ROMAN IN­TE­RIOR

Marie Claire Maison (Italy) - - ENGLISH TEXT -

Clas­si­cal in­spi­ra­tions and Scan­di­na­vian de­si­gn icons ta­ke ea­ch other on in the Ita­lian ca­pi­tal, in a ho­me over­loo­king the Fo­rum of Au­gu­stus

By Chia­ra Dal Can­to - Pho­tos Helenio Bar­bet­ta Text Da­ni­lo Ascani

Ju­st a few me­tres away is the Ba­ro­que faça­de of the chur­ch of San­ti Qui­ri­co e Giu­lit­ta, a wi­dow from a no­ble fa­mi­ly who was mar­ty­red to­ge­ther wi­th her young son du­ring the rei­gn of Dio­cle­tian. A lit­tle beyond that is the won­der­ful Fo­rum of Au­gu­stus, bea­ring wit­ness to the splen­dours and de­bau­che­ry of Im­pe­rial Ro­me. Amid­st the al­ley­ways of Mon­ti, sa­cred and pro­fa­ne are two si­des of the sa­me coin, in a sur­pri­sing pa­ra­dox that al­so seems to be re­flec­ted in this apart­ment, whe­re tra­ces of coar­se hi­sto­ry and mo­dern icons of Scan­di­na­vian de­si­gn per­form an exem­pla­ry duet. This is the dream ho­me of Ste­fa­nia Ari­stei, a ban­king and fi­nan­cial law con­sul­tant, now wor­king on a fa­shion li­ne de­ve­lo­ped in part­ner­ship wi­th Eu­ge­nia, a young lo­cal crea- ti­ve to whom she en­trusts her de­si­gns. It was im­pos­si­ble not to be cap­ti­va­ted by the­se spa­ces. Mad­ly in lo­ve wi­th this nei­gh­bou­rhood ju­st a step away from the Coliseum, Ste­fa­nia ga­ve in com­ple­te­ly to the Bo­he­mian charm of the area, pac­ked wi­th work­shops, ar­tists and ar­ti­sans, and right next to the sym­bol of an­cient Ro­me. “The apart­ment be­ne­fi­ts from ex­traor­di­na­ry views. It has mo­re than ten Fren­ch win­do­ws and is beau­ti­ful­ly lit at eve­ry hour of the day, espe­cial­ly at sun­set”, says its ele­gant oc­cu­pant, who has li­ved wi­thin its walls for ba­re­ly a year wi­th her part­ner Da­nie­le Dol­ci. Af­ter re­sto­ring the 19th-cen­tu­ry ce­ment ti­les, ma­de by the great-gran­d­fa­ther of the pre­vious ow­ner (who al­so ma­de them for chur­ches) and pre­ser­ving the ba­re beams, the cou­ple fur­ni­shed the third floor of the hi­sto­ri­cal buil­ding wi­th the ex­pert as­si­stan­ce of Di­spen­sa­bi­le Stu­dio, a work­shop and sto­re spe­cia­li­sing in fur­ni­tu­re from nor­thern Eu­ro­pe, fir­st and fo­re­mo­st Den­mark. Lar­ge ex­pan­ses ran­ging from whi­te to grey − the fa­vou­ri­te co­lour of Ms Ari­stei be­cau­se it re­pre­sen­ts or­der, har­mo­ny and ba­lan­ce − act as a bac­k­drop to Gam­fra­te­si chairs and stools, as well as to bestsel­lers by Ma­thias Hahn, Al­var Aal­to and Wim Riet­veld. Mea­n­whi­le, ti­mid bru­sh­stro­kes of co­lour in the ac­ces­so­ries in­si­nua­te them­sel­ves sub­tly amid­st the co­lour­less areas and proud­ly un­der­sta­ted hues. A lo­ve of art, par­ti­cu­lar­ly ear­ly 20th-cen­tu­ry pie­ces, is ap­pa­rent whe­re­ver you look. Ste­fa­nia on­ly sur­rounds her­self wi­th works that real­ly stir her deep do­wn. Her fa­vou­ri­te pain­ting is Axum, a por­trait from 1928 by Tha­ya­ht (the pseu­do­nym adop­ted by Er­ne­sto Mi­cha­hel­les, the Fu­tu­ri­st pain­ter, gold­smi­th and sculp­tor, who de­si­gned for Ma­de­lei­ne Vion­net and in­ven­ted the jump­suit in 1919 wi­th his bro­ther Ram). But that’s not all. In the be­droom, the mo­st em­bel­li­shed room in the ho­me, a tou­ch of clas­si­ci­sm re­turns in a small 18th-cen­tu­ry pain­ting by Ca­te­ri­na De Ju­lia­nis: it is en­ti­tled St Ma­ry Mag­da­le­ne in

Ado­ra­tion of the Cross. “Li­ke other can­va­ses, I found it in the Gal­le­ria Car­lo Vir­gi­lio & C., on Via del­la Lu­pa”, ex­plains Ari­stei, who al­so has an ex­pert eye for mo­dern and con­tem­po­ra­ry art­works. This is the ca­se of the mo­bi­le sculp­tu­re by the Da­ni­sh ar­ti­st Ole Flen­sted, an unu­sual pre­sen­ce floa­ting amid­st the beams in the li­ving room, and the spar­kling Mir­ror Sculp­tu­res, a set of 3D de­co­ra­tions han­ging in the sa­me room. Mea­n­whi­le, Idea Or­bi­ta­le Com

po­sta, an ab­stract in­stal­la­tion by Fran­co Can­nil­la, is equal­ly no­tewor­thy, rea­dy to wel­co­me vi­si­tors at the en­tran­ce, on the Royal Sy­stem boo­k­ca­se by Poul Ca­do­vius. Her de­ci­sions are al­ways de­ter­mi­ned by in­spi­ra­tion, a light­ning stri­ke when loo­king in the win­dow of an an­ti­ques shop, and ra­re­ly by the me­re va­lue of a pie­ce. “I pre­fer to fol­low my in­stinc­ts, a bit li­ke I do when I’m in Lon­don and I vi­sit the auc­tion hou­ses and the shops in Chel­sea, or I ex­plo­re

the gal­le­ries ta­king part in the May­fair Art Wee­kend, an event that ta­kes pla­ce at the start of the sum­mer and is gro­wing in po­pu­la­ri­ty. Even ju­st flic­king th­rou­gh cof­fee ta­ble books at As­sou­li­ne, in Pic­ca­dil­ly, is a won­der­ful sour­ce of in­spi­ra­tion for gi­ving a spe­cial twi­st to in­te­riors. And it works even bet­ter if I’m loo­king for ideas for a new col­lec­tion of out­fi­ts”, she cla­ri­fies. Her In­sta­gram pro­fi­le (#elet­tra­sve­va­ro­ma­na) is a lit­mus paper of wi­de-rea­ching in­te­rests − roo­ted in art, fa­shion and de­si­gn − th­rou­gh whi­ch she de­scri­bes her­self in ima­ges to her 18,000 fol­lo­wers. Equal­ly im­pul­si­ve, dic­ta­ted so­le­ly by good ta­ste, is the ar­ran­ge­ment of the lights in a ho­me wi­th lar­ge win­do­ws, that al­low the long rays of the sun to sli­de over the walls. Her in­stinc­ti­ve pre­fe­ren­ce for designer lights has pre­vai­led over the need to or­che­stra­te im­pec­ca­ble light de­si­gn. As a re­sult, Ste­fa­nia has sur­roun­ded her­self wi­th de­si­gns pac­ked wi­th cha­rac­ter: Mar­seil­le wall lamps by Le Cor­bu­sier, Pan­thel­la and Wi­re lamps by Ver­ner Pan­ton, AJ lamps by Ar­ne Ja­cob­sen and the mo­re re­cent Man­tis and Les acro­ba­tes de Gras lamps from Fren­ch brand DCW Édi­tions. A col­lec­tion of sty­les stu­died wi­th ap­pa­rent non­cha­lan­ce and great ef­fect. Be­cau­se eve­ry­thing is lit up by pas­sion.

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