Living in a city is not always easy. As city-dwellers ourselves, we understand the struggle of trying to find places of rest and relaxation in a loud and bustling environment. The owner of this apartment faced the same problem at the heart of Milan, the centre of business and activity in northern Italy. Thankfully, the designers at Damilano Studio knew how to craft a refuge for this busy entrepreneur, managing to construct an apartment that is conducive to both a good night’s sleep and restful dinners with friends and clients alike.
Located inside a historic building facing Via Durini, the old apartment was in dire need of a renovation when the team began its design. Walls needed to be removed and new ones to be added in order to create a good flow through the home and make space for the things the homeowner values most: airy rooms and plenty of contemporary art.
The theme of the home was always going to be dark and luxurious, the designers wishing to “emphasise the idea of rest” with dusky tones and dim lighting. Most of the walls and even the ceilings were painted dark or covered in black marble, while strip lights were embedded into ceilings and floors for a quiet, subdued ambience. Light oak panelling helps to warm up the colour scheme throughout the apartment, contrasting with the darker tones to add some depth to the overall space.
The businessman’s collection of contemporary art fits in nicely with this design, adding some colour and intrigue to what would otherwise be a monotonous look. Large sculptures by artists like Agostino Bonalumi and Luigi Mainolfi, in particular, catch the eye in the living area, giving this home a slightly quirky touch without disrupting the soothing vibe. A large standing mirror greets visitors near the front door, reflected by another mirror in the same style standing opposite. The combination of the two reflections lightly distorts the home, giving the impression of a sort of wonderland when entering the living area. While the homeowner spends much of his time on business outside of the house, the collection of his favourite artworks makes him feel instantly at home upon his return, while also making for an easy talking point with friends and clients during the occasional gathering.
Aside from being the hub of the homeowner’s art collection, the living room is also the largest area of the house, blending into the dining area and overlooking a kitchen through clear glass partitions. This open-space arrangement makes the home feel airy despite the dark colour palette and low lighting. Two large bedrooms take up the other half of the home alongside three bathrooms, once again playing up this apartment as a haven of relaxation by dedicating much of its square footage to seating and sleeping arrangements. More artwork is scattered throughout the bedrooms, be it in the form of a Vedova painting or a small French sculpture near the TV, lulling this businessman into deep and artful dreams.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in the October 2020 issue of SquareRooms.