In the centre of Milan, a youthful flat is spread over two levels, welcoming a white kitchen with a functional island in the centre. On the upper floor, the elegance of total white is accompanied by a niche wardrobe with mirrored doors that amplify the perception of the sleeping area. Practical elements with linear and elegant aesthetics that define the look of the entire flat. Let’s discover together this realisation designed by architect Stefano Belotti!
A white central island dominates the kitchen area
Upon entering the flat, with its small but practical dimensions, the view is projected onto the kitchen, the layout of which makes full use of the available height with storage compartments. Acting as a visual filter, but at the same time as a functional element for the cooking area, is the central island that echoes the white aesthetics of the kitchen.
The worktop, in matt white Corian, becomes not only a work surface, but also a convenient snack top for aperitifs and quick meals. In this respect, the folding mechanism that allows the (future) service stools to be concealed plays a key role. The front closure panels, in fact, rotate sideways to then be incorporated into the main structure and almost completely disappear.
The volume of the island consists of front-extension doors with internal drawers of different heights. A solution that has now become predominant in the recently concluded edition of the Salone del Mobile, as well as clearly recognisable in previous editions. The main advantage is certainly the more elegant and minimal aesthetics, in which horizontal cuts resulting from the division into drawers are eliminated in favour of a single door.
From the wall unit to the laundry corner: functionality marries total white aesthetics
The adjoining wall unit is made up of multi-level volumetric plays. The service columns, incorporating the built-in refrigerator on one side and the combi-oven to its right, are accompanied by compartments with hinged doors that extend across the entire upper part of the kitchen. On the same depth level, matt lacquered doors with a dishwasher in the central area and internal shelves in the surrounding compartments. The central area, on the other hand, is characterised by a break-out with worktop and sink, upper wall units with vertical partitioning and built-in lighting with a smaller depth.
To ensure the best functional configuration, the side wall to the kitchen and the central island accommodates a white lacquered door that covers the entire height of the room. This conceals inside the laundry area with a washing machine and tumble dryer with columns accompanied by practical shelves for cleaning products.
The linear aesthetics are emphasised both in the choice of lighting, pendant above the white central island and LED strip lighting in the back wall of the kitchen, and also in the joining chain between the Corian top and doors below. The material detachment through an aluminium profile becomes the horizontal reading element both for the back wall, joining the two side ends, and embracing the central island with kitchenette.
A wardrobe with mirrored doors embellishes the sleeping area
On the upper floor, accessible via a white painted spiral staircase, a wardrobe with six mirror-covered doors dominates. The rhythmic vertical division is interrupted by a single horizontal cut at the top, creating an interesting geometric subdivision in the overall aesthetics. The choice of mirrored doors on the one hand amplifies the brightness and perception of the room and at the same time enhances the overall aesthetics.
The division into six doors is reflected internally in a symmetrical composition with double central compartments accompanied by two single compartments at the ends. Compartments with hanging tubes are favoured, but there are also internal drawers and adjustable shelves for better organisation of clothing.
If for the lower level the kitchen with central island favours a uniform white aesthetic, the sleeping area, on the other hand, marries contrasting aesthetics. The bright exterior of the mirrored doors is in fact contrasted by the elegance of a matt black whole on which the elegant chrome hanging tubes can be seen.
The choice of a total white kitchen is always a contemporary and elegant solution. Its simplicity makes it easily adaptable to the surrounding context, whether it has a retro feel, as in this example, or contemporary pop, as in this realisation. It can also be combined with natural wood elements, such as chopping boards and snack tops, thus adding a hint of warmth, here’s an example! Or exploit plays of opacity and shine through different materials, making the room look fresh and bright, perfect for seaside homes!
To make the most of the sloping ceiling of this attic, a large custom-made wardrobe is mixed between a functional element and a large bookcase. A hybrid furniture, usable internally for the seasonable wardrobe change, but linear in aesthetics to create a suggestive and small reading hall for our little client Francesco.
Equip an attic with sloped ceiling with a custom-made wardrobe
The attic is the project environment with great aesthetic potential but with strong architectural design constraints. The presence of a sloping roof creates different usability areas imposed by the different internal heights of the room. In this case, the architectural conformation of the attic, with a narrow and long plan with access to the center of the ridge, ideally divides the room into two different environments. In one of these two the large custom-made wardrobe stands, able to exploit even the lowest corner of the attic with a bookcase in the niche.
To ensure that the sloping cut doors are not obstructed in the opening direction by the attic ceiling, it is necessary to provide single doors with fastening on the longer side. This also allows an internal division with shelves marked by single and not double modules as in a traditional wardrobe. The backs of the bookcase are shaped in the same way in order to respect the inclination of the ceiling and optimize the overall dimensions.
A reading corner for our most demanding small customers
Francesco is our little client with very clear needs. If mom Laura is kindly allowed to use the inside wardrobe for the seasonable wardrobe change and household linen, the niche-bookcase must be able to accommodate books and dinosaurs divided by specific themes and colors. The shaped shoulders accommodate fixed shelves at different heights, creating a lively but elegant visual rhythm.
Even the fresh and elegant tone of the white bilaminate creates a luminous reading area in which a delicate Scandinavian design coffee table finds space. To take advantage of the depth of the wardrobe, a second bookcase is grafted onto the side shoulder, also visually closing the furniture with a characterizing detail. The same solution was also adapted in this cerulean blue kitchen in modern style. In this case, the shelves are positioned at a greater height so that they can also accommodate more bulky folders and books. The reading corner is thus embraced by the multifunctional furniture that from a simple wardrobe serving an attic it also becomes a custom-made bookcase.
The classic style furnishings of this villa built about thirty years ago rediscovers its eternal charm even after many years. To rejuvenate it and make it current, a contemporary style kitchen with essential lines has been added. The harmonious combination of the two styles refreshes the rooms and softens the features of the predominant style.
Classical furniture between past and present
The passage of time and the succession of different historical periods has allowed a wide development of furnishing styles. Over the course of history these have known their maximum expression with distinct characters, while in the contemporary era they have been reinterpreted, giving life to continuously updated variants.
This house, built between the late eighties and early nineties, responds to a classic style at the time very popular among villas and elegant apartments. Revived today, it discovers its contemporary meaning with an elegant kitchen with essential lines. The warm tones of the lacquers soften the design lines of these interiors, in perfect harmony with contemporary trends.
The living area in classic style
The classic furnishings already develop in the entrance area with moldings that emphasize the architectural lines of this villa. On the left, an arch with shaped profiles marks the entrance to the living area, flanked by a pair of blades of light that allow a glimpse of the large interior living room. The profile of the internal shelves, slightly recessed, is a shrewdness that makes the aesthetic impact of the element lighter, recalling the characteristics of the classic style. The painting of the walls in a warm slightly cloudy tone acts as a leitmotif in the different rooms, enhancing the light furnishings.
The living room has a central solid wood main table matched with other antiques that give elegance and prestige. Among these, the large damask carpet, the adjacent wall piano and the Arco lamp by Castiglioni, a timeless design icon. Low cabinets, honeycomb radiator covers and niche bookcases with recurring aesthetic characteristics accompany them. Moldings, doors decorated with tone-on-tone knockouts and brass knobs are in perfect classic style. The chosen color of a light cream makes the interiors elegant, softening their features.
From the equipped corridors to the sleeping area
To anticipate the sleeping area, the corridors and passageways are equipped with full-height service wardrobes. These reproduce the characterizing lines of classic style furnishings, enriched with decorative floral motifs in a slight chromatic contrast. The warm tone of the walls is echoed by the knock-out of the doors in a delicate tone-on-tone play. Internally, shelves and hangers alternate to make the most of the environments.
In the sleeping area, the bedroom uses a double-sided wardrobe that fits into the dividing wall between the sleeping area and the study corner, now equipped for distance learning. A structure with delicate warm tones which, combined with the light blue walls, is even brighter and fresher. Classic-style doors accommodate internal shelves and hangers, while in the terminal part they incorporate open compartments for small objects. At the front, the equipped wall alternates shelves with wall units with molded doors, creating a dynamic visual rhythm. In the lower part there is a desk with a chest of drawers incorporated into the structure.
The master bedroom stands out for its contemporary elegance that only delicately hints at the classic tones of the remaining rooms. The caramel-colored padded headboard of the large double bed rests on the rear structure equipped with a front day compartment and bookcases along the side shoulders. To recall the classic style of the furniture is the linear aesthetic of the back wall with panels spaced at a fixed distance. On both sides of the bed there is the access to the walk-in closet, contemporary in its design lines but with light tones that reflect the colors of the remaining furnishings.
The introduction of the contemporary style through the refurbishment of the kitchen
The timeless beauty of classic furniture, rediscovered even today, is confronted with the desire to renovate the interiors. In terms of functionality and typology, the kitchen is the environment that best lends itself to a stylistic change with a contemporary flavor. Here then, after simplifying the existing doors with a linear aesthetic, this room also fits harmoniously into the existing complex. A touch of lightness that balances the stylistic imprint of the villa.
Preserving the top and the back surface of the terracotta kitchen with brick-colored geometric decorations, the refurbishment involved doors and front drawers of both the base units and the upper wall units. Recessed handles with a linear aesthetic and matt lacquer in full contemporary style are spread over the entire kitchen and the volume of the peninsula used as a snack bar placed at the front. The hood, previously chosen as a “design” type, was inserted in a built-in structure entirely covered in white Lacobel, capable of giving brightness to the environment. Appliances are also being renovated, including the built-in refrigerator and the pair of Smeg column ovens.
Conclusions: customize the classic furniture
The classic style, which today is witnessing a rediscovery, is easily combined with the essentiality of the contemporary style, creating an interesting combination. Restoring the stylistic balance of the interiors can also mean finding the right combinations between different styles, giving a decisive impression to the house. To learn more, another example of a house with contemporary style and classic kitchen.
Facing a move means turning your life around, renovating your home and introducing new furnishing accessories. Beginning to pack, you make a natural selection of the objects to take with you, recognizing for each their own emotional value. Many times, this process also involves the world of furnishings, which accompany the owners in this moment of transition. Giving new life to furniture also means renewing the context in which they are inserted, managing to adapt them in terms of aesthetics and functionality to the new environments.
Adapting furnishing to a new context
When the furnishings are custom designed, their conformation responds to the needs of the customers, perfectly matching with the architectural context in which they are inserted. In doing this, a strong link is born between the rooms in which they are inserted and the shapes, proportions and mechanisms of use of the furnishings. This would suggest an indissoluble bond between the two components, which would break when the furniture undergoes a relocation. It is absolutely not said!
In fact, among the potential of custom-made furniture there is a flexibility factor that allows us to give new life to furniture by making few changes. These make it possible to transform the general imprint of the furniture in order to adapt it to the new context both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
The kitchen: increases the work space and storage volumes
The kitchen certainly represents the beating heart of a home. In the case of this apartment between modern and contemporary, its conformation was born from a natural reading of the architectural context in which it was inserted.
The corner development made it possible to exploit the side part with service columns with anthracite gray lacquered MDF doors. These are equipped with column ovens on the right, pantry with removable trays and a central compartment for the free-standing refrigerator. The front is made up of lower volumes with large drawers and service doors and upper wall units in a brilliant white Lacobel.
The new arrangement has provided additional useful space for the overall dimensions. Being able to use additional space on both sides, the most natural solution was to exploit the remaining gaps with additional volumes. On the right, we provide a service column which houses a modern wine cellar accompanied by a door with height-adjustable internal shelves.
On the opposite end, the main problem arises when the worktop is made of natural stone, which has undergone a chromatic change over the years. To avoid incurring a visible difference between the added part and the existing one, a wooden top was thus created. It also acts as a cutting board for preparing meals. An element that not only solves an aesthetically weak point, but also provides a functional solution.
The living area: a new contemporary aesthetic
To equip the living area, we recovered the furniture made in 2006. The choice of colors was already avant-garde at the time. Even in a contemporary reworking they can adapt perfectly, resulting elegant and current. The TV cabinet in glossy anthracite gray lacquered MDF alternates flap doors with service drawers, whose recessed handles give visual lightness.
In this case, giving new life to furniture means adapting them to the new context in which they are inserted, managing to exploit the flexibility of the same. Small changes have been made, mostly considered maintenance. Re-lacquering where necessary or remaking of structural parts.
The same approach was then applied to the service hanging columns, which are made up of doors in the upper part and small drawers in the lower part. Their new position side by side allows them to welcome guests introducing them to the living area and, at the same time, create a visual divider from the more intimate dining room.
Children’s bedrooms: new tailor-made solutions to exploit architectural voids
The sleeping area houses the two small bedrooms whose conformation alternates architectural voids with important structural elements. A tailor-made solution was therefore designed in both rooms in order to include all the necessary furnishings without sacrificing practicality and visual freedom.
For the first bedroom it was therefore decided to take advantage of the basement that leads to the mezzanine area to equip it with a shaped wardrobe. Since the room is intended for a child, the dimensions and heights necessary for the clothes have certainly facilitated the design. Despite having little space available, taking advantage of the inclined height of the basement, it was still possible to create a double-height wardrobe with alternating shelves with fixed hangers. The wardrobe is accompanied by a standing alone chest of drawers which is also used as a support surface. The large one and a half bed is inserted in a niche. The latter used in the depth to fix shelves with hidden lighting.
In the second small room, the depth of the niche is useful for a certainly wider wardrobe. Full-height doors with push opening accommodate fixed tubulars, drawers for linen and shelves for folded items to satisfy the needs of a young girl.
The master bedroom: a wardrobe like new
The master bedroom is best equipped with a large wardrobe with sliding doors placed parallel to the bed. Its linear aesthetic combined with spot ceiling lighting allows at the same time to hide its grandeur. The result is a capacious and functional volume which, in the aesthetic impact of the room, tends to disappear while giving character and elegance. Relocated from the old house, the different internal height has led to a reduction in height which has thus made it possible to better adapt to new environments.
The composition of the wardrobe comes from a natural division into three departments, corresponding to the division of the sliding doors. On the outside, the double-height hanger houses removable glass shelves in the center. These are particularly suitable for storing folded shirts using the external sliding mechanism to reduce the internal height between the trays. In the central compartment, the large linen drawers are accompanied by a pair of shelves for folded items and hangers in the upper part. The left compartment instead houses a double hanger to accommodate long dresses and coats whose greater height compensates for the reduced space reserved for folded trousers and skirts.
Giving new life to furniture does not only mean rejuvenating it and making changes to its aesthetics. The bespoke design allows you to create furnishings that are versatile and able to adapt to new environments. Restoring a balance between aesthetic conformation in relation to the room and functional needs becomes the main goal.
From the needs of the customers and the type of clothing used, the project for a customed wardrobe is born, studied in its internal configuration in the smallest details. A careful choice of materials and finishes give importance and elegance to the project.
Studying the internal configuration of a customed wardrobe
Studying the internal configuration of a wardrobe, it is essential, as a first step, to analyze the type of clothing owned. Tubular hangers and shelves for folded items are balanced to best meet the needs of customers, making the most of the space. In fact, shirts, jackets, trousers and dresses occupy different dimensions depending on how they are folded. For this reason, it would be counterproductive to design a “universal” wardrobe. The first step in designing a made-to-measure wardrobe is therefore to study the customer: to know their habits, tastes and needs. In the case of this young couple, the six-door wardrobe has been divided equally into two compartments: the women’s section, in which the hanger certainly prevails, but in which there are also small shelves for folded items, and the men’s section balanced between folded and hung.
Each item has its own space
The next step in the design was to study different typological variants of the wardrobe product in order to maintain a uniform line of sight in both sectors, but at the same time find the optimal solution for the internal organization of the space.
The internal layout has been designed in such a way as to respect the two divisions and keep them mirroring each other. The pair of central doors was thus conceived with a symmetrical internal division reserved for folded items.
In the first solution, extractable glass shelves are designed for folded shirts and t-shirts in order to store them in a more orderly and elegant way. In the women’s department, the hanging division allows the set of long dresses on the left side, and short dresses with folded trousers on the right side. The women’s department is completed by a chest of drawers for bags and accessories and upper shelves. The conformation of the men’s department is instead characterized by fixed tubulars for trousers folded in the lower part, shirts and jackets in the upper part.
The second solution proposed sees both components configured in the same way. The only difference is in the women’s part, where a side shelf is eliminated to accommodate long dresses. The third and fourth solutions also see the alternation of shelves and tubulars in order to ensure the double height of the hangers on one side, and a good number of drawers for underwear on the other.
The definitive conformation.
Among the various solutions proposed, after a comparison and mutual relationship with customers, the project proposal was born and then became reality. A configuration that respects the needs of each part, setting up a women’s department with hangers in the upper part that hosts dresses of different lengths. At the service of this, for greater practicality, a dark-toned side table with painted aluminum tubing that guarantees great resistance and capacity. In the lower part, a fixed tubular for skirts, blouses and shelves for sweaters and bulky items.
The pair of central doors, mirrored on both sides, has a fixed hanger for folded trousers in the upper part and linen drawers in the lower part. The first of these is characterized by the presence of internal dividers and velvet bottom to keep the belts in order. In the masculine part, the upper part with servetto is dedicated to jackets and shirts, while the lower part houses fixed shelves for folded items and a large drawer on the bottom for bulky. To accompany the whole, a chest of drawers with central compartment for accessories and upper service shelf.
Materials and finishes
Even the choice of materials and finishes reflects a particular attention to detail and a refined taste. The doors in white-stained ash are combined with handles in satin brass sheet with joint and fold system that makes them elegant and refined. The same type of handles, with sheet metal coplanar with the wooden structure, is used in the external chest of drawers, whose development follows a horizontal rather than a vertical trend. The interior of the wardrobe and the structure of the chest of drawers are in smoked oak, whose warm and soft shades perfectly match the existing natural oak parquet. A reference to brass is also present in the internal drawers of the wardrobe, with very simple but elegant folded sheet metal handles that rest on the front of the drawers. Servetti with brown aluminum finish, fixed tubulars and hinges with black color finish complete the overall view with uniformity and elegance.
Designing a made-to-measure wardrobe means thinking about an internal conformation that best meets the needs and practicality of customers. Like an item of clothing, furniture must also perfectly fit the personality of the user.