive and treasurer for the brand. She reportedly purchased the opulent house in 2012 for $14 million, according to Mansion Global, and invested in expanding its footprint by nearly 40%, alongside architect Richard Manion. 

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The post Former OPI Exec Lists Italian-Style Villa in Beverly Hills for $33 Million appeared first on Fancy Pants Homes.

Source: fancypantshomes.com