When Tommaso Spinzi first set eyes on this industrial-style apartment close to Milan’s Brianza district – the heartland of Italian furniture manufacture – he was more than 16,000km away, on the other side of the world. Working in Melbourne, Australia at the time, the designer had asked his friend to house-hunt for him. The flat was, recalls Tommaso, ‘in a very bad condition’, but with a speed that seems to characterise his approach to life, he hopped on a plane to begin the property’s transformation just a fortnight later.
Almost entirely open-plan, with two main living spaces (one for entertaining, the other for relaxing) and a bedroom on a mezzanine, this home began, says Tommaso, as a ‘white canvas’. It’s a gallery-like approach that lends itself perfectly to the designer’s art collection, which combines the fresh and innovative with the ancient. Hand-drawn, hyper-realistic works by Milan-based Alessandro Paglia are displayed alongside a heroic, life-sized statue of a Roman soldier, while Tommaso’s own limited-edition furniture creations appear like functional sculptures throughout.
‘Everything here is fluid,’ explains the designer. It’s an ethos that also applies to his choices of colour. Currently, the flat’s monochromatic scheme is punctuated by splashes of muddy, camouflage-like green, but decoration for Tommaso is something that changes with the seasons. ‘Mix it up and shake it up,’ he quips. ‘I like to play.’
What never wavers, though, is his love for timeless designs -– especially when they also pack a super-powered engine. For Tommaso, his Porsche 911 is every bit as much of a classic as his vintage Minotti armchairs or Fornasetti cushions. ‘It’s a work of art,’ he says. Parked in front of a precious ‘Papillona’ floor lamp by Tobia Scarpa and flanked by cabinets from an old mechanical factory, the car was initially a temporary addition to this interior, but now it’s here to stay.
‘Friends who came to visit loved it,’ says Tommaso. ‘They all kept asking me to leave it there for a bit longer.’ Amusingly, it now looks likely to become one of the few permanent fixtures in this home where change is constant, and always fast-paced. spinzi.com
For the full house tour see ELLE Decoration May 2020
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