Swedish interior designer, Marie Nylander, has spent the past few years dividing her time between Höganäs, Sweden and the small town of Termini Imerese in Sicily. Here, she and her husband have bought an old, dilapidated Palazzo, which they are restoring while filming the Swedish TV show “Husdrömmar Sicilien”.
‘Palazzo Cirillo’ is the name given to Interior designer Marie Nylander’s vacation home, which she shares with her husband Bill and their 4 children. The palazzo is located on a hill, overlooking the small town of Termini Imerese in Sicily, which has just 25.000 inhabitants and nearly no tourists. The façade is painted pink, but – just like in the rest of the palazzo – the paint is peeling off, revealing that the house has more than 300 years on its back and has been uninhabited for the past 40 years.
“I love patina”, says Marie Nylander:
“I love old windows and walls and doors that have survived for 300 years. I think that is so beautiful”.
According to Bill – Marie Nylander’s husband during the past 22 years – beauty and aesthetics are Marie’s absolute top priorities, and Marie is not afraid to agree with him:
“I would choose a beautiful chair that would fall apart if you sat on it over a comfortable, ugly chair any day. Beauty is way more important to me than practicality”, she explains.
This approach to interior design carries through to the entire renovation project: the drapes that adorn several of the rooms of the palazzo are there simply as decoration:
“I don’t think anybody in Italy really needs drapes”, Marie says;
“All the houses here have shutters to keep out the sun and the heat, so the purpose of our drapes is purely aesthetic. But I noticed that the curtains in the blue room are so thin that they double as mosquito nets, so they actually do have a practical effect as well”, she says laughing.
The hunt for a Southern European vacation home started a few years ago, and Marie and Bill drove through all of Italy before settling on a location as southern as possible:
“I have always loved the Godfather movies, and I think they are part of the reason I fell in love with the south of Italy. Napoli had everything we dreamed of for a vacation home, but Termini Imerese is safer. Here I even feel safer walking home at night than I do in Höganäs”, she says.
Palazzo Cirillo doesn’t scare Marie either. She happily goes there alone to work without Bill and the kids even though the house is more than 400 square meters and rumor has it that a religious sect used to occupy the estate. According to the tale, the sect built their own secret tunnel running from a hidden room in the basement of the Palazzo to the church, 800 meters up the hill.
“We are actually searching for this tunnel in Season 2 of Husdrömmar”, Marie explains and continues “so you will have to watch it to see if we find it”.
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