Toronto – Canada   

 

 

 

Rows of vaulted arches set upon a Basilica design in the piazza. Again, we see the reference to medieval design in the second and third stories of a European dream setting. Unapologetically lavish and unmistakably taking our attention to the domed observatory.

 

 

 

The Villa Casa Casuarina

A Luxurious Masterpiece In The World of Gianni Versace

 

 

The aviary was reputedly designed by Gianni’s sister, Donatella. With, such famous visitors as Lady Diana, Sir Elton John, and Madonna, this room is, without a doubt, perfectly fitting of the company it kept.

 

Some of the world’s most iconic graphic prints unmistakably belong to Gianni Versace.  His homes reflect the same unmistakable resonance.  Throughout his home in Miami, Florida, one will find the same graphic qualities within the intricately laid marble, utter jaw-dropping interiors of dramatic décor, and castle-worthy frescoes.

 

Here we see Versace’s strong use of period design with exposed vaulted ceilings, seemingly resting on a hint of grand buttresses, above arched, stained-glass windowed doors of the Renaissance period seamlessly blending with medieval chandeliers and fireplace. We come to understand that a purity lies in the heart of Versace’s design execution.

 

The Villa Casa Casuarina that Gianni Versace created was purchased in 1992, although constructed in 1930.  It was reputedly renovated in the style of Alcazar de Colon, which was built in 1510 by the son of Christopher Columbus in Santo Domingo… and incidentally, is the oldest standing building in the Western hemisphere.

 

To an undiscerning eye this room may appear simple, but the trompe l’oeil with medieval moldings reminds us of the consistency of design throughout this immaculate home. We find the ancient ritual of a carpeted base anchors the room’s decor among the cushioned inlets dotting throughout.

 

Nestled in the balmy landscape of Miami Florida on Ocean Drive, the home was formerly two independent properties when individually purchased by Versace and combined into one property.

 

The framework does not resonate a contemporary construction, but rather, that of the centuries-old antiquity we find in castles of Europe, with walls and ceilings that bespeak of those of Versailles or the Vatican.

 

Acres of luxurious landscapes surround this impressive 23,000 square ft. estate which boasts 12 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, five incredible libraries, an observatory, and surfaces of marble transplanted directly from the mountains of Italy.  The villa has seen its share of famous faces, from Donatella, who is not only Gianni’s famous sister, but also the captain of the ship who has continued at the helm of the Versace empire, to Madonna, whose favorite room when staying overnight was the Aviary Suite.

 

There can never be too much animal print in Versace’s home, after all, more is more. One can almost see Gianni, with one leg delicately cascading over the other, lounging and thoroughly lost in creative contemplation.

 

The price tag of just over $6.5 million was a mere drop in the bucket compared to the noted $33 million that Versace spent upgrading this immaculate home, adding an additional 6,000 square feet.

 

Luxury and style! His feelings were perfectly understood in a famous quote, that has gone viral many times, of how he chose to fashion his life: “Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are…”

 

The massive, statuesque double doors at the entrance to the villa, while majestic, are dwarfed by the splendor that awaits behind the portal to this creative haven.  With the front entrance created in detailed effort, Gianni literally left no tile unturned.  Exceptional certainty was executed in the placement of each imported sliver of marble. 

 

Grandeur awaits us as our eyes greedily take in the splendor and strong influences of Greek design, columns holding up entablature of the earliest Doric temple order dating as far back as 460 BC, as seen in the Temple of Poseidon in Italy with a slight modification on the curved cornice. This most impressive fountain of the iconic Versace Medusa wrapped in it’s equally iconic Greek key, announces to guess that they have arrived in a design legend’s home. Painstakingly and deliberately, each stone is placed exactly where it was designed to be.

 

The unforgettable mosaic-pebbled medusa wrapped in the company’s iconic Greek key welcomes visitors.  Adorned with traditional urns, symbolic of his Italian roots, Gianni Versace engorged himself in an ambience of luxury that his label is so famous for.

 

Dogwood topiaries and 16th century French statues strategically placed throughout the property bathes the observer in living art. With an opulent 54-foot swimming pool of 24 karat gold, a disconcerting eye would be hard pressed to find any detail lacking.  In fact, Versace imported 100 million Italian mosaic tiles for this estate, and placed them throughout the halls, baths, and even the pool.

 

 

 

Gianni Versace had the life many dream of and only few know.  That certainly doesn’t stop one from wondering what it must have been like behind the walls of the posh, sprawling mansion that he ultimately created in Miami Florida.

 

 

 





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