A home must nourish the soul, instilling a profound sense of harmony in its inhabitants. The play of light on surfaces and textures can create a unique atmosphere that, like Proust’s madeleine, revives past sensations. Laid out on two floors, with a spectacular view of Milan, this apartment is filled with a symphony of refined citations, stretching back over time. The period is unmistakable: the design team transports us to the mythical fifties and sixties, which changed our way of seeing things. “Jam sessions” lead to “good vibrations”, with echoes of the Beat Generation, as in the pioneering works of Dino Gavina, the most emotional and impulsive of the world’s furniture makers.
The apartment’s two floors are designed as separate microcosms, with the day zone on the first floor and the more intimate and private night area, above. The day-zone rooms are rendered all the more fluid by “off-white” colours that range from the delicate ivory of the wall treatment in simulated raw plaster to the warm hue of the parquet floor in brushed and bleached oak, the “cream” tones of the bouclé upholstery, and the beige tonalities of the fabric furnishings that echo the stunning Ambrosia marble table top. The uncluttered, refined backdrop, enlivened by the occasional bold graphic stroke of black, is rendered all the more incisive by metallic highlights. The sophisticated result would have pleased Coco Chanel, who famously said: “Black and white together make for absolute beauty, the perfect combination”.
The layout of the home is optimal. The open space of the first floor encompasses all the various moments of daily living as it moves from the ample living room to the kitchen, passing through the well-lit dining area along the way. The furnishings, all custom-tailored for this project, are part of a unique capsule collection created with refined materials by master craftsmen. The soft, rounded forms of the upholstered furniture contrast with the pure geometry of the black metal wall fittings whose canvas covering, in a tenuous shade of ecru, provides a gentler touch. The graphic black and white design of the centrally positioned carpet unifies, and lends further character to, the overall design. The sculpture-like dining table is the pivotal point between the conversation area and the kitchen. The black and white custom upholstery of its chairs reprises the contrasts that are the leitmotif of the entire project, while a wall of bevelled mirrors creates a sophisticated interplay of indoor and outdoor reflections. The large kitchen, custom-designed in black painted oak, features brass and canvas wall fittings, while its central island is equipped with stools upholstered in the same fabric as the dining chairs. The stairway between the two floors also interprets space through materials, with the vertical lines of the fluted panelling of Okoume wood heightening the warmth and nuanced sophistication of the Riviera marble of the steps.
The spaces become more intimate on the upper floor, also due to the delicate hues of the wall-to-wall carpeting. Designed as “private suites”, in the style of a grand hotel, the two bedrooms are linked by a small, convivial living room. The warmth of the wood panelling and the sober elegance of the marble give the rooms a cosy and comfortable feel, while the natural light pouring in through the large windows makes them one with the sky over Milan.