“For me, to be happy is about pleas­ing only my heart and not wor­ry­ing about what oth­ers think”

VOGUE Living Australia - - Art & Design - VL

‹‹ Many of her con­tem­po­rary pieces are by artists she sup­ports at the art gallery, One Piece Art, which she has run on nearby Via Margutta since 2002. A sideshow-alley-style piece by Hélène Launois, a Paris artist work­ing in plas­tics and light­ing, un­ex­pect­edly lights up one cor­ner of the room, jostling along­side one of Ital­ian-Amer­i­can artist Ni­cola Ver­lato’s photo-re­al­is­tic paint­ings and an un­usual lamp in the shape of an eye­ball by Marco Con­solino. “It’s a space where it’s pos­si­ble to put any­thing and ev­ery­thing,” says Orsini. The de­signer comes to this com­pact one-bed­room, one-bath­room bolt­hole — with its sweep­ing views of the city that take in the Villa Medici and the mag­nif­i­cent Altare della Pa­tria — to be on her own, “to write, to think, to dream”. She moved in eight years ago, for an es­cape from the home she shares with her hus­band in an­other part of Rome. “Here, this is my the­atre,” Orsini ex­plains. “For most of my life, I have thought only of my hus­band and son; now it is time to some­times think only for me.” She’s drawn to old things that res­onate emo­tion­ally with an­ima mia, she wildly ges­tic­u­lates; “with my soul!” The beauty of a piece lies in its im­per­fec­tions. “I love the patina of things that have been made and touched by hand,” she says of her many bro­cante (flea mar­ket) pieces. “How­ever, a mix is al­ways im­por­tant.” Orsini points to an orig­i­nal Carlo Bu­gatti desk from the late 19th cen­tury in­tri­cately carved in dark­ened wal­nut, then to a 16th-cen­tury saint’s head dressed with an old hat from the Moulin Rouge. Be­side it sits a dia­manté toi­let by Ni­cola Bolla. “Oh, and here is my fi­ancé,” she says with a laugh, ca­ress­ing Paolo Maione’s Papa, a ce­ramic sculp­ture of a don­key as the Pope. “For me, to be happy — if it is pos­si­ble to be happy — it is about pleas­ing only my heart and not wor­ry­ing about what oth­ers think. If I stay well within my­self, ev­ery­thing else stays well,” she says, beam­ing. “Maybe I’m a lit­tle pazzo, crazy,” Orsini hoots. “Okay, so maybe not ‘mad’ crazy, but it’s def­i­nitely in­ter­est­ing and ir­rev­er­ent. I like to turn some­thing tra­di­tional on its head. It’s nec­es­sary to play, and I don’t be­lieve you have to spend a lot of money ei­ther. The an­tique, the mod­ern and me — we live well to­gether!”

this page: in the KITCHEN, cup­board pan­els made from striped Moroc­can cloth and wire mesh; var­i­ous art­works un­known. op­po­site page: on the MEZ­ZA­NINE, 1870 French-Egyp­tian re­vival-style sofa; pho­to­graph of horse in­stal­la­tion — Nove­cento by Mau­r­izio Cat­te­lan — taken by Mas­simo Listri; pho­to­graph by Pino Set­tanni.

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