Opulence and character are central to the style of Visionnaire, the Italian furniture brand for which Eleonore Cavalli is the art director. Uniting contemporary art and design with historic architecture, this Milan Home is a stylish tribute to Visionnaire, the owner’s family furniture brand.
See also: Meet Boca do Lobo Milan Private Showroom
The home in question is located in Il Chiostro, a 19th-century former orphanage and print workshop in Milan’s central San Vittore district. Preserving the building’s historic façade and cloistered perimeter but combining them with modern features like green roofs, advanced renewable energy systems, and shared garden areas, Fiori has created a series of apartments that unite the best of old and new.
“It’s a work of architecture very much in tune with Milan – entirely inside, very private, with the surprise of the courtyard and gardens within,” he says.
The family-run business, which started life in Bologna in 1959, is famed for the dynamic art collections that offset its statement designs. These artworks are showcased in its gallery in Milan’s Piazza Cavour, which is curated by Eleonore’s husband and collaborator, Marco Morandini. Inspired by the “wunderkammers”, or “wonder chambers”, of the Baroque era, where the nobility of the day displayed finds from their exotic travels, Visionnaire’s art collection evolves alongside its furniture, creating an original, ever-changing style universe.
“For me, this dialogue between art and design feels very contemporary,” Visionnaire was a forerunner of the trend that’s brought success to fairs like Nomad and Art Basel, so it felt natural for Marco and me to transfer the same attitude to our own home.” – says Eleonore Cavalli
Eleonore and Marco enlisted an architect friend, Massimiliano Camoletto, to put a personal stamp on their duplex penthouse in the development. The result is a happy marriage between Visionnaire designs and bespoke interior architecture. The double-height living room is dominated by a custom-made partition wall housing a series of Speyer mirrored bookcases, which glimmer gently in the light flooding through full-length windows and a glass skylight. This space also plays host to a custom-made, wood-clad staircase, which conceals a wardrobe and shoe storage, and to lounge furniture in comforting earth tones, including Visionnaire’s Bastian leather sofa and walnut-and-marble Kings Cross low table.
In keeping with the cloistered tranquillity of the Il Chiostro complex, Camoletto designed an entrance to the apartment that provides total privacy. With its concealed door built into a seamless joinery wall, which is finished in Alpi’s discreet Day and Night veneer, it’s invisible from the rest of the apartment and instills a sense of sanctuary.
Once inside, Eleonore’s favorite place to retreat to is the bioclimatic greenhouse that adjoins the living area, where Visionnaire’s Argante butterfly carpet complements an indoor paradise of trailing, scented greenery.