It suffices to say that John Saladino is a true master of his art, and his recent book which describes the process by which he brought about the rebirth of his
villa is nothing short of awesome. It is so easy to get caught up in all the wonderful photos, but to actually sit, read and absorb his words is like being given a front row seat in a master class and given first hand account and insight into what stirs the thoughts and motives of this man. California
John goes into great detail about how he took on a monumental and extraordinarily expensive task to bring the villa back to life. Without knowing and appreciating what was required to bring this project to completion takes away from the full appreciation that one would get when viewing the finished photos. Mr. Saladino says that the project was 75% structural and 25% decoration. Most people would have walked away from the tasks and challenges, but his vision and tenacity were obviously stronger than most… as is most likely his bank account. Regardless, it was apparently well worth it to him… and certainly to his admirers.
The inspiration for the villa’s name was a result of the many challenges… Villa Di Lemma …anyone who has had the experience of taking on an old house or structure knows all too well the many dilemmas! I can attest to that first hand. I have an old farmhouse that is nearly a hundred years old… and just to make it livable when we first bought it, so that we could live in it and continue to work on it was extremely labor intense. I still have upgrades that I need to make (it really is a money pit) before I can take on a lot of the fun stuff…like putting in French doors and remodeling the kitchen. Right now I am faced with getting the roof replaced at a reasonable sum. But, when you have three layers of roofing, including the original wood shingles, and many angles and gables that increase the cost, along with new vents, insulation and decking… well it isn’t on the cheap… but I digress…
Mr. Saladino is very generous in his descriptions and explanations of what he did to achieve certain results… and was very open is admitting that his original budget estimate to redo the house and property were well under actual costs.
The book comes with a DVD that gives you the grand tour serenaded by the music of Claude Debussy, with or without the voice over commentary by Mr. Saladino. I could just watch it over and over again… (For some reason I was expecting his voice to be much deeper… like that of Orson Welles or similar…)
With his expert eye and classical training he leads you through a series of spaces, who’s one point perspectives offer rewards to the viewer. His creation is a combination of the humble and the magnificent…where nothing is too precious… but rather a pastiche of comfort and beauty… visually, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.