Sense & Sensibility
Opposites attract in this family apartment in Milan, Italy, whose innovative renovation was informed by the unexpected choices of its creative owner
When looking for a family home, Clara Ceccherini promised herself that she would never live in a house with a brick-clad façade. But the founder of Baboon communication studio happily changed her mind when she came across a light and airy apartment on the top floor of a building from the 1960s that overlooks a tree-lined avenue. Ceccherini and her husband instantly fell in love with the space thanks, in large part, to the naturally bright interiors and the home’s beautiful terrace.
The owners called on Eligo Studio to renovate the apartment. The atelier – which is renowned for its unique approach, original design language and ability to incorporate traditional Italian elements in a contemporary setting – agreed to take on the entire project, designing not only the spaces, but also many of the furnishings, right down to the details on the light switches. The interior layout has only been partially modified, but the changes have helped create a harmonious flow from one part of the home to the next. This is not an open apartment, and each room retains its own personality and privacy, but the improved spatial distribution encourages a shared lifestyle and, most importantly, allows light to spread through the entire home.
In the entrance, 180 degree rotating panels upholstered in bordeaux-hued fabric act as a screen that can be used to shield the dining area. Playing with the theme of opening and closing, revealing and concealing, the feature has the added benefit of being able to accommodate works of art. Another innovative addition is the re-configuration of the apartment’s original corridor into a wing that divides the interior: on one side, it houses wardrobes facing the bedrooms; on the other, it becomes a strong scenographic detail in the living area on which rests a bookcase custom-designed by Giacomo Moor that comprises iron uprights, old glass sheets and brass frames. On both sides of the wing, an artwork painted on yellow silk by artist Elena Carozzi adds a decorative element of considerable impact.
The impressive artwork, which was created in Carozzi’s studio and then assembled on-site, also relates to the apartment’s architecture, making the layout feel simultaneously free and structured. From the entrance, the gaze can go from the living area to the dining area, to the TV room and the kitchen, without meeting any obstacles. And, thanks to the glass doors present in the home, it maintains transparency while at the same time isolating the various spaces – an effect that was also achieved with Valentina Giovando’s specially-made two-sided Musibah server, which has been used to separate the dining and living areas.
This division of space is just one of many deliberate decisions that were made when designing the apartment, with Ceccherini’s expressive colour palette being another careful consideration. From the sky blue of the walls and the matching deep shade of the entrance panels and sofa in the living area to the brass accents in the furniture and the mustard yellow of the wing adorned in painted silk, everything is subtly balanced and complemented by the clean white resin floor that runs throughout.
Sense and sensibility, minimalism and decoration, fluidity and structure – these are the polarities upon which this renovation was developed with the help of professionals in stylistic harmony with the homeowners. It is this merging of creatives, expertise and ideas that resulted in a unique space imprinted with the signature of those who worked on it.
this page A two-sided version of Valentina Giovando’s Musibah server was created for this home. opposite (clockwise from top left) Elena Carozzi’s work acts as a backdrop to a bookcase by Giacomo Moor; Eligo Studio’s Alberto Nespoli; the TV lounge features a cashmere cushion and throw by Avant-Toi Home, while a rotating panel holds the TV; glassware by Margherita Marzot.