Friday, February 27, 2009

A Loft in Milan

Milan (or could it be New York?)
A basic scheme of colours, white as milk, brown as cocoa

and a dramatic (not for the unfit...) set of concrete stairs to link three levels

 White is used also for the concrete floor for a  minimalist approach, all furniture is custom designed

 Refreshing colours, clean lines for the bathroom


Another view of the stairs and a glimpse of the owner's collection of contemporary art.
A beautiful Loft, an interesting Project by Alessandra Badoer

Photography by Cristina Fiorentini

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Decor Fornasetti's Style

I have written already on Piero Fornasetti last November.
While recently in Milan I went, as always, to see what was new.
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Talking to the manager I heard that soon they will be moving to another location, bigger and more visible.
The present one in via Manzoni is in fact inside a courtyard and beyond an ornate wrought iron gate, so you really need to know where to go.
As usual I was feeling happy just to be there, surrounded by such a whimsical array of decorations.
I sat on this sofa...
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...and flipped through the beautiful Book of Wallpapers created by Fornasetti (Cole &Son production)
Another tour of the showroom, while still chatting
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Then I left while Ivano was saying "Arrivederci" closing the door...and "See you again" will be!
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Monday, February 23, 2009

At Home

I like to introduce you to this Home.
I am sure you'll appreciate the somber elegance created with the choice of wallpaper, the selection of materials and furniture.

An example of the informal but at the same time refined atmosphere of this Home

Note how they introduced and played colours only with few objects displayed around and mostly with the interesting hot pink sculpture by Benedetta Mori Ubaldini

Imagine yourself relaxing outside immersed in the green space while seating on Emu chairs

A visit to the bathroom by Agape

The atmosphere of this Home is intimate and relaxing
to make everyone in fact feel at Home...
even when they are at a...Restaurant.
"Home" is the very appropriate name of one of the latest and most exclusive Restaurant in Milan.
Project by Architects Luca Rossire and Riccardo Salvi who among other things also designed the sconces and the green sofa.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Proust Questionnaire

Last year, when I moved from a house to an apartment, my niece Valentina gave me, as a housewarming gift, "The Proust Questionnaire" a wonderful, refined book published by Assouline, Paris. She bought the pink version in English for me and the orange version in French for her mother (she knew well that I lately love hot pink while my sister in Milan loves orange hues...)

In almost every house I moved to I had a Visitors Book, a real Map of my life which becomes, year after year, also an accurate List of old friends, new friends, some lost forever some lost temporarily; it gives me the idea of time, past and present and brings back memories of every kind and in a...proustian way... I live again those moments of my past.
This Book in particular is always really appreciated by my guests and it amazes me when, after dinner, they go through it and take the time to read some pages and then fill the questionnaire.It is also a precious moment for me when I read their spontaneous thoughts.
The vase on the table is another garage sale find (Limoges!) and the roses were arranged by the charming and gifted Hilary Miles who, in my opinion, has the freshest flowers in Vancouver, these roses actually dried naturally in the vase and lasted for two months, again challenging the idea of time.

I often found the Proust Questionnaire useful also in my business, some questions are the base of decorating a house to make it become a "home".
"Your favourite occupation"
"Your idea of happiness"
"Your idea of misery"
"Your favourite colour and flower"
As per my answers to these questions...I believe you have already an idea if you follow my Blog.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Armani style at Home

 The (still) gorgeous Giorgio with his trademark sweater!16_b_armani

A pinch of vanity, playing with name's initial on this screen
Armani Casa was established in 2000 with the launch of the first dedicated Armani Casa store in the elegant via Manzoni, Milan.
They now have 80 stores in 45 countries around the world and they just opened the first one in Dubai.

To wear an Armani suit is pure joy, perfect cut, perfect style, perfection inside and out...the same highly professional approach is now part of their Interior Design brand.


Elegance, simplicity, luxury at the same time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Valentine day

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                                                       A Kiss is a kiss...

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                      One of the oldest and most elegant Patisserie in Milan, 
                                 la "Pasticceria Cova" founded in 1817.

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                                               Buon San Valentino 2009 from Brillante

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More on Milan

Milan is the capital of Lombardy and Italy's second largest city with a population of about 3 million.
Most people visiting Italy go to Tuscany, to Venice or to a few other places, but almost nobody goes to Milan for a holiday. In fact Milan is a busy working city, full of energy and of creativity, but there is more to Milan than Business, Media, Fashion and Design.
You won't notice its beauty at first because it is subtle and hidden away.
You need to open a few gates to make Milan reveal itself. 
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For instance it is a city with a real passion for classic music, Milanese love the Teatro alla Scala and audiences are very knowledgeable about music.  La Scala has been an illustrious opera venue for over two hundred years, a magnificent theatre where everyone who is anyone in the city gladly pay up to 2,400 euros for the first night of the season (December 7th, the day of Saint Ambrosius, Patron of the city).

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In that occasion all the outside balconies and windows are decorated with garlands of fresh flowers and a big crowd gather on the square just to have a glimpse of the happy few and to comment on the choice of fashion.
This year created some gossip the mayor, Letizia Moratti, with a deep low cut Armani  gown (she is always very elegant but most of the time understatement is the key in her wardrobe, being an "old money" lady).
La Scala is not just for Opera but they represent also Ballet and Symphony, with conductors of international fame.
There is also a "Museo teatrale della Scala" where you can see documents, busts, portraits, costumes, instruments, memorabilia and a chance to know what is happening behind the scenes.
Next door is the elegant Ristorante Teatro alla Scala, which will be soon part of another Post but here is an anticipation.

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Music and Food, two of the great pleasures of Life...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I am back in my (first) city and keeping an eye on the latest trends...

Milano is the capital of Design, no doubt, where old masters of Design are still revered and where young creative designers can find their way, a beautiful harmony of Old and New

Milan is also the capital of Fashion, where Armani, Versace and so many others live and work.
The following store is one of the most beautiful ones is belonged to the Prada brothers who were producing luxury leather suitcases and trunks.
The sign "Fratelli Prada, Valigerie" still can be seen over some windows.

Fashion and Design can also be used to create the most beautiful Food store (salumeria in italian, I don't have another word to explain it but you can find the most amazing specialties, from a perfectly aged prosciutto and Parmigiano to the most incredible variety of cheese (we may have more cheese than France, if not we are equal) to the sweetest cakes and pastries.
Carnevale is approaching so you can already find everywhere the "frittelle" and the "chiacchiere"

The "Salumaio di via Montenapoleone" above is tucked away in this romantic courtyard

In Milan you can also find the most glittering and elegant glass work, of course made in Venice by the Maestri Vetrai like Venini, Barovier & Toso, Moretti and so many others.

This is only a very short sample of what Milan can offer and I will certainly continue with other Posts.

The weather now is not the best, we had snow here also, but I am enjoying every second of my days here, especially because it is still home for me and my family and so many of my friends live here.

Very soon I will be back in Vancouver and I am looking forward to see again my friends of the New World and enjoy with them the spring (yes, it is near) in the Parks and on the beach.

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