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ELLE Decoration UK

UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

Dining area The ‘Lloyd’ table by Serener for Functionals is paired with ‘Side Chairs’ by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. The pendant light is by Storage Associati. For a similar rattan chair, try the ‘Vincent’ by Granger Hertzog Stockist details on p182

Portrait Homeowner Barbara Ghidoni sits beside her indoor garden and a small oil painting by Italian artist Greta Frau

What is it about the imperfect walls of Barbara Ghidoni’s Milanese home that makes it look so luxurious?

The apartment that she shares with her husband, Renato Corazzo, and their five-year-old son, Ludovico, could easily look like it is in the middle of a renovation project, with its walls openly displaying the building’s past. Instead, however, it has an easy, sophisticated grandeur. Perhaps that is due to the ceiling height (a generous three and a half metres) or the choice of accessories – the glint of gold from the ‘Atollo’ table lamp by Vico Magistretti for Oluce and the sparkle from the glass decanters that brighten the room. It could also be the colour palette. The few walls that have not been left artfully unfinished have been painted elegant grey and an ethereal, cloudy white. Finally, there are the verdant houseplants. Abundantly arranged, they breathe life and vitality into this space.

Most likely, it is no one individual thing that contributes to this home’s opulence, but rather a special alchemy created by a combination of all of the above – one that is harder to create than Barbara, who runs local architecture firm Storage Associati with her two partners, makes it seem. The walls were the first thing she dealt with when she moved in, removing layers of old wallpaper dating all the way back to the 1920s, when the apartment was built. In the end, she chose to celebrate their imperfections: glue traces, pencil-written measurements, uneven plaster. ‘There is no sense in making a clean sweep,’ she says, having renovated many a period property over the course of her career. ‘I love to find out if there is a relationship with the past, shine a light on it and make sure that it is well appreciated.’ Stripping the décor back, she discovered some fake marble on the walls in her son’s bedroom, which she kept. The original parquet flooring was polished and the Art Deco door frames repainted. The resulting contrast of rough and smooth, nature and splendour, is what gives this house its rich character. storageassociati.com

Along the wall of the dining room sits a cabinet designed by Barbara’s architecture firm Storage Associati. It houses her vintage glass collection. The oil paintings above are also by Greta Frau Stockist details on p182

Living room The yellow armchair is by Martin Eisler and Carlo Hauner for Forma Italia, while the blue chair is from a vintage market. The ‘Dipped Origami’ rug is by CC-Tapis. The sofa was designed by Barbara Ghidoni for Storage Associati Stockist details on p182

‘I love to find out if there is a relationship with the past and make sure that it is well appreciated

Hallway Original tiles decorate the floor in this space

Kitchen Designed by homeowner Barbara, the smooth rosewood and steel finishes of this kitchen are a sleek counterpoint to the rest of the apartment. The collection of butterflies and other insects decorating the countertop come from Deyrolle, a taxidermy shop in Paris Stockist details on p182

After removing layers of wallpaper dating back to the 1920s, Barbara discovered pencil-written measurements and other characterful imperfections
The elegant shade of this grey paint complements the texture and character of this home’s stripped-back, bare walls

Bathroom The vintage mirror was found at a flea market, while Ceramica Globo made the washbasin. The taps are by Fantini

Bedroom Pink bedlinen by Society Limonta is a sumptuous touch next to these moody grey walls – try Little Greene’s ‘French Grey’ for a similar shade. The wall lamps are by Storage Associati Stockist details on p182

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