OK, I understand
Maria Villa is one amazing woman. It's kind of hard to describe her immense amazingness... but I'll give it my best shot.
Firstly, Maria is Argentinian. She's been in Sydney many years now, but she's still got the BEST accent - not to mention the most incredibly warm spirit which, whilst not unique to Argentinians I guess, certainly seems intrinsically linked to her Latino roots! She's one of those people you meet and instantly feel as if you've known forever - you could easily find yourself discussing your inner most secrets within about 5 minutes over a cup of tea. (On my visit, though, she bought champagne!). Maria writes like she speaks, so I hope below you might occasionally 'hear' her sparkly Spanish twang!
Secondly, in the last year, Maria has undergone some pretty serious surgery. She unexpectedly developed an aneurism behind her eye, for which she required emergency brain surgery. There was a 50/50 chance it would burst. In Maria's words - 'this mean they needed to open upstairs, centre management, but thanks to my amazing surgeon I’m back to celebrate the second part of my life..! I’m indeed a very lucky person! La vita e bella!' (Life is wonderful). Whilst Maria's glass is always half full, there's no denying that this was an extremely risky operation, and it is such an incredible feat that she has bounced back with even more zest for life than before! She's so vibrant and energetic, and more than happy to share her story matter-of-factly without dwelling on the negatives. Like I said - one amazing woman :)
Anyway. We're here to snoop in Maria Villa's house, not hear her life story... but, you know I like to ramble, and houses are so much lovelier to look at when you know the people who live in them, don't you think?
Maria lives in this gorgeous home on Sydney's North shore with her husband Eduardo and son Mateo, aged eleven. Maria has a background in fine art and interior design, whilst Eduardo is an architect, and together they run architecture and design firm Villa + Villa. Needless to say, their house has undergone a few major changes in the six years they've been here! This creative pair renovated the kitchen and bathroom soon after moving in, and added the finishing touches more recently. An extra living area was added upstairs, in addition to a very special room downstairs, which opens onto the lush back garden - 'this is our fav-fab room' says Maria. Another favourite feature of the home is the view from upstairs across to the national park, which backs onto the property - 'having breakfast here is like being on holidays!' Maria says. I must agree, listening to the birds from this vantage point really does make you feel many miles away from central Sydney!
Massive thanks both to Maria for sharing her stunning home, and to her dear friend, photographer Ross Coffey, who has kindly allowed us to use some of his own recent shots of the home, taken independently (which of course are so brilliant and full of deep, rich colour). So super grateful - thankyou thankyou!
Ps. Learn a little more about amazing Maria on Megan Morton's Homelove blog here!