SHARE

The Mill in the Woods

Nestled between the Valdarno and Casentino Valleys, two sisters have turned a mill into a holiday home, enhancing its original beauty by clever use of millstones and recycled natural materials.

In the apartment La Tramoggia, the flea-market table with the set for breakfast.

In the apartment La Tramoggia, the flea-market table with the set for breakfast.

A glimpse of the Morandi Mill as it appears after the restoration. In the background the millstone used as a decorative element at the entrance.

A glimpse of the Morandi Mill as it appears after the restoration. In the background the millstone used as a decorative element at the entrance.

On one side the Valdarno valley and on the other the Casentino valley, separated by the Protomagno ridge, which is also where you'll find the source of a vigorous stream called Borro del Cigno. In times past, there were several water mills situated along the banks of Borro del Cigno, including the Morandi water mill. Two sisters, Lucia and Laura Masoni, were struck by the spirituality of the place and bought the mill, spending three years renovating it into a holiday home for twelve guests, furnished in an elegant shabby chic style.

A place to relax surrounded by nature, a place where you can go to reinvigorate your body and mind as you swim in the salt-water hydrolysis pool that uses ordinary salt (and does not ruin your hair and skin) instead of chlorine to purify the water. A place where you can go for a walk in the woods and a convenient starting point for visiting the numerous tourist destinations which abound in Tuscany.

“Lucia and Laura were struck by the spirituality of the place”

“This restoration involved some serious structural work,” explains the architect Antonella Tundo. “We demolished several floors, restored staircases, re-terraced the outside areas, but most of all, we had to solve the damp problems.” 

The renovations, including the use of special damp-proof plaster, have prevented water seeping in from the mill, thus enabling guests to enjoy only the crystal clear water from the Borro del Cigno stream, which runs underneath the bridge leading to the entrance. The two owners and their spouses took care of the decor, restoring old furniture discovered in the mill and various reclaimed pieces.

Lucia's husband took care of some of the plasterwork and even built the dry stone walls after researching the technique. As Lucia Masoni explains: “My sister Laura and her husband Alessio had great fun building, repainting and covering the walls. They even made the sculpture you see at the entrance to the mill, out of the rings holding the barrels together. I like to think that these sculptures reflect our work: doing it together in total harmony.”

mulinomorandi.com
eutropia-architettura.it

Words by Silvana Casarotto.

The stone bridge that leads to the Morandi mill. Below the Borro del Cigno. In the foreground, the sculptures made by Laura Masoni using the circles of the barrels.

The stone bridge that leads to the Morandi mill. Below the Borro del Cigno. In the foreground, the sculptures made by Laura Masoni using the circles of the barrels.

The path that leads to the forest was created by Laura and Alessio and marked by stones collected in the stream. The rocking chair is made from beams and circles of old barrels.

The path that leads to the forest was created by Laura and Alessio and marked by stones collected in the stream. The rocking chair is made from beams and circles of old barrels.

The chestnut wood pergola, designed by Laura and built by her husband Alessio Sartori, is adorned with climbing roses Mon Jardin et Ma Maison.

The chestnut wood pergola, designed by Laura and built by her husband Alessio Sartori, is adorned with climbing roses Mon Jardin et Ma Maison.

A reading room overlooking the bridge. The 50s chair has been restored by Laura. On the ground, mirrored spheres amplify the light. Outside, in addition to the boxwood vase, you can see a mill of the mill used as a decorative element.

A reading room overlooking the bridge. The 50s chair has been restored by Laura. On the ground, mirrored spheres amplify the light. Outside, in addition to the boxwood vase, you can see a mill of the mill used as a decorative element.

The hydrolyzed swimming pool, obtained from the old gora, the canal that brought water to the mill from the borro.

The hydrolyzed swimming pool, obtained from the old gora, the canal that brought water to the mill from the borro.

Another view of the limonaia with a table and objects found in the flea markets.

Another view of the limonaia with a table and objects found in the flea markets.

A detail of the sideboard with a collection of old copper utensils. On the wall you can see one of the frescoes found during the restoration. Silver pinecones hang on the table as decoration.

A detail of the sideboard with a collection of old copper utensils. On the wall you can see one of the frescoes found during the restoration. Silver pinecones hang on the table as decoration.

The corner of the limonaia, with an old pharmacy cabinet used as a sideboard. The gray fabric armchair is of local craftsmanship. The floor is resin-treated.

The corner of the limonaia, with an old pharmacy cabinet used as a sideboard. The gray fabric armchair is of local craftsmanship. The floor is resin-treated.

A detail of the limonaia. The painting with the fish is the work of a friend of the owners. The walls are in refinished concrete. The wrought iron window is made by a craftsman. The enameled iron chandelier was found in the mill.

A detail of the limonaia. The painting with the fish is the work of a friend of the owners. The walls are in refinished concrete. The wrought iron window is made by a craftsman. The enameled iron chandelier was found in the mill.

In the bathroom, concrete floor and resin walls. The old ladder serves as a towel rack, the sink rests on a large chestnut shelf.

In the bathroom, concrete floor and resin walls. The old ladder serves as a towel rack, the sink rests on a large chestnut shelf.

The cooking corner of the apartment La Tramoggia, an independent outbuilding for two people.

The cooking corner of the apartment La Tramoggia, an independent outbuilding for two people.

The facade of the Morandi Mill after restoration.

The facade of the Morandi Mill after restoration.

ARTICLE CREATORS
Photographer, Editor
Architecture, Design & Decor
I am a Milan based photographer and journalist. My first love has always been publishing and over the last twenty years I've had a front row seat into the world of interior, fashion and design magazines. Whether as an editor, writer or on the back end of the camera I have witnessed the gradual decline of paper and the rising supremacy of touchscreens. Just like my personal journey switching from film to digital, I am now sharing my experiences and passions with you here.
read more
MORE FROM Home & Garden