Shop Visit: Artemisia
October 14, 2021
Old Lyme’s Artemisia weaves together a couple’s passion for textiles, art, and antiques.
Text by Maria LaPiana Photography by Caryn B. Davis
Artist and interior designer Rosemarie Padovano likes to quip that the pillow is a “gateway drug” to redecorating. There’s nothing like a pretty pillow to put you in the mood to refresh a room. Step into Padovano’s shop in Old Lyme and see if you don’t agree.
A treasure trove of textiles, fine antiques, objets d’art—and yes, richly tailored pillows in fabrics that feel as divine as they look—await Artemisia visitors. Elegant upholstery, vintage credenzas, and contemporary tables furnish the inviting space, located in a refurbished barn filled with paintings, the designer’s own bronze sculptures, and a flat file overflowing with tempting fabric swatches of all kinds. The shop is also home to Studio Artemisia, the full-service interior design firm Padovano runs with her husband, Marcello Marvelli, an art historian and art/antiques dealer from Florence, Italy. The workroom, where said pillows are meticulously stitched, sits in the back.
The couple began their love affair with beautiful things in 2012 in Brooklyn, where they soon garnered attention from prominent designers and discerning clients. They named their company for Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most accomplished female artists of the seventeenth century. The business grew steadily and organically, says Marvelli, but after a few years the couple tired of city life. In 2017, they relocated to the Connecticut shoreline so they could spend more time sailing—and living in a 1755 colonial that won their hearts.
Padovano’s knowledge of textiles old and new inspires her work. In the beginning, most of her pillows were made from ikats and animal prints; today her repertoire includes everything from printed linens from the U.S., France, England, and India, to Italian silk velvets, to rare and antique fabrics. The craftsmanship is impeccable: picture knife-sharp edges, welting, and Turkish corners. And while the shop reflects a sophisticated sensibility, Padovano, Marvelli, and their team of craftspeople will sew whatever you can imagine. Says Marvelli: “Our customers are looking for unique, custom, and handmade pieces for their homes…something you cannot find anywhere else.”
Artemisia, Old Lyme, artemisiainc.com