Name: Laura Elsa Valente
Location: Asti, Piedmont, Italy
The Relais Cattedrale is a B&B in a beautiful 18th century setting in Asti, Italy. Laura wrote to us and shared how she renovated the place, formerly her grandparent's home, and her efforts to maintain the historical charm while also updating it for modern tastes. (I'm crazy about that iron bed, and want to take a trip there myself!)
Tell us about this home building or renovation project.
I renovated my grandparent's house to make it become a guest house and B&B. I prefer to call it "chambres d'hotes de charme" as that reflects better the philosophy of the place! As a historical building I tried my best to keep the antique side and meld it with a modern style. I really tried not to throw anything out and reuse as much as possible.
What specific green materials, techniques, or processes went into this project?
All the furnishing were made with reused or recovered materials, and I actively searched for objects in various antique and vintage markets.
What green building material or product were you most pleased about?
The bed in the Sinapim room, made with the old wood rafters. Also the bed in the Paprika room is made with parts of the rafters. I also love the old antique stone wash basins in some of the rooms, and the two iron beds, which I designed from my drawings.
What had you less than enthused?
It was impossible not to use cement for certain things.
Have any advice for readers looking to green build or renovate their home?
Don't be in a hurry! Look for what you need among objects thrown out by others. If they're not exactly as you would have desired, find a creative way to adapt it for your use.
If you're like to see more pictures (or book a stay), click here.