Daniele Lora is very proud of the notoriety afforded Via Luigi Settembrini, the location of his newly renovated apartment. ‘They call it the way of monsters,’ he says. ‘It’s a powerhouse of architectural eclecticism from the early 1900s, its façades decorated with imaginative statues of all kinds.’
For Daniele, art director of Italian rug brand CC-Tapis, it means inspiration can be found, quite literally, on his doorstep.
Fittingly, for this Milanese street renowned for doing things differently, Daniele’s apartment is truly unique. Masterminded by Studio MILO, the creative team that worked on the recent redesign of CC-Tapis’s Milan showroom, it’s an ambitious change, but one this property deserved.
‘I remember entering the beautiful early-20th-century building and discovering an office from the 1970s,’ says studio MILO co-founder Arianna Crosetta, recalling her first visit. ‘It had all the characteristics of those years: a long, gloomy corridor, green carpets throughout, dark wooden doors.’ Despite all of that, Daniele’s enthusiasm for the space proved infectious, so thoughts turned to how these rooms should be experienced and how to unlock their true potential.
Everything has been changed, with the floorplan completely revolutionised. ‘From the entrance, there’s a passage that leads right into the living room. The symmetry with the front window is perfect,’ says Daniele. This is a signature approach for Studio MILO, which is known for paying close attention to lines of sight and architectural alignment.
‘We gave order and rigour to the entire layout, taking the existing openings as a reference and creating new ones,’ adds Arianna.
Perhaps the most striking of those additions is the large portal between the living and dining rooms, framed by an expanse of green Alpi marble. Not only does this stone border highlight the spatial balance in this home, it also focuses attention on Daniele’s impressive collection of furniture.
The compositions feature some true design greats. The majority, interestingly, are characterised by a softness of form that contrasts with the building’s newly created precision. There’s the ‘Julep’ sofa by Jonas Wagell for Tacchini with its curved silhouette, the generously comfortable ‘Roly Poly’ chair by Faye Toogood and, of course, a wealth of fantastical rugs – the products of CC-Tapis’s many designer collaborations.
A thoughtful colour palette also helps in lending a gentleness to this home’s strict symmetry. ‘The walls have all been painted in neutral greys – there is no white,’ explains Daniele. ‘Even during the brightest hours of the day, it has this incredible quality: never dazzling, but soft and enveloping.’ The atmosphere is intimate and serene. It’s understandable that sometimes Daniele feels as though he is ‘living in a cloud’.