Interior Designer Penelope Bianchi believes in following the architecture of a space and gaining an understanding of her clients’ temperaments, families, and lifestyles. With over 40 years’ experience in the design world, she brings to each project a vast knowledge of art and architecture, as well as a personal passion for all things beautiful.
Penelope Bianchi loves to tell stories. Especially about her family and her animals, but also about the Hungarian artist Marcel Vertès, how to coax outside vines to creep indoors, or how to lay a wavy-tiled roof. She is always excited about something or someone–whether it’s an exquisite antique tapestry pillow, a newly discovered trove of vintage trims, or the ducklings that just hatched in her pond.
Though she has a weakness for old Fortuny fabrics, patina “on anything,” and Venetian antiques, Penelope believes houses should be a reflection of the people who live there.
“A house should feel personally collected, and not decorated,” she maintains. She doesn’t have a single style; rather, she approaches all projects, great and small, with her experienced eye, positivism, and professionalism.
Penelope began her career in Pasadena, and has resided in Montecito with her husband, Adam (also her business partner), for the past 17 years. Her work has been featured in Santa Barbara Magazine, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Garden Design, as well as design books, The Los Angeles House, by Tim Street-Porter and Santa Barbara Living, by Diane Dorrans Saeks.
“We had a beautiful home in Pasadena, where I grew up, but we were looking for a house in Santa Barbara,” Penny comments. They purchased a Montecito property and decided to build a rustic Provençal farmhouse and guest house.
A tour of Adam and Penny’s home and garden in Montecito, CA…
A trip to Provence to do research was scheduled. Penny took hundreds of photographs…doorknobs, chimneys, tile rooftops, aged shutters, and researched antique textiles. In the small inns where they stayed, they learned about traditional lime-washing techniques. The pigments used there were mined locally out of the ground in Roussillon, mixed in the stucco and used as lime-wash.
The color Penny selected is called pink ocher, a pale pink tone with traces of yellow. On the interior walls, they placed a coat of plaster on the walls and left it untreated.
To add muted patina to a dining area at the end of the living room, Bianchi slipcovered antique Italian chairs with inside-out Fortuny and paired them with a French convent table. “I’ve never believed in any kind of a trend,” Penny states. “I just buy things that move me.”
Voile curtains are used to frame the master bedroom’s sleeping alcove. A rare 18th-century toile is used as the bedspread in the master bedroom.
Rambling over the exterior walls is Virginia creeper, which changes colors throughout the seasons.
Penny has never outgrown her childish enthusiasm, and is still highly prone to superlatives. Fortunately, her enthusiasms are contagious and utterly compelling, resulting in long-lasting relationships and multiple projects with her loyal clientele.
Please contact the office to schedule a design consultation.
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