Featured in this month's Arch Digest: the kind of monstrous castle renovation reserved for the likes of Russian gazillionaires. For the ruined property he purchased in Italy's Umbria region, London-based Russian newspaper entrepreneur Evgeny Lebedev, who owns the London Evening Standard and is the son of an oligarch, recruited high-end interior designer and reality TV personality Martyn Lawrence Bullard to rehab the interiors in the only way Bullard can: with space-engulfing color and pattern—check outhis own home, after all—and an ebullient flourish that, at it its best and worst, pushes the limits of opulence.
Lebedev first brought in Rome-based architect Domenico Minchilli to handle the the bulk of the actual restoration. Prior to Lebedev's ownership, the bedroom was a roofless square of crumbling walls, the main hall a space defined by shorn walls of roughened, exposed stone. "I knew it would be a difficult project," Lebedev told AD "At the same time it felt like an exciting adventure."
Of course, the real draw was the the 35,000-square-foot castle's location; perched on a hill in central Italy, the ruins offered panoramic views of the countryside. "The Holy Roman emperors' army knew how to find the right spot," he said. Minchilli turned the footprints of the great hall and stables into a living room (above) and dining room, with the master suite up above. The reconstruction team also carved out two guest suites on each of the three floors, plus a "restaurant-quality" kitchen, a spa, an exercise room, and a bathhouse.
Then, of course, came Bullard. For the living room he brought in 18th-century french arm chairs "upholstered in appliquéd leather," a mantel from an Italian monastery, and a parrot-hued, 17th-century Flemish tapestry. Bullard, being Bullard, drenched the bedroom (below) in familiar jewel tones, with heavy velvet curtain surrounding the four-poster and peacock-blue silk damask upholstery on the walls. Have a look:
· Martyn Lawrence Bullard Restores a Spetacular Medieval Castle in Italy [Architectural Digest]
· All Martyn Lawrence Bullard posts [Curbed National]
· All The Printed Page posts [Curbed National]