This Glimpse Inside A Milanese Palazzo Will Make You Want To Pick Up And Move To Italy

By Beatrice Rossetti
©Photography Federico Cedrone

The brilliant tones of a Chinese box , the contrasting colors of a carpet from Rajasthan, memories of a journey in a Milanese palazzo from the early 1900s.

The living room: Raffles sofa De Padova, covered in currant-colored linen. 1950s pouffe, a gift from friends in Florence. Carpet from Rajasthan, the tones of which inspire the colors of the whole house.

The woman who has been living in this house in Milan since the beginning of the year works in public relations for a well-known Italian fashion house. Brought up in Florence, she loves the city that welcomed her 20 years ago. When she decided to look for a bigger apartment, she imagined rooms that were welcoming, comfortable and that satisfied her need for a “cleaner” space. She wanted a container that was more neutral, where she could live in a simple, fluid fashion. After searching for a long time, she came across a third (and top) floor walk-up in a building from the early 20th century.

The owner of the house standing by a table form the 1950s: the vase is by Venini and the bowl by Fornasetti. Cesca chairs designed by Marcel Breuer; fabric shade by Roberto Gerosa.

She restructured it, but the design respected the internal spaces and thus the soul of the building. When deciding if and what changes to make to the original layout, the new owner asked the advice of architect Fiorenza Stringa, a very close friend. In the end, having explored a number of possibilities, this is what she chose: a series of rooms fanning out from the entrance, which is no longer simply a place to pass through, but has become the heart of the home. The glass door that separates the living room from the dining area has been replicated on the other side of the room, and now leads into the study.

An area to relax in, with bookshelves and sofa bed. On the walls, a collection of black and white art photography.

The original room sizes have been changed slightly, several doors have been closed off and some walls moved, creating space for a walk-in wardrobe, the bedroom and a private bathroom. The owner wanted a home she could live in with others and she immediately opened it for dinners and lunches. She also provided a sofa that opens into a bed for friends in the room dedicated to books, films and to her collection of black and white photographs (picked up on her travels everywhere from New York to Vietnam), which is also home to a Fornasetti and a drawing by François Berthoud.

In the kitchen, table, chairs and cupboard bought in Milan by Makers.

Many of the pieces come from her previous home, but the kitchen is all new, made-to-measure, large, practical -- a true “live-in” kitchen. “Here, the colors are fundamental and it took two of us to find them, three if you include the decorator. For the living room we thought of a blue, but we tried color after color, and we settled on this particular tone of bluish green, impossible to define, but somewhere between celadon and jade.”

For the antique bed, Society sheets.

The walls in the bedroom are powder blue, while the main bathroom is again green but brighter, with lavender for the guest bedroom. All the tones are inspired by the antique carpet that you see as soon as you walk into the house, bought during a trip to Rajasthan a few years ago.

The red armchair, the first gift the owner received when she first arrived in Milan.

On the antique Chinese trolley, a pair of small vases and a vintage lamp bought on 26th Street in Manhattan, and a bunch of peonies, her favorite flowers.

In the bathroom, washbasin by Devo&Devon.