We talk to our favourite in­te­rior de­sign­ers about their work and ask them for tips

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style | Decorating -

Who are they? Amer­i­can Britt Mo­ran and Ital­ian Emil­iano Salci, who first met 16 years ago. Mo­ran was a graphic de­signer and Salci, a for­mer fur­ni­ture de­signer, was work­ing in fashion. Both had a pas­sion for de­sign and in­te­ri­ors, so, in 2003, they set up Di­more Stu­dio in a 17th-cen­tury palazzo in Mi­lan. Two years later, they launched their first fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion at the Salone Del Mo­bile de­sign fair. It was a piv­otal mo­ment: they soon be­came a firm favourite with the fashion world, col­lab­o­rat­ing with houses such as Her­mès and Bot­tega Veneta, as well as renowned hote­liers Ian Schrager and Thierry Costes. What’s their style? The duo’s trade­mark, says Mo­ran, is that their prac­tice moves ‘ be­tween art, fashion, de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture that spans from the Art Deco to the 1970s’. They seam­lessly com­bine ‘ dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and eras, main­tain­ing a di­a­logue be­tween the past and the con­tem­po­rary’. This can be seen in their gallery show­room, where fur­ni­ture by Giò Ponti sits along­side Venini glass­ware and their own fur­ni­ture and fab­rics (the duo launched their first tex­tile col­lec­tion last year). The pair also tend to plump for rich ma­te­ri­als, such as silk and vel­vet, and un­usual colours, from dusty tones to jewel-like hues. Take Di­more Stu­dio’s in­te­rior for the Pomel­lato jew­ellery store in Mi­lan, which was in­spired by the ceil­ing of the Pea­cock room at the Freer Gallery of Art in Wash­ing­ton, US. ‘ We wanted to find a colour rem­i­nis­cent of Ja­panese/chi­nese lac­quers so we came up with a shade for the shop’s wooden arch­way that’s not re­ally a red or an or­ange and has a touch of pink to it,’ says Mo­ran. ‘ We try to find un­ex­pected colours, ones that no-one else is us­ing.’ What are their re­cent projects? The new Ae­sop store in Mi­lan (cen­tre), which was partly in­spired by the but­ler’s pantry in his­toric Mi­lanese build­ing-turned­mu­seum Villa Nec­chi and fea­tures teal sub­way tiles on the ceil­ing. The duo have also com­pleted the Ho­tel Saint-marc in Paris, which has an Art Deco jazz club vibe; the Fendi Privè apart­ment in Rome (for a peek in­side, head to p192) and a num­ber of res­i­den­tial projects (Paris St Ger­main, left; Mi­lan Solferino, top). What are they cur­rently work­ing on? New fashion bou­tiques in Tokyo and Lon­don and res­i­den­tial projects in New York, Vi­enna and Lugano. ‘The prop­erty in Lugano is a mod­ern new-build for an art col­lec­tor. We wanted to do some­thing that’s op­po­site to the build­ing’s ex­te­rior, so in­side it feels like a 1940s Ital­ian home,’ ex­plains Mo­ran. ‘ We worked re­ally closely with Ital­ian car­pen­ters on the crafts­man­ship, so it’s very de­tailed and be­spoke.’ They say ‘Rich colours and tex­tures are part of our de­sign DNA.’ di­morestu­

‘ We move be­tween art, fashion, de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture that spans Art Deco to the 1970s’

How to choose the right fab­ric There is a say­ing in Italy: if you buy once, you should buy well. We en­cour­age our clients to in­vest in high qual­ity fab­rics that last. We mostly only work with nat­u­ral fi­bres (we would never use some­thing like polyester or vinyl), but we have also used amaz­ing tech­ni­cal fab­rics. For ex­am­ple, Kvadrat’s ‘Sud­den’ polyurethane fab­ric (£90 per me­tre; is in­cred­i­ble. It’s wa­ter­proof and, when it’s stretched taut and ap­plied to sur­faces, it looks like satin. In a home, it would work well as a head­board. In our projects we try to mix fab­rics. There needs to be a mar­riage of ma­te­ri­als, but it’s more in­ter­est­ing if they are dif­fer­ent.

How to pick colour and pat­tern At the mo­ment, any­thing goes; there’s a real feel­ing of more is more. The key is to strike a bal­ance be­tween plain colours and patterns. If you’re us­ing a pat­tern, you do have to think about the re­peat, but some­times it’s fun to break the rules. One of the ideas be­hind our new fab­ric col­lec­tion was to have out-of-pro­por­tion, off-scale patterns that you can use with­out wor­ry­ing where the re­peat falls.

How to use fab­ric on a wall Wall­cov­er­ings help to soften a room. Usu­ally, we would back the fab­ric with bat­ting (this is wad­ding, like you would use for a quilt) and then com­mis­sion an up­hol­sterer to build a thin wooden struc­ture around the edge of the wall you want cov­ered. Then you tack the fab­ric onto that frame and hang it, like a large pic­ture.

How to per­fect cur­tains For cur­tains we al­ways keep it sim­ple, of­ten just adding de­tail, such as pleat­ing, to the header. It is im­por­tant not to scrimp on the amount of fab­ric that you use so that, when the cur­tains are closed, you have proper side pan­els that look full and rich.

From top In­te­rior of Ho­tel Saint Marc, Paris, by Di­more Stu­dio. Di­more Stu­dio’s ex­hi­bi­tion at Salone del Mo­bile Mi­lan in 2016. ‘Di­vano 082’ sofa by Di­more Stu­dio

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