Behind the Rationalist façade of a 1930s residential block near Milan’s Sempione Park, lies a home that could not be more different from that uncompromising architectural style of rigorous lines and strict shapes.
The apartment, belonging to wedding planner Alessandra and her nine-year-old son, Cesare, is overflowing with personality. Feminine and welcoming, it is dominated by one colour: pink. Not the pale, powdery shade of blush that has become ubiquitous in interiors, though. These are stronger, brighter hues – think fuchsia, magenta and salmon.
‘Every single detail of the house reflects Alessandra’s passions,’ explains Ilaria Ferraro Toueg, interior designer and co-founder of renowned design showroom Ted Milano, where the two women met. ‘We consulted each other over every single detail of the project – a friendship was kind of inevitable,’ adds Ilaria, who spent months hunting for the best vintage pieces, from lamps and armchairs to the Chinese art deco rug, part of Ted Milano’s private collection, that is now the focal point of the living room.
It took a whole year to complete work on the 120-square-metre space, but its style was cemented as soon as the kitchen had been installed. ‘The rest of the apartment evolved from that room,’ says Ilaria, who custom-designed the joyful pink and ribbed-wood cabinets with worktops cut from rose-hued Portuguese marble.
‘Alessandra has sophisticated tastes, but she also loves simplicity,’ adds Ilaria. ‘For that reason, there had to be a measured approach to everything in her home, beginning with the kitchen.’ It may be a playful colour of candy pink, but there’s a sleek, functional quality to its construction that acts as an anchor to the more decorative elements of the interior.
You don’t have to look far to see an example of this more ornate style. Opposite the kitchen, in the open-plan living area, an imposing 19th-century fireplace is flanked by a sofa from the 1950s and an armchair from the 40s, both upholstered in rich velvet, complete with fringing.
From the striking mirrored bookcase, a piece by the late Italian designer and artist Gabriella Crespi, to the metallic coffee table and floor lamp, a love of the 1970s and its more-is-more aesthetic is evident. In the bedroom, a glass chandelier and ‘Batik Raisin’ wallpaper by Pierre Frey, taken from the archive of French furniture brand La Manach, continue the decadent tone and are paired with walls the colour of smoked salmon.
Alessandra describes herself as ‘a true lover of all that is beautiful’ – a sentiment that is apparent in the eclecticism of this home, with its furnishings that span design decades. When it comes to the tour de force of pink that she and Ilaria have created, though, it is something more than beautiful; it’s powerful. tedmilano.com
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration August 2020
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