When I first read about Caleb Barber and Deirdre Heekin, I felt an immediate kinship. Two decades ago, the couple behind the design firm Studio Due spent a year in Tuscany and it forever changed their lives. As a young college student, I lived in Bologna for several months and it changed my life too — I'm certain that an important part of who I am is attributable to cultural osmosis. But this couple? They've made a career of la dolce vita
.The husband-and-wife design team also owns a restaurant and wine bar in Woodstock, along with vineyards, a winery, and organic gardens. Everything Studio Due does, including their memoir/cookbook In Late Winter We Ate Pears
, is a testament to the Italian lifestyle. If I could sum up that lifestyle based on my personal experience, it would be enjoyment. Your home, your food, your life: Slow down and enjoy them!
What I admire about Caleb and Deirdre's house is how personal, effortless and lived-in it feels. I'm also impressed that their kitchen is only 88 square feet and they manage to throw dinner parties for 25 guests. They definitely make the most of what they've got. And that garden! And guesthouse!
There's an Italian proverb that I've always adored: "A ogni uccello il suo nido è bello." It means: To every bird, his own nest is beautiful. As long as you make your home about you and your lifestyle, it will make you happy. That's something this couple clearly has figured out, and something I try to remember every day.
Click through to House Beautiful for more photos. The interview with Studio Due ("due" means "two") is also worth a read.
Images: House Beautiful