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Filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s 17th-century palazzo

The Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s exquisitely art-directed movies have become something of an obsession to the creative community. His ultimate set, however, is his own apartment in a 17th-century palazzo outside of Milan.

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The creator of films such as 2009’s “I am Love” and this year’s “A Bigger Splash,” director Luca Guadagnino is known for the exquisitely appointed, haute bourgeois settings, each filled with enchanting characters.

What he strives for, says his friend and frequent collaborator, the actress Tilda Swinton, is something “vital, passionate and uncontrollable.” These aspirations play out in his home as well, with each room telling a story. Grand yet carefully edited, perfect and imperfect, harmony emerges from contrast and eclectic pairings, like modern Danish chairs in a room with doors lavishly embellished in the Lombardian Baroque style.

The 3,200-square-foot apartment sits on the second floor of a 17th-century palazzo in the heart of Crema, a city 40 minutes from Milan. When Guadagnino bought the place a few years ago, it had been empty for 40 years — since the countess who lived there died. What he discovered beneath layers of decaying wallpaper and bright midcentury paint was every palazzo owner’s dream: authentic frescoes.

The cavernous living room features the original frescoed ceiling and terracotta tiles uncovered during renovation, 18th-century Japanese painted wall panels and a truly inspired palette – Guadagnino worked with the painters to hand-mix the exact hue for the walls.  Furnishings include a sofa and chairs by Piero Castellini covered in C&C Milano fabrics and a La Manufacture Cogolin rug. In the dining room, John Gould prints over a Florence Knoll sofa in Loro Piana cashmere, chairs by Enzo Mari for Hermès, 19th-century church candlesticks mounted as lamps and another La Manufacture Cogolin rug. On the sideboard, is a tastefully curated vignette comprising a 1920s porcelain dog by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori and Hermès glasses.

In the black bathroom, a fishtail palm sits against a backdrop of Farrow & Ball wallpaper. A Tibetan tapestry hangs over a Hästens bed in the master bedroom with Castellini chairs covered in Dedar fabric and curtains of Hermès fabric.

Light floods the loggia, on the second floor of the palazzo. Gio Ponti Superleggera chairs by Cassina flank the dining table, with vintage Danish chairs in the foreground. The ornately painted door is original to the building.

His future house will have a garden, apparently. One can only imagine what the vision and exceptionally good taste of Luca Guadagnino will produce next…

Credits: New York Times
Photography: Mikael Olsson

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