Paola Navone's home in Milan. Photo by Enrico Conti

Inside the warehouse apartment decked out with salvaged souvenirs

Italian designer Paola Navone creates beauty with discarded ceramics in her distinctive domestic space

Open up Inside, and you’ll discover just what kind of home the world’s greatest interior designers are free to create when the only client they have to satisfy is themselves.

This new book collects together images of the homes of sixty of the world’s most celebrated interior designers and decorators.

In some instances these great makers display the kind of restraint they’ve previously shown in creating great hotel, store and domestic interiors. In many of these places, antique homes are complemented with an artfully curated collection of paintings and objets d’art.

In other instances, thrillingly unconventional domestic spaces are made all the more engaging and surprising with the addition of the most unconventional of ornamentations.

Italian designer Paola Navone’s home, in a Milanese neighbourhood populated with fashion showrooms, certainly falls into the latter category.

Over the past five decades Navone has worked with some of the most famous names in Italian design – including Cappellini, Armani Casa and Alessi – and developed a reputation for uncompromising designs, which push her clientele to their limits.

In the text for Inside, Navone admits that, rather than force her vision on an unresponsive client, she prefers to walk away. “Sometimes I do crazy things in somebody else’s house, so that’s challenging,” she admits.

Fortunately, in her own home, she has no one to please other than herself. This simple, open, warehouse-like space is capped off with an industrial style metal roof, which Navone had installed after a fire destroyed the previous one.

Underneath this canopy, she has assembled a stunning collection of personal ephemera, including her own personal collections of European and Chinese ceramics, glassware, pots and pans, as well as a large number of chopsticks.

“My house is a kind of stratification of souvenirs,” Navone explains in the book. Some of this collection is filed neatly away, while other acquisitions are very much on display.

The text in Inside focuses on the collage-like facade covering Navone’s en-suite shower block – a concrete box in the corner of Navone’s bedroom – which the designer has covered with a display an assortment of ceramics she rescued from factory garbage piles while working on a two-year hotel project in Thailand.

The Thai factory bosses’ trash is very much this Italian designer’s treasure. “I wake up every morning and see this wall, and it’s a kind of discovery,” she says in the new book. “The colours make my brain start to wake up in a nice way, and the wall is so full of things that I can spend hours looking around and trying to remember where they all came from.”

Inside the Warehouse apartment decked out with salvaged souvenirs


To see more from Navone’s home, as well as many others, order a copy of Inside here.