Roberta, Francesco & Federico's Italian Modern

Roberta, Francesco & Federico's Italian Modern

Sarah Coffey
Nov 9, 2009


Name: Roberta, Francesco, and Federico
Location: Bologna, Italy
Size: 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo
Years lived in: Roberta grew up here.

When I visited Italy last month, architect Roberta Baccolini graciously invited me to her home to take photos of the gorgeous condo she shares with her husband, Francesco, and their little boy, Federico. It's a custom-designed space with a distinct sense of modern Italian style.



Roberta's father, who worked as an engineer for the city of Bologna, helped to design and build the apartment complex, and Roberta grew up in this very home. At one time, there were 3 generations and 8 people living in this relatively small space!

Roberta left home to study at the University of Florence and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, until she moved back to Italy and married Francesco. Fast-forward to three years ago, when they undertook the renovation of her childhood home. They knocked down walls, opened up the space, added storage, and redid the floors, walls, fixtures, and doors.


AT Survey:

Style: Francesco describes himself as a modernist, while Roberta says she likes to mix traditional elements into their mostly-modern home.

Inspiration: Roberta has her own architecture firm with partner, Joseph Goldsmith, so she didn't have to look far for inspiration. She designed the interior layout, along with many of the home's fixtures and shelves (with Francesco's input, of course). "Francesco is the most difficult client I've had in my life," she jokes.

Favorite Element: Roberta describes the bathroom as "my own private disco." She designed the sinks and many of the fixtures.

Biggest Challenge: The renovation took six months of work, but the results are stunning!

Biggest Embarrassment: Roberta says she wants to change the bed and the window frames.

Proudest DIY: Roberta designed the entryway light fixture, a "barrisol" ceiling made from a mesh fabric stretched over a light source. She also designed the shelving and much of the home's hardware. She's currently going to school part-time in Naples and earning her PhD in Industrial Design.

Biggest Indulgence: Roberta and Francesco have an amazing eye for lighting. The Castiglioni Arco Lamp is their favorite piece; it's an original.



• Tiles are Graniti Fiandre

• Roberta made the Barrisol ceiling light
• Wraparound lights on the corner walls are by Viabizzuno
• The horses are by the Italian painter Messina

• Roberta and her contractor designed the kitchen together
• Table and chairs are from IKEA
• Perpetual calendar is by Enzo Mari for Formosa

Living Room
• Original Castiglioni Arco Lamp
• Roberta designed the shelving
• Baroque painting is a 400-year-old original of San Nicola from the School of Naples
• Coffee table is from a Scandinavian design store in Bologna
• Sofas are Poliform
• Silk flowers are by Sia

Dining Room
• Chairs are by Verner Panton
• Table is a German antique that Roberta refitted with a new top

"Disco" Bathroom
• Basins are from Artceram
• Plumbing and fixtures are from Newform
• Bidets and toilets are from Pozzi Ginori

• Roberta designed the built-ins
• Artwork includes family photos and drawings

• Side table and dresser are antiques
• Chandelier is Tord Bjoonte's Garland Light


(Thanks, Roberta, Francesco, and Federico!)

Images: Sarah Coffey

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