Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Decorating Enhanced by Personality
Nancy Lancaster once said, "I can't bear anything that looks like it's been decorated." I wholeheartedly agree, which is why I prefer interiors where the decorating plays the supporting, although significant, role of creating a cohesive foundation for a room, while intriguing objects, collections, and personal effects bring the room to life. If a room lacks this layer of all-important personality, the decorating becomes too prominent, something which renders a room- no matter how beautiful it might be- sterile and uninviting.
An example of decorating enhanced by personality can be seen in Casa degli Atellani, the Milan home of architect Piero Catellini Baldissera. The 15th-century palazzo was purchased by Baldissera's grandfather, who was also an architect, in 1920. Having spent much of his childhood visiting his grandfather's apartment in Atellani, Baldissera eventually had the opportunity to inhabit it. As you can see in these 1999 photos, the rooms possessed a sense of order and calm that was a result of Baldissera's well-tuned decorating. And yet, a lively tempo resonated throughout the home thanks to the homeowner's pleasing mix of antiques, books, and collections.
It's certainly a home that I can bear, and I assume that Nancy Lancaster would have agreed with me.
Image at top: The home's trompe l'oeil winter-garden foyer. The Directoire settee came from Napoleon's sister's house in Parma.
All photos from House Beautiful, December 1999, Jacques Dirand photographer.