A Gorgeous & Global Italian Apartment

updated Feb 7, 2019

A Gorgeous & Global Italian Apartment

updated Feb 7, 2019
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Name: Lezli Clendening
Location: Vicenza, Italy
Size: 1,614 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, renting

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Walking into Lezli’s second floor Italian apartment is like walking straight into a museum. With artifacts from all around the world, beautiful canvases from artists (some of whom she is related to) and even bones, insect display cases and taxidermy pieces, it certainly could be mistaken for one of the coziest exhibits ever. Lezli’s job as a teacher has taken her all over the world, and that and her travels have made it easy for her to source some of the most beautiful furniture, art and artifacts from far-reaching corners of the globe.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Lezli has quite an eye for design, and gets plenty of help from her impressive and talented family members that help her decorate. Though she lives across the ocean from them, her mother and brother, Daniel, often send her personalized art pieces for her walls — many of which she commissions from them! — and her designer and curator sister, Nicki, helps her put it all together. What results is a home easy to get lost in, asking questions about different pieces and the stories behind them.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I guess if I had to choose one word for my style it would be global. I have lived on the East Coast in the USA, Anguilla, Puerto Rico, Spain, Germany, and now Italy — and have been lucky to have traveled extensively. I’ve acquired pieces from every place I’ve lived and always manage to bring back something when I travel.

Inspiration: It sounds cliché, but travel has definitely been, and is, my biggest source of inspiration. Being able to visit different countries and experience new cultures, encountering different customs and traditions, and being exposed to new art and architecture always opens your eyes to seeing things in a new way. My love of African art and artifacts was born out of visiting my mother who was living in South Africa and going to Cape Town to the big flea market there. Several of the pieces in my home were carried back from visits.

Favorite Element: My favorite element of my apartment is definitely the bones of the apartment. The marble and agate floors are just incredible, along with the high ceilings, huge windows, and the beams. Plus, I love being able to look out my living room windows and see an Andrea Palladio building!

Biggest Challenge: Funnily enough, change. I’ve moved a lot and love that, but bringing a new piece into my space is always a challenge. It always takes me awhile to get used to a new piece of furniture, art or object when I bring it into my home…even if I love it!

What Friends Say: Department of Defense teachers generally have the opportunity to live all over the world, so when we go into each other’s homes, it’s always a bit of a treasure hunt. We’ve all lived in so many different countries and places, which makes it fun to learn about where someone was living when they picked up a certain treasure, or what place they found this or that piece of furniture, object, or art.

Biggest Embarrassment: Holes in walls! I love art and have a lot of it. I am always adding to my collection and moving things around — but that means new holes and these plaster walls crumble with the first hit of a nail. Let’s just say that the shield over the marble table in the living room isn’t what I wanted to hang there, but hides a hole nicely.

Proudest DIY: I’m not really a DIY kind of girl unless we are talking about putting together a huge and heavy flat-packed vintage German wardrobe all by myself. My proudest DIYs generally entail a piece of art I have begged my talented mom or brother to create!

Biggest Indulgence: I LOVE thrifting and flea markets and think that old/vintage pieces have much more character. That being said, I had a difficult time finding a sofa in Italy that I loved, so I splurged and had one custom made with gorgeous Belgian linen.

Best Advice: My sister, Nicki Clendening, is an interior designer living in New York City (Scout Designs), so that’s obviously helpful. She always says keeping collections together creates a stronger visual element, rugs and art are the most important feature in any space, paint is the quickest and simplest fix of all, and don’t hang your art too high!

Dream Sources: I am definitely a little biased but Nicki has recently launched a small online boutique called Beetle and I love everything she finds. We are truly a family that loves to shop flea markets, thrift stores, and antique fairs. Almost everything I own I’ve found at one of those places. Also, I’m currently on hunt for new dining chairs and want to cover them with Anthony George Home fabric!


Armchairs — Ikea
Pillows on armchairs — Etsy
Moroccan table — Tangier, Morocco street market
Fixture on table — Piece of huge coral on top of books, Abalone in Pontaillac, France
Coffee table — Shop in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Display case on coffee table — Antique Market in Piazzola sul Brenta, Italy
Candlesticks — Various flea markets in Italy & France
Cabinet — Mercatopoli in San Zeno di Cassola
Couch — Flamant in Padova
Painting behind couch — Alexandria Toussaint’s homage to Willem de Kooning
Lucite side tables — Thrift store, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Large planter — Fioreria Pasqualin dal 1900, Vicenza
Candlesticks next to cabinet — Various flea markets in Italy & France
Items in Cabinet of Curiosities — Shells and bones picked up off beaches in South Africa, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, and Spain; antique glass domes- brocante in Blaye, France; marble vases used for display- brocantes in France
African mask — Outdoor market in Cape Town, South Africa
Assorted figures on shelf next to couch — Pieces picked up at various outdoor markets in South Africa
Throw pillows on couch — Decor in Paarl, South Africa
Floor lamps — Lamps Plus
Wrought iron table — Brocante in France
Lamp — Casa del Peltro in Nove, Italy
Turtle shell on table — Abalone in Mornac-sur-Seudre, France
Figure on table — Antique market in Piazzola sul Brenta
Sculpture on table — Abalone in Mornac-sur-Seudre, France
African shield — Brocante in France
Lucite table contents — Left of sofa -bowls bought in Tangier, Morocco; Right of sofa- Monkeybiz in South Africa
Trunk — Tangier, Morocco
Assorted art on wall above trunk — Artfully Walls- Top & Bottom- Nicki Clendening’s Street Art; Middle, Kurt Waldo’s Untitled 3/10/12

Mahogany Dining Table — Belonged to my step-mother, gifted to me
Chairs — Family heirloom, Grandmother bought in Scotland when I was a child
Flower pot on table — Found in Wiesbaden, Germany on street
Cowhide rug — Nguni hide, eBay
Cabinet — Brocante in Mirambeau, France
Gramophone iPod dock — Made by my brother, Daniel Clendening
Piece above cabinet — Abalone in Pontaillac, France
Artwork on walls (behind dining table) — Clara Caffery Pancoast
Bar — Shop in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Lamp on bar — Casa del Peltro in Nove, Italy
Artwork on shelf — Holly Addi’s Halta Dominga- Artfully Walls
Artwork behind bar — Brocante in Matha, France
Bar set — Bottles and mixers found at various flea markets and thrift stores in Spain, Italy and France
Bar tray — Wood bar tray-family heirloom; Silver plated boar’s tusk tray-Vicenza flea market
Bar items of note — Shell lighter- Mercatino dell’usato, Torri de Quartesolo; antler stopper- Norway; boar & Leaning Tower of Pisa pewter stopper- Casa del Peltro in Nove, Italy

Bottle rack — Brocante in France
Cabinet — German thrift store
Green cabinet — Lewis Holloway (carver of wood spirits)
Wooden bowl on cabinet — Brocante in France
Utensil holders — glass- family heirloom; large white- Mercatopoli in San Zeno di Cassola
Assorted serving trays on countertop — Brocantes in France and Italian thrift stores
Coffee maker — Coin in Vicenza
Mortar and pestles with salts — Troc in France
Insect displays — Abalone in Mornac-sur-Seudre, France
Artwork above bottle rack — Clara Caffery Pancoast

Bed — Mercatopoli in Resana
Linens — Horchow bedcover; antique linen pillowcases- Insieme Cooperativa Sociale in Vicenza
Bench at foot of bed — Thrift store in Norfolk, Virginia
Artwork next to bed — Small Venice etchings on bathroom wall Prof. Bonazzon Giovanni Venice, Italy; hyena painting-homage to photographer Pieter Hugo painted by my brother, Daniel Clendening
Side tables — Wells Reclamation in Somerset, U.K.
Table lamp on side table — Italian thrift, lampshade made by mother from old art book
Turtle — Abalone in Mornac-sur-Seudre, France
African feather headdress above bed — Chelsea Flea Market in New York City
Prayer bench — Brocante in France
Antlers above bench — Homburg flea market in Germany
Pagoda shelf — Vicenza school sponsored auction
Dresser — Family heirloom, grandmother bought in Scotland
Artwork above dresser — Painted by my mother
Antique trophy vase — Brocante in St. George-de-Didone, France
Lamp on dresser — Chelsea Flea Market in New York City

Bracelet display — Thrift store in Germany
Evil eye — large gold piece with magnifying glass in it? Anthropologie
Small mirror — Charity shop in Taunton, England
African snake basket — outdoor market in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Full length mirror — Cristaleria Demarco in Rota, Spain

Rug — Round Top Antiques market in Round Top, Texas
Planter — Mercatino dell’usato in Torri de Quartesolo
Beaded figures above cabinet — Monkeybiz in South Africa
Soap dispenser — One Kings Lane
Toothbrush holder — Jamali Garden

Linens — Antique French linens, brocante in France
Rug — Brocante in Bordeaux, France
Throw pillows on bed — Anthony George Home
Foot bench — Thrift store in Norfolk, Virginia
Side table (left) — Antique card/games table, thrift store in Wiesbaden, Germany
Table lamp — Thrift store in Spain
Egg piece — Egg-South Africa, bottom of light fixture-charity shop in Taunton, England
Mirror to left of bed — All mirrors over bedside tables- charity shops in Taunton, England
Antlers — Market in Franschhoek, South Africa
Large art piece with scene of Venice — Mercatino dell’usato in Torri de Quartesolo
Camel photograph — My sister Aaron St Cyr’s Friday’s Echo- Artfully Walls
Large Moroccan lamp — Tangier, Morocco street market
Dresser — Antique market in Patuxent River, Maryland
Eggs on dresser — South Africa
Hand-carved African wooden vessels — Brocante in France
Side table (right) — Heirloom from grandmother
African mask — Cape Town, South Africa market
Vintage backgammon board — Brocante in France
Tray — Mercatopoli in San Zeno di Cassola
Indian artwork — Antique shop, Texas
Wardrobe — Vintage/junk shop in Wiesbaden, Germany
Blanket holder — Shop in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Pillows — Tuareg pillows – Brocante, France; fur- market in Vicenza
Leopard chair — Thrift store in Norfolk, Virginia

Patio furniture — Mercatino dell’usato in Torri de Quartesolo
Bench — Thrift store in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain

Photograph — Great great Grandmother, Kate King Montgomery
Butterflies — Large piece- Homburg flea market in Germany; Small piece, shop in Anguilla, BWI
Sagrada Familia piece — Street art in Barcelona
Still life — Mercatino dell’usato in Torri de Quartesolo
Blue piece — Print of Pelvis with the Distance by Georgia O’Keeffe
Antlers — Homburg flea market in Germany
Red piece with eyes — Painted by my mother
Large animal print on opposite wall — Flea market in Vicenza, Italy
Bench — Thrift store in Wiesbaden, Germany
Candlesticks — Brocante in Royan, France
Artwork above bench — Clara Caffery Pancoast
Black and white assorted gallery wall — Upcycled book art by my mother

Antler piece — Troc in France
Small table — TK Maxx in Bristol, England
Copper basket/trash can — Family heirloom
Turkish towel — Market in Istanbul

Thanks, Lezli!

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