No small feat

Bri­tish de­signer Ilse Craw­ford has an abil­ity to work her magic on small spa­ces with even smaller bud­gets

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Colour - Words AMY MOOREA WONG Pho­tog­ra­phy NATHALIE KRAG

If there’s one per­son who has the skill and the vi­sion to trans­form a 40-square-me­tre garage-and-laun­dry room into a calm­ing, zen-like apart­ment, it’s Bri­tish de­signer Ilse Craw­ford. She’s worked her magic on the home of Costanza Cec­chini in Mi­lan’s Porta Venezia district, ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge of the lim­ited floor­plan – and sim­i­lar-sized bud­get – with en­thu­si­asm. ‘Tak­ing on small spa­ces is a stim­u­lat­ing ex­er­cise – it de­mands max­i­mum at­ten­tion,’ she ex­plains. ‘It’s ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial to make pre­cise choices, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing aes­thet­ics or los­ing sight of the needs and wishes of the user. When I work on a project, I al­ways imag­ine a space made for peo­ple, whether that’s in a pri­vate set­ting or a pub­lic one.’

The re­sult, as with all of Craw­ford’s projects, is an invit­ing col­lec­tion of rooms filled with tac­tile, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als that are func­tional as well as vis­ually pleas­ing. Climb­ing green­ery flanks the en­trance, mir­rored in the gleam­ing emer­ald Moroc­can tiles that cover the walls of the break­fast cor­ner and bath­room. Craw­ford has scat­tered pieces from her ‘Sin­nerlig’ col­lec­tion for Ikea around the pied-à-terre: the cork-topped ta­ble, bench and stools con­trast the hard­ness of the tiles and floor, and her wo­ven bam­boo pen­dant lights hang from beams through­out. The Ikea kitchen is cus­tomised with an el­e­gant Car­rara mar­ble work­top and sim­ple brass han­dles, while the Crit­tall-style met­al­framed door and win­dows al­low day­light to brighten ev­ery cor­ner of this for­mer util­ity space. stu­dioilse.com; ikea.com

Craw­ford has scat­tered a se­lec­tion of pieces from her ‘Sin­nerlig’ col­lec­tion for Ikea around, bring­ing warmth and life to this small but invit­ing space

The din­ing ta­ble, bench, stools ( pre­vi­ous page) and hang­ing lamp­shades (through­out) are all from the ‘Sin­nerlig’ range from Ikea, de­signed by Craw­ford. For sim­i­lar deep green Moroc­can tiles, try Emery & Cie. The kitchen is also from Ikea, topped with a slab of Car­rara mar­ble Stock­ist de­tails on p284

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