Re­stored to its for­mer glory by lo­cal ar­ti­sans, this mag­i­cal Mi­lanese apart­ment cap­tures the city’s by­gone beauty

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Elle Decoration Promotion - Words KARINE MONIÉ Pho­tog­ra­phy MON­ICA SPEZIA/LIV­ING IN­SIDE Styling FRANCESCA DAVOLI

A mag­nif­i­cent mar­ble stair­case sweeps up to the en­trance of this top-floor Mi­lanese apart­ment, which is just a short stroll from the city’s fa­mous Teatro Nazionale. En­tre­pre­neur En­rico Guarne­rio shares the op­u­lent home with his two sons Guglielmo (right, 17) and Al­berto (15), daugh­ter Ginevra (11) and dog Wes­ley, but when he first viewed the flat, it was in a di­lap­i­dated state – its el­e­gant re­cep­tion area did not pre­pare him for the de­crepit in­te­rior within.

For­tu­nately, En­rico caught glimpses of ar­chi­tec­tural beauty buried be­neath the dust and de­bris, and pur­chased the prop­erty. He com­mis­sioned ar­chi­tect Francesca Neri, who had worked with him pre­vi­ously on his Mi­lan of­fice, to re­store the apart­ment to its for­mer glory. ‘As soon as En­rico showed me the space I fell in love with it and ac­cepted the chal­lenge,’ she says. Her team painstak­ingly re­stored the four-me­tre-high dec­o­ra­tive ceil­ings and the orig­i­nal floors, win­dows and doors dur­ing a seven-month project.

Francesca em­ployed lo­cal ar­ti­sans to bring the in­te­rior back to life, and many of the pieces that fur­nish it are be­spoke. ‘De­sign­ing a home in Mi­lan is some­thing very spe­cial,’ she ex­plains. ‘ You have the best tal­ents here. Ev­ery idea turns out bet­ter than you ever imag­ined. That’s the beauty of Ital­ian crafts­man­ship.’ The two brass 1950s chan­de­liers in the liv­ing room were the start­ing point for the dé­cor. Be­low these Sput­nik-style lights are pink vel­vet so­fas dressed with cush­ions in a graphic Dedar fab­ric that en­hance the vin­tage vibe. The walls in the liv­ing and din­ing rooms are coated in a Cham­pagne-coloured Mar­morino Vene­tian stucco, a tra­di­tional lime-based plas­ter that pro­vides a neu­tral coun­ter­point to some of the bolder, more con­tem­po­rary colour choices in the house. En­rico’s study, for in­stance, is adorned with an emer­al­dand-gold Cole & Son wall­pa­per and the cloak­room is dec­o­rated with a bright red Wil­liam Mor­ris pat­tern. Shades of blue set a more serene tone in the bed­room.

The Boffi kitchen, al­though stream­lined, does not feel clin­i­cal thanks to col­lec­tions of art­work and fam­ily heir­looms, in­clud­ing sil­ver­ware and crys­tal sconces. ‘For me, it is the mix of styles, tex­tures and de­tails that make an in­te­rior re­ally spe­cial,’ says Francesca. Through­out the apart­ment, nat­u­ral light shines across the hand­painted floors and catches the crys­tals that cas­cade from low-hung lights: the over­all am­bi­ence is time­less and ethe­real. ‘I love ev­ery inch of this apart­ment,’ Francesca says. ‘It’s a home where el­e­gance and pe­riod im­per­fec­tion meet and make magic.’ fnafrances­

The brass 1950s chan­de­liers in the liv­ing room were the start­ing point for the apart­ment’s op­u­lent de­sign scheme

Cham­pagne-coloured Mar­morino plas­ter pro­vides a neu­tral coun­ter­point to some of the more con­tem­po­rary colour choices in the house

Liv­ing room The cus­tom-made so­fas in crushed pink vel­vet (and blue in the fam­ily room, where Ginevra sits) are teamed with cush­ions in Dedar’s ‘On the Edge’ fab­ric, which was also used to cover the two vin­tage Art Deco arm­chairs Stock­ist de­tails on p205

Hall­way The plas­ter walls were hand­crafted dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion. A chain of modern ‘String’ pen­dant lights by Michael Anas­tas­si­ades for Flos hangs above Din­ing area The ta­ble is by Ser­bian de­signer Draga Obradovic Stu­dio Cole & Son’s ‘Hicks’ Hexagon’ wal

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