Project NameCasa del Diplomatico
Posted inInterior Design
|Project Name||Casa del Diplomatico||Posted in||Interior Design||Location||
|Area (sqm)||130||Client||Alfonso Tagliaferri||Completed||Oct 2021|
At its core, home is where the heart is, more so for a diplomat whose peripatetic lifestyle demands for a domicile that you want to return to, a place that makes you feel safe and comfortable but more importantly that you can effortlessly be yourself in. So, when Italian architecture and interior design studio 02A was commissioned by a diplomat to renovate a historic apartment in Rome’s Flaminio district, the concept of home as a place of belonging underpinned their approach to the project. Once a bourgeois family dwelling on the ground floor of stately, early 20th century apartment building next to the Tiber River, the property was reconfigured to reflect the client’s lifestyle and social rhythm, as well as document his memories and embody his aspirations. The result is an eclectically styled home exuberantly blending contemporary design with period details, vintage pieces and antique heirlooms, alongside an idiosyncratic art collection and a treasure trove of mementos from around the world.
Entering via a private garden, which the designers have reimagined as a lush outdoor lounge with deck chairs amid climbing vines, tropical plants and palm trees, you step into a bright and airy yet cosy sitting room. Meticulously restored decorative barrel vaults and solid oak parquet floors that speak of the building’s architectural heritage are juxtaposed with sleek modern sofas in cream leather from Poltrona Frau, French Art Deco armchairs from the 1940s, an antique Venetian floor lamp, and a handcrafted steel and stone coffee table displaying numerous travel treasures.
Hanging on the wall above the sofa, a sculptural artwork made from salvaged bed springs by South African artist Bronwyn Katz attests to the owner’s passion for contemporary art from South Africa as does the tapestry hanging in the adjacent dining room, the work of artist Igshaan Adams who uses wire, cotton twine, rope, plastic, beads, and shells to create abstract, poetic works informed by social, political, and personal narratives. Also located in the dining room are a vintage table and chairs from the 1950s, a modern light pendant made with flexible plywood by designer Zsuzsanna Horvath for Luceplan, an antique family chest of drawers, framed photography by the South African artist Zanele Muholi and a vintage Indian metal puppet.
Separated from the sitting room with a pair of glass sliding doors, the kitchen stands out in its bold colour palette with bright yellow cabinetry juxtaposed with the Tuscan Red painted barrel vault. Terrazzo floors and brushed granite worktops animate the space with abstract patterns, while a proverb in Esperanto engraved in the granite splashback – “He who is firm in his ideas is noble, but he who is able to change them is even more noble” – adds philosophical notes.
A curved wall marks the entrance to the private quarters which include a service bathroom conceived as tropical hideaway, complete with Palm Jungle wallpaper by Cole & Son black marble surfaces, handcrafted Vienna straw sconces and a plethora of ceramic shells and other decorative objects, and a study/studio that encapsulates the owner’s love for the cinema with vintage theatre chairs and a motorized projector screen built into the ceiling.
Last but not least, the bedroom is where the apartment’s heart beats - it’s no accident that it occupied the largest room. Stepping through a blue velvet curtain, the space is swathed in natural light and warm hues thanks to colourful carpets and artworks, including a print by Chagall and a 19th century copy of the "Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" by Guercino, as well as a wall-to-wall wardrobe wrapped in “Ukiyo” wallpaper by Nobilis which evoke the shapes of mountains, clouds and waves seen in traditional Japanese prints.
What makes this room really special is the en-suite bathroom which remarkably takes the form of a mirrored cube. Housing the WC, the mirror-clad box sits opposite the bed, introducing vivid reflections and enhancing the natural light. Strategically placed by the windows, the bathtub and walk-in shower on either side of the cubic volume are the ultimate relaxation nooks, with lush indoor plants further underlining the sense of an exotic safe haven, a sensation that you can’t help but feel throughout the apartment.