Inspiration: Our Summer Trip to Italy

Hotel Continentale

Our bedroom! I loved the curtain design, which not only gave you gauzy privacy, but it created the illusion of a four poster bed.

Our second digs in Florence was at this chic hotel, literally feet away from the Ponte Vecchio, or ground zero in Florence. I have to admit that - with a child - it was not quite as good a fit and the very modern 90's style was not my favorite, but it had some definitely cool touches, including a most excellent roof lounge with a view of the city (it's also part of a small chain, designed and run by the luxe Lungarno group)...

This is a great place for couples without children, who prefer chic to homey. Again, we booked through Mr & Mrs Smith and found good rates.

>> Hotel Continentale

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The bathroom's sink and shower were very distinctive, with a solid surface which drained around the edges. While cool to look at, I found myself continuously rinsing it to keep it clean for Sara Kate after doing things like brushing my teeth :-).

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This sideboard/desk is an awesome design. It looks like a big trunk, but it opens up to provide a chair for sitting while hiding a refrigerator on one side and drawers on the other. Very Louis Vuitton.

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The doors in Florence often have knobs in the center, and the Continentale's doors all follow this. With a strong light on each door casting a shadow, I thought it was a good touch.

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This is in the dining room, where we had breakfast each morning. I loved the totally un-American color palette and these lamps were everywhere. I realized, after looking at them for a long time, that the solid but swiveling pendant connector allows them to move a bit (and stay centered) as the tables are moved, which is helpful in a spot like this.

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Ah, the roof lounge. This is a magnificent place to drink coffee or have drinks at night and was always open. The first day we arrived, Ursula didn't nap, so I ended up taking her up to the roof for an hour and getting her to sleep in my lap - so Sara Kate could rest. We did a lot of this type of thing!

>> Previous Italy Post: Florence 2

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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