Soothe your senses

Let the muted tones of this Ital­ian home con­vince you that you don’t have to forego colour and fun to live the sim­ple life


Let the muted tones of this Ital­ian home con­vince you that you don’t have to forego colour and fun to live sim­ply

There’s a ten­dency to think min­i­mal­ism means a lack of colour. That only white sur­faces, un­clut­tered by signs of fam­ily life – pho­to­graphs, me­men­toes, stacks of mail dis­carded on your way through the front door – can be classed as truly min­i­mal. But isn’t it time for a per­cep­tion shift? Could the term per­haps be re­de­fined to mean not a lack of things, but a mood that we can all cre­ate – one of calm, homely com­fort?

That was the think­ing be­hind in­clud­ing this home just out­side the pic­turesque Ital­ian city of Bologna in our sim­ple living edit. Be­cause, even though its own­ers Valentina Mug­gia and Gi­u­liano di Paolo have not held back on dis­play­ing their beloved items, the choice of soft, pared-back colours – grey­ish tones of blue, green and white – shows art­ful re­straint. As a re­sult, rooms that could have felt busy or clut­tered strike a more tran­quil tone. ‘ We placed great im­por­tance on the in­flu­ence that colours and crafts­man­ship can have on our emo­tions and well­be­ing,’ says Valentina, who runs Borgo delle To­vaglie, a home accessories com­pany, with Guil­iano. ‘ We could never imag­ine our­selves living in a house with empty walls,’ adds Guil­iano. ‘The small de­tails of our home en­rich us and make us feel full of po­etry.’

Po­etic is in­deed a fit­ting way to de­scribe the am­bi­ence of this house, with its gen­tle, romantic light­ing and tex­tures. ‘I love the at­mos­phere that lamps cre­ate,’ Valentina says, re­fer­ring to the col­lec­tion of orig­i­nal 1950s de­signs that pep­per each room in her home, giv­ing off a cosy, dif­fused glow.

‘ We love to cre­ate en­vi­ron­ments that are char­ac­terised by con­trasts,’ adds Valentina, al­lud­ing per­haps to the as­pect of this home that makes it such a mas­ter­piece of min­i­mal de­sign, de­spite its own­ers’ re­fusal to ad­here to any of the usual rules of that aes­thetic. Here, the rich bus­tle of ev­ery­day fam­ily life ex­ists in a space that also al­lows room to rest and recharge. bor­godel­leto­

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