An unassuming street entrance belies the Italianate grandeur of Casa Carlos Calvo, a restored 19th-century manse in Buenos Aires’s San Telmo barrio. With its dramatic high ceilings, open-air courtyards and huge rooftop terrace where gauzy drapery flutters in the breeze, the home feels more like a Mediterranean villa than an urban townhouse.
The neighborhood once housed the city’s wealthy immigrants, which explains the home’s old-world glamour, and the design-minded American behind the renovation took pains to preserve period details, like hardwood floors, French doors and crystal chandeliers. Contemporary furnishings impart a distinctly modern feel, especially in the cool, white-on-white lounge and the light-filled marble kitchen.
The minimalist bedrooms are a bit bare, though queen-size beds are topped with plush duvets and Frette linens, and en-suite bathrooms have marble vanities and rainfall showerheads. Still, you’ll likely spend your time in the common areas, mixing yourself a martini in the wood paneled gentleman’s club-like study, lounging by the outdoor pool, or planning a dinner party in the elegant navy blue dining room. This is a home that’s read, once again, for the high life.
In recent decades, previously gritty San Telmo has undergone a renaissance, as local and foreign buyers snap up and renovate crumbling old villas.
- The famous weekend antiques market takes place just a few blocks away
- Tucked down a side street, the ho-hum entrance gives no indication of the opulence behind it
- Two abandoned manses waiting to be restored flank the Casa
Minimalist bedrooms have sleek en-suite bathrooms with black-and-white tiles.
- Some bedrooms open onto the interior patio; the rest onto a long, narrow swimming pool
- All rooms have down comforters and arty photographs; three of the bedrooms have flat-screen TVs
- Contemporary bathrooms have glass-enclosed rainfall showerheads