A Charming Rental Apartment in a Dreamy Italian Villa

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Charming Rental Apartment in a Dreamy Italian Villa

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Kate, her husband and their dog, Millie,
Location: Vicenza, Italy
Size: 1,830 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Kate Goethe, like most military spouses, didn’t picture herself living in an Italian villa five years ago when she was living in a small suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. But like all military members and their families, you go where duty calls — and well, sometimes that comes with perks that include a jasmine-filled veranda and a villa.

Kate, her husband, and their dog Millie moved into one of the two apartments in this rented-out Italian villa (the remaining space is used as a wedding venue) two years ago. In that time, they’ve furnished their home with treasures they’ve found during their travels around Europe — things such as a forlorn dairy cowbell literally found in a field in Switzerland that Kate mounted on wood and placed on their wall.

Since moving here, Kate, who has a degree in agriculture, has found a passion for woodworking and furniture DIYing. She has used the excuse of decorating her home to hone her skills building wooden furniture, and most of the solid wood pieces found in her home were either repurposed or built completely from scratch. She’s hoping this newfound passion and skill may turn into more than a hobby for her someday, and would love to see it grow into a side gig or a business.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: I’m not sure if our home fits into one certain style; we fill it with things we enjoy and that make us feel comfortable!

Inspiration: Nature and things we find on our travels! We’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel all over Europe so many of the things in our home are treasures we’ve scored along the way.

Favorite element: It’s hard to pick just one, but probably the copper pot in the fireplace. We found it for $10 in the back corner of an Italian thrift store and didn’t realize it was copper until we started to clean it up when we brought it home. After a professional cleaning, it’s bright and shiny and beautiful!

Biggest challenge: Storage space! We are fortunate enough to have one closet in our master bedroom but it was quickly filled with my husband’s work gear. Making sure everything has its own place is key!

What friends say: Many say our home is comfy and filled with character.

Biggest embarrassment: I don’t really find it embarrassing, but we were given a lot of flack about the rug in our upstairs living room. It’s nearly impossible to find a rug that we liked that was large enough to fill the space and doesn’t cost a million dollars so we ended up duct taping two 5×7 rugs together! I don’t even notice the crease between them anymore.

Proudest DIY: The entertainment center upstairs. It’s very simple but I love the look of the live-edge wood and it really opened up the room compared to our old one.

Biggest indulgence: The couch and chairs in the fireplace room. I was having a hard time finding a couch I liked at the right price shopping in Italy, but I finally found the grey mid-century style and splurged a bit!

Best advice: Fill your home with things you love! Many of my favorite pieces in the house are not ones from IKEA or department stores but little trinkets we’ve found while thrifting or traveling. The things that have special memories attached to them are the ones that really make a house a home!

Dream sources: Magnolia Home Furniture


Sofa table — DIY
Scale — A bar in Belgium
Copper basin in fireplace — Italian thrift shop
Window above fireplace — Thrift shop in Kansas City
Lanterns on fireplace — IKEA
Coffee table — Hand-me-down from my aunt and uncle, DIY makeover
Overhead lighting — Leroy Merlin
Entertainment center — IKEA
Artwork above TV — DIY
Coat rack — DIY
Side tables —White wire one from IKEA, crate side table from Ovvio
Vases — Italian thrift shop
Bread bowls — Restauro Antichità Montesin
Throw pillows — Maisons du Monde
Couch — Maisons du Monde
Armchairs and ottomans — IKEA
Throw blanket — Maisons du Monde
World artwork — IKEA
Cactus figurines — IKEA
China hutch — Included in House

Copper pans — Dal Toso Copper shop in Vicenza, Italy
Green table — Included with house
Pantry — Included with house
Hanging pot rack — DIY
Kitchen island and chairs — IKEA

Headboard — DIY Pallet boards
String lights — Maisons du Monde
Bedding — Kohl’s
Blanket — IKEA
Throw pillows — Navy from Kohl’s, yellow from IKEA
Art above bed — Yard sale
Light fixture — Installed in house
Curtains — IKEA
Side tables — DIY
Rug — Leroy Merlin (Italian hardware store)
Yellow chair — IKEA
Mercury vase — Maisons du Monde
Mirror — Maisons du Monde

Bedding — IKEA
Blanket — IKEA
Throw pillow — Walmart
Bed frame — IKEA
Side tables — Italian thrift shop
Curtains — IKEA
Balloon artwork — IKEA
Green cabinet — Included with house
Red greenhouse — CO. Import
Magazine rack — IKEA
Green dresser — Dresser handed down by my old neighbors, DIY makeover
Da Vinci artwork — IKEA

Rug — Bed, Bath and Beyond
Towel rack — Italian thrift shop
Towels — IKEA
Dresser —Hand-me-down

Couches — Poltron e Sofa
Coffee table — DIY
Entertainment center — DIY
Baskets — IKEA
Clock — Maisons du Monde
Throw pillows — Maisons du Monde
Cowbell — A field in Switzerland/DIY
Ladder display — Italian thrift shop
Bread bowl — Restauro Antichità Montesin (Italian antique store)
Yellow side table — IKEA
Desk — Hand-me-down from my Mom, DIY makeover
Green chair — Included with house
Artwork above desk — DIY
Rug — Bed, Bath and Beyond
Blue slipper chair — Garage sale, DIY Makeover
Pink table — Garage sale
Clear vase — Italian thrift shop

Patio table — IKEA
Patio sofa — Included with house

Thanks, Kate!

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