Ex­per­i­men­tal na­ture Show­ing the merit of in­stinc­tual dec­o­rat­ing, this home is full of playful colours and pro­por­tions

Full of playful pro­por­tions and bold colour, this home shows the merit of in­stinc­tual dec­o­rat­ing

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words ALI MORIS Pho­tog­ra­phy MICHAEL DE PASQUALE & MARTINA MAFFINI/ LIV­ING IN­SIDE

Sit­u­ated in a for­mer New York card­board fac­tory, this in­dus­trial loft space has not only pro­vided ar­chi­tect Gian­carlo Valle with a spec­tac­u­lar home to share with his wife and two chil­dren, but has also given him the chance to make his first foray into in­te­rior and fur­ni­ture de­sign. ‘ While the first decade of my ca­reer gave me the op­por­tu­nity to work on re­tail projects, res­i­den­tial ones were the miss­ing link,’ says Gian­carlo, who set up his own stu­dio in 2016. The six-month-long ren­o­va­tion of this apartment in Brook­lyn’s Dumbo neigh­bour­hood has re­sulted in a home full of tex­ture, light and playful pro­por­tions. While the ar­chi­tect em­braced the apartment’s tall, gallery-like ceil­ings, gen­er­ous win­dows and open-plan lay­out, the raw con­crete walls, numer­ous col­umns and awk­ward nooks – which didn’t im­me­di­ately lend them­selves to a homely en­vi­ron­ment – have been soft­ened with coats of Far­row & Ball’s ‘Dove Tale’ paint and a tra­di­tional her­ring­bone par­quet floor.

‘The for­mer fac­tory was built in the 1920s, when it was the tallest cast-in­place build­ing (where con­crete walls and foun­da­tions are poured on site) in Amer­ica,’ Gian­carlo re­calls, be­fore adding that he im­me­di­ately saw the on­ce­soul­less space’s po­ten­tial. ‘ While we wanted to keep some of these el­e­ments, we also knew we couldn’t live in a con­crete space with no sense of scale.’ Over the course of the past three years, the cou­ple have been perfecting this cu­rated home, adding to their col­lec­tion of 20th-cen­tury fur­ni­ture and art, as well as the many sculp­tural pieces of fur­ni­ture de­signed by Gian­carlo him­self, which are used to cre­ate de­grees of pri­vacy be­tween the in­ter­con­nected rooms.

So­fas and arm­chairs up­hol­stered in tac­tile vel­vets and woollen rugs fur­ther soften the space’s hard edges, while bright flashes of colour add warmth and in­ter­est. ‘My home is a per­sonal lab­o­ra­tory for me to ex­per­i­ment by col­lect­ing and cre­at­ing items that fit our fam­ily needs,’ says Gian­carlo. ‘I’ve re­ally en­joyed play­ing with tex­tures and us­ing richer ma­te­ri­als.’

‘I’m not a trained ex­pert, but, when it comes to col­lect­ing, I think you have to be in­tu­itive,’ he con­tin­ues. ‘If you have a sense of what you like, then pat­terns and links be­tween the things you’re col­lect­ing will just ap­pear.’ Although Gian­carlo’s most per­sonal project is com­plete for the time be­ing, he be­lieves that ev­ery home is a work in con­stant progress. ‘ We’ll al­ways be re­fin­ing,’ he says. ‘It will have to evolve, but that’s a good thing.’ gi­an­car­lovalle.com

'MY HOME IS A PER­SONAL LAB­O­RA­TORY FOR ME TO EX­PER­I­MENT' ‘

'WE KNEW WE COULDN'T LIVE IN A CON­CRETE SPACE WITH NO SENSE OF SCALE'

'WHEN IT COMES TO COL­LECT­ING, I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE IN­TU­ITIVE'

De­tail This unique side ta­ble by Gian­carlo is cov­ered in vel­vet from Le Manach. The grey chair is a vin­tage de­sign by Gio Ponti Liv­ing room Gian­carlo’s ‘Smile’ chair sits be­side the be­spoke sofa, which is up­hol­stered in fab­ric from Holland & Sherry. A piece by New York-based artist Jayson Mus­son hangs above. The vin­tage cof­fee ta­ble is by Milo Baugh­man, and the rug is from Stark. A vin­tage Ron Rezek lamp sits on the butcher’s-block side ta­ble Stock­ist de­tails on p312

Din­ing room Gian­carlo de­signed the din­ing ta­ble and the chairs are by Pierre Jean­neret. A ‘Float’ wall light by Ladies & Gen­tle­men Stu­dio is sus­pended above. The ab­stract paint­ing is by Christopher Ast­ley Stock­ist de­tails on p312

Kitchen Home­owner Gian­carlo de­signed the cab­i­nets, mar­ble is­land and stools. The pen­dant lights are Dutch de­signs from the 1960s Study area A 1970s lamp by Ge­orge Cham­pion sits on top of the Pierre Jean­neret-de­signed ‘Pi­geon­hole’ desk Stock­ist de­tails on p312

De­tail A 1960s desk and a chair from the 50s cre­ate a calm work area Bed­room Above the bed hangs a Mar­i­lyn Min­ter por­trait of Gian­carlo’s son. The ‘Bed’ by Jasper Morrison for Cap­pellini is cov­ered with Bel­gian li­nen from Cow­tan & Tout. The vin­tage bed­side lamps are by French de­signer Al­fred Tor­mos Stock­ist de­tails on p312

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