This Small, Cleverly Designed Home Was the Most Popular House Tour of 2022

published Dec 30, 2022
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Credit: Sara Amrhein

As a home writer and editor, I’m often met with qualifications when entering a friend or family member’s home. “Oh, it’s not finished yet, don’t judge!” or “I mean, it’s not magazine-worthy…” but these thoughts couldn’t be farther from what’s actually in my head when seeing someone’s space. I’m never considering interior design principles or comparing them to celebrity houses, I’m just absorbing all the warm, thoughtful details they added to make a home.

Devouring house tours on Apartment Therapy is much the same — I spend hours (sometimes, admittedly formatting them on the back-end of the website) looking over every image, reading every anecdote, smiling to myself when I come upon a particularly clever idea. I absolutely adore being invited into someone’s inner sanctum, whether it be IRL or through photos. 

Credit: Sara Amrhein

This, of course, makes it difficult to pick one favorite out of all the year’s house tours. Luckily, we let you pick it for us, just by clicking and reading and enjoying it yourself, we’ve got the most popular house tour of 2022: a 592-square-foot Italian apartment, totally transformed from its dark, dated original state. The apartment, belonging to jewelry designer Sara Amrhein and her husband, Luigi Valerio, is located in the Tuscan city of Florence, which Sara says she fell in love with thanks to its “Renaissance glory.” 

Credit: Sara Amrhein

The couple put an offer in on the apartment immediately after seeing it for the first time, drawn to all the natural light, but it needed a lot of work to bring it to its current state. After waiting a full year to move in (as the sale of the historical building needed to be approved by the cultural association of Florence), Sara and Luigi gut-renovated the 1930s apartment themselves, adding an entire new bathroom, updating the kitchen, and adding vintage and unique elements throughout. 

Credit: Sara Amrhein

Sara’s favorite room in the apartment is the bedroom, thanks to “the way the sun comes in in the morning, giving off the perfect light, and the view out the window with the tree-lined street and the small stream that attracts the most beautiful birds,” which includes ducks and green parrots with red beaks. She also particularly loves their dishwasher (their first one living in a city apartment), the handmade Mexican tiles above the stove in the kitchen, and the customizable IKEA RAST and IVAR furniture they painted to match with the home. 

Credit: Sara Amrhein

Another challenge they encountered was creating storage where there previously was none, as Italian bedrooms don’t typically have built-in closets. So, in the kitchen they added a second set of cabinets on top of the standard height ones and in the bedroom they added a tall armoire with room on top for seasonal wardrobe. When it comes to creating a home you love, though, Sara says she’s a believer in buying things you love. “Don’t worry so much about making everything match perfectly,” she says, because “it’s those little details that are different from the others that will make your space unique.”

See all the before and after photos and read more about the apartment here.