Palazzo Cairney – a buyer’s perspective, before and after

Readers of my latest Property news will know that we have just finished work on a large project in the historic centre of Nardò and that it is now available for holiday bookings :  We had nightmares with the chamber of commerce and the local council which meant that we had to delay formal bookings till now, so there are great last minute offers for August and September. http://www.palazzocairney.com

It has been an amazing, exhausting and exhilarating experience working on the house and Lorna (see below) has been the perfect client. I have to say, at this point, that the fact that the house is called Palazzo Cairney is my fault – I started calling it that as a joke and it stuck!  Scroll down for before and after videos and visit the Palazzo Cairney youtube channel for more detailed room before and afters (with somewhat amateurish voice overs)…

Lorna and Ben, over to you:

From the Palazzo Cairney person!

I grew to like and trust Caroline from a distance through her blog, as I started to obsess about having a property in Puglia. I asked for Caroline’s help when I found what looked like a well priced converted trullo, but it was sold literally a few hours before Caroline was going to visit it.

Having then gone through every property she mentioned on her blog / website listing the pros and cons (from my perspective) it became clear we were both equally obsessed with detail. Although having a romantic notion about owning a property in Italy (who doesn’t) it was clear that our heads thankfully had a tendency to overrule our hearts, so a dream partnership was born.

However there was definitely a mix of good sense and madness in this case. I bought the property without seeing it and never having been to Nardo – so there was a lot if trust involved. Luckily Caroline already had plans drawn up and estimates for the work which was a huge help. Despite liking the concept of being in a trullo in an olive grove, reality kicked in. We thought being in town and able to wander out to have a coffee and people watch, as well as being close to the free swimming pool that is the sea was really what was important to us. It also meant we could enjoy the property year round.

Work started super quick and the level of detail and passion that Caroline put into managing the renovation work and furnishing the whole place was of superhero proportions. I was kept informed at every stage, once Caroline understood my taste she was very intuitive and creative at what she proposed. In particular we just love all the lights in Palazzo Cairney – truly Italian designer chic throughout.

I could probably bore you all for hours but the bottom line is we would not be in this exceptionally privileged position to own such an exceptional one of a kind property were it not for Caroline. Can’t recommend her highly enough.

Some high points for me about the conversion:

– picking stone for the wonderful courtyard from a local quarry
– finding an ancient well, doorway and amazing alcoves and bringing the star vaulted ceilings to life. My passion being shared by Caroline’s wonderful team of builders
– Caroline getting a pomegranate tree for the garden, I have loved them since a child and somehow she knew?!
– bringing an ancient oak doorway back to life as the centrepiece of the kitchen, crafted by amazing local artists
– seeing the study come to life with just amazing furniture and a state of the art fire in the wall
– the lights in the huge sunken bath!

I could write so much more but hope you get an idea. Caroline has basically worked tirelessly and often to the brink but never once failed to give her all. It has been an absolute pleasure and the journey continues of course.

Lorna and Ben

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