Artemest Looks Back in Time to Milan’s Romantic Allure

An essential stop at Milan Design Week, the design marketplace’s second L’Appartamento showhouse revels in ornate details and the enduring appeal of Italian craft.

During last year’s Milan Design Week, we concluded that Artemest may have made the showhouse feel cool again. The go-to digital marketplace for Italian craftsmanship presented the first edition of L’Appartamento, in which six pre-eminent interior designers reimagined a stately residence nestled within the city’s tony 5Vie district, each utilizing furnishings and art selected from Artemest’s extensive network of brands and makers. With surprises and delights at every corner, it made for a refreshing palette cleanser during an otherwise frenetic week of back-to-back appointments. The second edition is taking that winning formula but whisking in a dose of romantic melodrama.

It’s all in the location: Residenza Vignale, an ornate 1907 dwelling that was once home to an Austrian prince whose yearnings for a young Milanese woman drew him to move there. That amorous allure sparked imaginative ideas from the six design firms—Elicyon, Gachot Studios, Tamara Feldman Design, Rottet Studio, VSHD Design, and Studio Meshary AlNassar—selected for this year’s edition. Each transformed a designated room into a covetable sanctuary.

The tour begins and ends with Studio Meshary AlNassar, who filled the entry with flourishing florals complemented by  clean-lined Giobbagnara stools, paper-like vases by Paola Paronetto, and soft pink glass pendants by Fisionarte. Likewise, VSHD Design serves up an appetizing fusion of ornamental interior details and Italian design classics in the dining room, but a bright yellow chair made by new Tuscan talent Jonathan Bocca is an unexpected ingredient—it’s made out of paper with the traditional construction technique used in Viareggio for carnival floats

Lauren Rottet always finds a way to weave in homages to Light and Space artists in her award-winning interiors, and the living room is no different. As late afternoon sunlight streams in, the hand-cast amber and dichroic details found on her studio’s own tables spring to life. Her contemporary furniture selection manages to mesh well with the room’s fanciful parquet, gilded walls, and high wainscots, owing to, as she describes, treating the room as “a symphony of the thoughts that occurred in the room compiled over time.” It’s a fitting approach—real symphonies flutter in the background. Elicyon’s Charu Gandhi followed suit in the cocktail room, for whom she invented a bohemian-inspired occupant from scratch and simply had fun designing for her. Marble sink basins are recast as ice-filled champagne buckets; a circular solid wood table by Riccardo Vendramin is adorned with a meticulously recreated mountain profile.

Tamara Feldman’s Mexican heritage is deeply felt in the bedroom, where richly saturated red walls recall haciendas and terracotta textures. Nods to the outdoors abound not only through large windows that flood the floral-patterned Giopagani bed frame with light and courtyard views, but also in Stefano Marolla’s curlicue wood-and-brass rocking chair and a floor-to-ceiling sculpture by Roberto Cambi, in which green glazed ceramic shapes dangle from descending spheres. Biophilia also manifests on the custom bar that Gachot Studios created for the courtyard, in which five teal panels are hand-decorated with lustrous gold leaf. It’s the perfect place to grab an afternoon spritz, unwind, and reflect on Italian craft’s transportive charm.

“L’Appartamento by Artemest” will be on view at Residenza Vignale (Via Enrico Toti, 2, Milan) until April 21.

Photography by Tomaso Lisca and Luca Argenton, courtesy of Artemest.

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