Friday, October 30, 2015

Martin and Martin

10-30-15 2-37-00 PM
Thanks to my friend Peppa Martin, a great Vancouver photographer and owner of Truth and Beauty photography gallery, who persuaded me to add Instagram to my already long list of Social media, I have become a big fan of it, I learn, I am inspired, I find new sites and people so it all adds depth to my business.
The funny thing is that she (Martin n.1) also persuaded me (and it did not take long…) to look into JJ Martin (Martin n.2) Instagram account.
For some time now I am following (or should I say virtually stalking?) this brilliant lady who lives in Milan, and next time I’ll be in my first city I hope I’ll be invited to see her beautiful place in person (right J.J.?).
 JJ Martin is a California-born, Milan-based writer and editor who regularly contributes to Wallpaper and WSJ Magazine, among others. She is also a fashionista not to mention that her style in interior decoration is absolutely what I often try to achieve for myself and my clients (when I am lucky to find daring ones…).
Here are a few inspiring ideas from her apartment in Milan taken from some of my favorite publications: Elle Decor and The Selby (…is in her place).
I continue to make tweaks, rearranging furniture and adding new chairs as my whims change. And although we all love neat, happy endings, my husband and I are currently engaged in a full terrace renovation to repair a leaking floor, among other homeowner snafus. The familiar Italian-style chaos of no timetables, insecure budgets, canceled meetings, and no note-taking is with us once again. But this time, I plan to fully flirt my way through the entire project. 

The terrace, planted with jasmine and rosemary, offers a view of the 16th-century Chiesa di San Barnaba e Paolo and the 1950s Torre Velasca; Martin found the chairs at a local junkyard.

The Torre Velasca at a distance and a church nearby create a magical landscape, not common at all in Milan and having a terrace is like finding a treasure. I have to say that the deep red on the chairs and black cushions are just brilliant against the lush lavender and jasmin!
My search for a dream home began back in 2005 and lasted a maddening two years, during which I walked into 93 ho-hum properties shown to me by no fewer than 32 different Realtors. Deflated by the sluggish inefficiency and lack of fabulousness, I agreed to see an apartment on the top floor of a 1950s building, even though it was billed as rent-only. But it boasted incredible light and wraparound terraces, and my husband, finally engaged by a property worth fighting for, sat the owners down and convinced them to sell to us.A pair of 1930s armchairs flanks a 1940s floor lamp in the living room; the sofa is by Minotti, a 1970s mirror hangs above the original stone fireplace, the cabinets are custom made, and the oak floor is stained black.
A fireplace in a Milanese apartment? Double treasure!
The tone of that yellow on chairs and vases is just perfetto and look at the ashtrays with the double J…in fact it is not just a reference to her initials because she has also an online site called La DoubleJ with vintage clothing and jewels for sale.

Brutalist light sculpture and ottoman by Il Valore Aggiunto, Milan.
I may not have hired an interior designer, but I found plenty of advice from every furniture dealer in town. Often they told me I was nuts, but sometimes I got an astonished look of approval—such as for a set of rusted iron armchairs I fished out of the city's junkyard. I brought them to an auto-body shop, where the perplexed mechanics promptly told me that they definitely could not paint them the same red as my vintage Fiat Cinquecento. But they did.

A 1970s Italian walnut desk from Flair Milano, a 1940s French chair, and a 1950s Italian sconce in the home office.
The 1970s desk, a 1950s wall mounted light and the baroque mirror are a winning combination. The wall itself is a stunning background.

Against the deep blue lacquered wall here is a grasta (in Sicilian language), called Teste di Moro, a jar in the shape of a head telling a legend from centuries ago when, around 1100 AD, Sicily was ruled by the Moors. The story was also masterfully described two centuries later in a novel of Boccaccio’s Decameron.
When I was in Sicily last year I was so tempted to buy one of those gorgeous Teste di Moro which can be seen in the female version as above or in the Moor male version (smaller, bigger, different ornaments, various colors…) in so many towns around the island, on flowered balconies.

I wish I knew more about this sculptural table and I love its base’s round shape, same as the lights and the bowl.
Doesn’t she look like an angel?

A collection of vintage Murano ashtrays convinced me to add more to my own very small one.
Inspiration everywhere…Thanks Martin and Martin !
©2015 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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Anonymous said...

Gorgeous post Albarosa - she does indeed look gorgeous in your red dot dress.

CWoodyard said...

Exceptionally beautiful and thoughtful as always.......she's lovely!

CWoodyard said...

Exceptionally beautiful and thoughtful as always!

Peppa said...

Wonderful post Contessa and grazie mille ! You are an inspiration and your blog is utterly beautiful, very thoughtful and elegant

designchic said...

I love finding new to me instagram accounts and this one is amazing. I LOVE the glass top table!

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