Saturday, May 30, 2009

Art & Design collection

The image above creates the atmosphere for the whole apartment: bold colours, mostly red, as for the whimsical Jenette chair designed by Campana brothers for Edra and the stunning pieces on the wall, lighted at night by  Costanza floor lamp by Luceplan.
This Milanese apartment is home to a big collection of major names in contemporary art and also to fine historical design pieces, both a passion of the owners.
The art is museum quality but certainly this home does not look like a museum, but has instead a warm, inviting feeling, due in part to the use of red and orange to create a high energy atmosphere.

Light is abundant and the architects, Studio Cerri & Associati, have allowed it into the space using fine linen for the white shades covering the large windows.

The light coloured wood floor creates a nice flow between rooms, the choice of pure white for the walls creates a perfect background for the contemporary art.
Bookcase designed by Alfredo Häberli for Quodes, Herman Miller red chair designed by Charles Eames.

Art and design also in the study, with Tizio lamp by Artemide and the iconic television Algon by Brionvega

A simple but elegant "boiserie" defines the entrance, the corridors and the bathrooms.

A bed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Flou and chaise-longue produced by Vitra on Eames design, lights designed by Arne Jacobsen. The arc shaped windows reveal that this Milanese apartment is part of a historical building.


The functional kitchen Nuvole designed by Luca Meda for Dada with a courageous choice of a strong, energizing  colour for the lacquered cabinets.

Adjacent to the kitchen a small dining area with a marble table designed in the 70's by Ettore Sottsass and extra light chairs designed by Gio' Ponti and produced by Cassina.

In the more formal dining area we recognize the Saarinen table and chairs, produced by Knoll, while the wood piece of furniture behind is designed by the same architects in charge of the renovation.

Luminosity and a great layout create a perfect background for a stunning collection of art.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Italian interiors

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Interior Italia: Belle Case Da Vivere (Italian Edition) is the latest beautiful book published by
 Mondadori Arte.      
Patrizia Catalano has edited the book, with photographs by Henry Thoreau.
From the title of the book: Belle Case Da Vivere means beautiful houses for living and indeed there are 30 beautiful houses where nothing is taken for granted, everything is Italian and all represent urban living in major Italian cities.
The following are some of Milan's homes of famed designers or protagonists of Italian Style which can be found in the book among others.

Let's start with a huge (for Milanese standards)  apartment owned by an architect who just acquired Danese, a historic Italian brand, and her husband, founder and owner of Artemide. The large windows sacrifice space for art but gives light all day long and creates a fantastic view of Milan.

In Milan's creative and fashionable Brera area, the house of the couple who founded and still own Driade.

An extravagant, contemporary Art Gallery and private home of a designer, with space to entertain and cook for hundred people! A place to create new projects.

Another famous designers couple live in this Milanese apartment: home, studio and showroom. In the kitchen a fresh green colour for the walls, stainless steel cabinets and a vintage table made of Venetian glass and mirror, with high-tech lighting above.

A fashion designer's home full of ethnic objects, vintage furniture and contemporary design. Large windows facing the private garden give wonderful  light to this unique open space.

A classic home, typical of the beginning of 1800 in Milan, high decorated ceilings, rich patterned solid wood floor, tall windows,  showcasing a great collection of modern and contemporary art.

Important antique art collection, modern design for furniture and art pieces from 1900 live in harmony in this Milanese apartment in the heart of the city.

The apartment of an Italian-Persian lady, owner of Nilufar, an important Design gallery in Milan, one of my favourite stores. The chairs were a project by famed architect Carlo Mollino, the rug is a unique work of art designed by Beppe Caturegli.

"Urban living through four coordinated, highly exemplary aspects of the taste for living in Italy: the passion for collecting, the refined comfort of glamorous atmospheres,
the eclectic combination of styles and furnishings, and design".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sit, Stay

"Frank" by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia

Some of my favourite designer's sofas to make our living (room) more comfortable.  How many times do we buy a new sofa? Quality is the most important factor in a major piece of furniture and all these top sofas are symbol of Made in Italy quality.

"Anteo" by Citterio for Maxalto

"Cestone" by Citterio for Flexform

"Turner" by Hannes Wettstein for Molteni & C.

Modular "Extrasoft" by Piero Lissoni for Living

"Park" by Carlo Colombo for Poliform

"Nubola" sofa and chair by Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia

"Le coccole" by Arke-Bonavita for Mimo

"Big Bug" by Paola Navone for Poliform

"Bohemian" by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso

"Cannaregio" modular sofa by Gaetano Pesce for Cassina

I have virtually chosen all of them for myself, now I am curious to know:
"Which one would you choose for your home?"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

After Milan, New York

From May 14 to 19, 2009 the design crowd is moving to New York for the
International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2009 (ICFF).
At the center of the events of the week will be MoMa, offering a view into history of design titled "What was good design?" (1944-1956)
"At mid-century MoMA played a leading role in the definition and dissemination of so-called Good Design, a concept that took shape in the 1930s and emerged with new relevance in the decades following World War II. This installation presents selections from MoMA's design collection that illuminate the primary values of Good Design as promoted (and disputed) by museums, design councils, and department stores. Iconic pieces by designers like Charles and Ray Eames and Hans Wegner are shown alongside more unexpected items, such as a hunting bow and a plumb bob, as well as everyday objects including an iron, a hamper, a rake, a cheese slicer, and Tupperware" (Text from MoMa website).
At the Convention Center (the glass building by Jacob Javitz) will be instead presented a selection of contemporary design and decor from around the world. Here is a prototype of the wall "Phenomena" by Sang Hoo Kim.

At Cooper-Hewitt, one of the most important museums worldwide dedicated to design, "Design for a living world" will be hosted, an exhibition centered on eco-sustainability.

Armani concept store, on Fifth Avenue, was just recently redone by a couple of Italian famed architects: Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas with fluid lines as per Armani style, like the huge ribbons shaped stairs, a very interesting architectural piece at the core of the store, linking the different floors.

Outside the fair the Artemide evening "KarimLuce" (luce means light in Italian) with the most Pop creative mind of contemporary design, Karim Rashid.  Below his last creation "Doride"

The new Droog Design store in hip Greene Street will present "Secret Natures" and among other pieces there will be
"Tool Inlays" by Forma Fantasma designed by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin.

During this week the new flagship store Molteni&C Dada Unifor will open at 60 Greene Street. Made in Italy is more present than ever.

To celebrate design New York will also have a retrospective on Frank Lloyd Wright at the Guggenheim (one of his creatures, turning 50) and the exhibition 1 2 3 at Moss, an icon in New York design scene and worldwide, where three different scenarios for design will be created departing from three very different studios.

After "I Saloni" in Milan, another week full of Design events...


To my surprise today I found my blog in a short list at Stissing Lane (pretty beautiful blogs).
I must have done something right...
5-14-2009 9-59-36 AM
Thanks Google alert... and thanks Rachel!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Art's lady

We enter today in a special house in Milan, owned by Claudia Gian Ferrari, a big personality in the art world, major collector, art dealer and 1900 art historian.
Soon part of her collection will be transferred to a historic house-museum where a full room will be dedicated to it so at least, she said, she could go there and visit her loved pieces (and we could too, thanks to her generosity).

She is the daughter of Ettore Gian Ferrari, owner of the most dynamic art gallery in post war Milan and involved for 25 years with the Venice Biennale, so art is really in her blood.
Gian Ferrari134d_dx640

"Fanciulla con passero" (Girl with sparrow) by Arturo Martini. On the wall an oil by Alberto Savinio, great artist and great writer, brother of Giorgio De Chirico.

This house speaks about art, culture, personality. The 1985 project for this house by architect Mario Bellini follows a square module for each room.

On the foreground "L'amante morta" (The dead lover) by Arturo Martini made in 1921 of polychrome plaster.
Note also the superb Biedermeier sofa in the background, crowned by Mario Sironi oil.

In the garden another sculpture "Il dormiente" (The sleeping man) by Martini, made of Carrara marble.
She said in an interview that building a collection is not just buying art, but it needs great passion and a project to start with. A not so subtle critic of art speculators who buy and sell without really
loving their pieces!
Art needs love, she said, and her life is dedicated to love art.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A pinch of salt

Today I was reading a post by the über talented blogger friend Ivan from Meade Design Group and all of a sudden I felt the urge to comment deviating from the subject, which was about style and shape of salt and pepper shakers.
I would have gone on for much longer with my comment, perhaps talking about salt used to preserve food until only recently, when ice boxes and fridges came finally to our houses, but I had to refrain myself. If you would read my comment on that post you would also find my question:
Why do we call shakers those little creatures on the table? Why do we need to shake salt and pepper? we use "a pinch" for cooking and we used for centuries a "tiny spoon" to add salt on a dish already on a table. Now we have shakers of all shapes and sizes. I own a pair myself but they are part of a tiny collection of elves from the '40s.

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Going back to Ivan's post I like also the way it is true that how we set a table can speak about our personality, paper or linen napkins to start and all you can think of, after that.
I don't know how to define my personality but I certainly love to set the table in a certain way if just only for myself! I always liked to celebrate food in an appropriate way.
I also believe that sitting down every day for a meal with your children or your family is a way to celebrate life together.
What do you think?

You may like to read also
A restaurant in Milan
and please, don't forget to read my new blog on Travel
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