Step into this Milanese apartment by Luca Guadagnino

Entering the living room of a one-story Milanese apartment on a narrow cobbled street, Luca Guadagnino settles into a Carlo Mollino theater seat that he had reupholstered in thick chocolate-colored Dedar bouclé. Outside, midday traffic rumbles and rumbles. But in this yesteryear-inspired apartment interior he created with wadded silk walls and the old-fashioned, understated charm of the Milanese bourgeoisie, the urban world beyond is hushed and invisible as Guadagnino begins to deliver his thoughts in the quick clip of a man with two full-time jobs: acclaimed filmmaker and rookie interior designer.

A 1928 oil painting by Ettore Cosomati, from Luca Guadagnino’s own collection, hangs in the master bedroom, which is upholstered in Dedar’s “Fanfara” raw silk wall fabric

“Nostalgia plays a fundamental role for all of us,” he says, dressed in layers of worn black, so nostalgic himself that he wears a Nokia dumbphone. “Being alive means paying the emotional price of always yearning for a return to something lost.” As a filmmaker, Guadagnino offered his audience painstakingly detailed sets in saturated retro colors, their grandeur belonging to no particular era, but with a poignant sense of melancholic Italian beauty. As the designer, or rather the creative director of the nine-person Studio Luca Guadagnino, he and his team of architects found a way to transform that throwback look into contemporary interiors. He considers his production completely diversified. “In film, the spaces you create are flat and tell a character,” he explains. “In design, spaces are three-dimensional and at the service of their owners – a completely different relationship.” However, a Guadagnino space, in film or in real life, communicates in the same poetry of emotion.

“It’s not a question of ‘vintage’ but of timelessness”, explains Stefano Baisi, architect of the Guadagnino studio who designed this Milanese apartment with the director. Timelessness can also be new: the Svenskt Tenn sofa on which Baisi sits is upholstered in a modern Dedar fabric, the light globes above it are by Michael Anastassiades, the mosaic mirror is by Studio Luca Guadagnino himself. same.

The guest bathroom, with a bespoke mirror by Studio Luca Guadagnino and Moroccan tadelakt walls

The apartment – actually two small apartments now connected internally by an oak staircase, in a house of ringhiera, a classic Milanese building with long, balustraded open-air hallways — is owned by Federico Marchetti, the fashion tech mogul and founder of Yoox, and a friend of Guadagnino’s for two decades. Although Marchetti and his wife, journalist Kerry Olsen, moved to much larger Milan digs nine years ago, he kept this apartment (“a very dear part of my biography”, as he calls it, where he first lived as a student) as a base for guests, and entrusted his redesign to his friend.

It was Marchetti, in fact, who first convinced Guadagnino to design interiors. The director, whom Marchetti knew had dreamed since childhood of being both an architect and a filmmaker (“I’m an eclectic person,” says Guadagnino), renovated his own house in Crema, then agreed to take over the 1 500 m² of Marchetti. The Lake Como house – a large commission for a beginner – and at the same time founded Studio Luca Guadagnino.

“There’s an incredible sense of trust between us,” Marchetti says. ‘It’s a confidence derived not just from a great friendship, but from faith in Luca’s taste, and from a dedication to work that we share that I would call ‘Calvinist’. When Luca was at the Oscars for call me by your namehe always sent me pictures of canapes from the public.

The veranda, with a custom sideboard, vintage table lamp and Warren Platner chair. Steps with a leather-wrapped handrail lead up to the bright dining room

The studio harmonized the two floors of Marchetti’s apartment with repeated choruses of materials: the nubby raw silks of the walls in soft shades of pink and wheat, a coarse lime plaster, a surprising black leather inspired by bondage for handrails and curtain holdbacks. Mirrored doors upstairs expand the compact space, which has been repartitioned to accommodate two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Twentieth-century designs, such as a set of George Nakashima dining chairs, mingle with the studio’s custom steel-framed shelving, leather-fronted cabinetry, and stunning cream and plum kitchen, inspired by by the convex curves of the 1950s – “a unique piece”. – benevolent cuisine for Federico, because he was such a good player to let us do what we wanted,” says Guadagnino.

For his films, the director refuses to use anything “off the shelf,” he says, foregoing prop rental warehouses to custom-build whatever he envisions. The interiors of Studio Luca Guadagnino have the same artisanal originality – “the use of the most extreme craftsmanship”, as he calls it, working with Italian master craftsmen to upholster furniture or wrap steel poles in leather. .

The bespoke kitchen, with a Gio Ponti pendant light, Harry Bertoia chairs and a ‘Tulip’ table, as well as Italian tonachino plaster walls and oak floors

A new studio project has a craftsman covering an entire room in woven wicker. “There is a truly rarefied satisfaction when you manage to fuse architectonic design work with the most authentic and specialized craftsmanship – a union of so many elements and so many personalities creating something together,” says Guadagnino , heading for the ribbed glass door for a date with a comedienne.

“In film, you only get that feeling when you see the final performance, but that’s a different world from design.” Different, perhaps, but in the eyes of any viewer, the film’s sets and interiors bear a remarkable kinship of nostalgia. §

A bookcase designed by Studio Luca Guadagnino in polished steel and black leather

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