Refined chic by Studio Milo

Architect Arianna Crosetta and interior designer Federica Gosio, together, are the heart and mind of Studio Milo.
Care for detail, eclecticism, and charm: these are the keys to the two designers’ taste. They have chosen Milan and London as the best cities to base their studio because of the cultural mix they offer: a mix they celebrate in their studio’s name (which takes the first syllables from the two locations’ names, Mi-Lo) as well as in their cosmopolitan design style. Arianna and Federica work on interiors and set design, and have already added to their client portfolio major campaigns like those for Fratelli Rossetti and Elena Mirò.
We interviewed Arianna and Federica, and here is what they told us about Studio Milo…

What are you working on at the moment?
We’ve already started preparing for Milan’s Salone del Mobile, and are working on various homes in London, Ibiza and Minorca; finally, we are defining the concepts for some set design projects.

If you had to introduce someone new to Studio Milo’s philosophy, what would you say?
Our method is definitely “eclectic”. We draw inspiration from different styles, and from Milan’s and London’s style in particular. We combine old and new, luxury and essential, extending this approach to fabrics, furniture, decor, floors and walls. An interior design project should highlight elements with different features that seem impossible to combine. That’s why it’s so important to choose every piece and every color with great care.

Why did you choose to work in London and Milan, to the point you named your studio after them?
Actually, we didn’t choose these two cities as much as they chose us. We met at a construction site in Ibiza, in the middle ground between London (where Federica has been living for many years) and Milan (where I’ve lived for eight years now). We though these two environments could represent one of our strengths: they are completely different worlds that merge together in our projects.

What are your individual characteristics, in the way you approach design? And how do you work together?
Although we are completely different in both personal and professional terms, we have distinct skills and are able to complement each other in our approach to design. We often like to describe ourselves as yin and yang.

You also work in set design. How did that decision come to be?
After working in setups extensively, we were asked to find a connection between fashion and design. That’s how we got our chance to work in this wonderful field – also thanks to the successful Fratelli Rossetti campaign we had worked on.

Are there any common elements between designing someone’s apartment or designing a set?
They are both definitely an exercise in composition, using colors, fabrics, shapes and finishes that can integrate with each other in a balanced way. Designing interiors for individual clients requires a 360-degree vision for a space destined for the use of everything it contains; sets are built thinking about how they will show in photos.

Who would you like to work with?
We would definitely like to challenge ourselves working in the retail field, which we’ve always been fascinated with.

You work in set design and interior design. Which field do you feel is a better fit?
We believe both. Interior design definitely voices our more sophisticated and light soul, while sets represent our creative and free side. However, both entail a search for balance between space and decor, as two inseparable elements.

What are your homes like? What important pieces do they feature?
They are both a mix of flavors and make bold use of colors and materials. Federica’s home channels New York’s lifestyle and fine Italian design, despite its location in London’s historical Holland Park district. Her nest features a “Tromba” lamp by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, lampshades by Raimond Garau and other uniquely designed pieces. Lightness, functionality and color are also elements that stand out in Arianna’s apartment in Milan. It’s in an early-1900s, “old Milan” style building, and is dominated by vintage pieces she found in galleries and icons of Italian and international design, like the “Cesca Chair” by Thonet, the “Eames Plastic Armchair” by Vitra, and the “Parentesi” lamp by Flos.

Who did you get your taste for beautiful things from?
Federica: Definitely my mother. I was attracted by her great care for details since I was little, although I was not aware of it. She sees something to care about even in small daily tasks like setting the table: colors, fabrics, materials. Growing up I internalized her same natural ability, amplifying it through experience and knowledge.
Arianna: My father, without a doubt. I always loved watching him draw, and was carried away by his passion for design.

How much of Italy do you bring into your projects in the United Kingdom, and how much of Britain do you “export” here in Italy?
Our projects are a “contamination” of ideas, styles and approaches from different influences. In our work, we always try to reconcile London’s open mind and Italy’s profound architectural culture.

Which of your projects do you feel the most connected to?
We feel a bond to all of our projects, because we really put our soul into each one. Amongst the more recent ones, I would definitely consider Primrose Hill, a five-story town house in London where we had to find architecture and interior design solutions that could reconcile existing and new elements. We are very proud of the outcome, which also stems from the client’s completely collaborative approach, as he let us guide him through every decision.

What are the challenges in managing a firm like yours?
Working long-distance is definitely the biggest challenge, but also a point of strength: we learned to not waste time chattering and to confront important decisions about our projects instead.

What are the personal and professional traits required to succeed in your field?
Great problem solving skills are an absolute requirement in our job. You have to be able to plan your own work, communicate, dialog and listen, especially in cases like ours where there are two separate offices. You also need a lot of curiosity, a will to explore, to reinvent yourself and... a lot of patience!

What style would you bet on, today, in interior design?
The 1980s are coming back, for sure. We also think that brass is overinflated by now, and could probably be replaced by undisputed polished chrome metal.

How do Italian and London clients differ in taste?
In general, we find our Milan clients more open to new solutions for architecture and space, while London clients have more of a classic taste and a stronger sense for custom decorative elements.

What is your advice for young talents wanting to follow in your footsteps?
In the beginning, work is hard and fees are low – so invest your time working for someone who can pass along their knowledge and dedicate some time to you. Be curious and always put passion in what you do!

Interview by Barbara Palladino

© Studio Milo


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