Inside an Effortlessly Cool Milan Apartment

Louetta R. Clark
<div class="caption"> Alexandre-Camille Removille lounges in his Milan flat beside a white stool by <a href="https://www.artek.fi/en/products/stool-60" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Alvar Aalto" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Alvar Aalto</a>, an Irving Penn poster from a 2019 exhibition in Beirut, and a vase by <a href="https://www.richardginori1735.com/us/en-manifattura-1946" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Richard Ginori from the Manifattura 1946 collection." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Richard Ginori from the Manifattura 1946 collection.</a> </div>

Alexandre-Camille Removille is no stranger to new beginnings. After professional stints in Paris and New York, the young French creative received a call about running events for a fashion brand in Milan. His response: Why not? (or rather, pourquoi pas?) “I was excited by Italy. I only really knew it from fashion weeks in Milan and visiting Rome and Venice,” says Alex. “I don’t speak Italian, but at 30 years old, it was a good time and I thought, why not? I knew nobody.” 

When it came to finding an apartment for this new adventure (which began long before the city’s COVID-19 crisis), Alex focused on aesthetics over location. “I had no idea where to look,” he recalls. He ended up in the Conciliazione quarter, which is family-friendly and full of local warmth. “It’s a very beautiful part of Milan and a great location, near one of the big parks.” His 1880s building has a cut-stone facade and lovely details such as parquet floors, marble countertops, and high ceilings. Alex’s two-bedroom apartment is on the fourth floor, and although there’s a lift, he typically takes the stairs with his bike, which he rides all around Milan. 

<div class="caption"> In the corner of the living room, Alex created an intimate dining space with a set of Eero Saarinen’s iconic Tulip designs for Knoll including a <a href="https://fave.co/3k2FtZS" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:table" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">table</a>, <a href="https://fave.co/3fn16k6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:armchair" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">armchair</a> and <a href="https://fave.co/319g1Jv" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:stool." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">stool.</a> A S43 chair by Mart Stam rounds out the bunch, while a <a href="https://nemolighting.com/product/lampe-de-marseille/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Marseilles Lamp by Le Corbusier" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Marseilles Lamp by Le Corbusier</a> lights the nook. </div>
In the corner of the living room, Alex created an intimate dining space with a set of Eero Saarinen’s iconic Tulip designs for Knoll including a table, armchair and stool. A S43 chair by Mart Stam rounds out the bunch, while a Marseilles Lamp by Le Corbusier lights the nook.

Although he arrived with a collection of furniture and decor, Alex has purchased a few standout pieces to give the space a Milanese charm, such as the vintage Murano chandelier crowning  the living room. Works of art and objects, meanwhile, fill every room with a personal touch.

<div class="caption"> In the main bedroom, Alex topped a <a href="https://fave.co/39R1bLz" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Muji" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Muji</a> bed with a <a href="https://fave.co/3fmjlWT" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rocabar blanket by Hermès" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rocabar blanket by Hermès</a> and bed linens by <a href="https://www.libecohomestores.com/bed-linen" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Libeco" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Libeco</a>. A 1930s gelatin silver print by Albert Renger-Patzsch hangs next to the bed, while prints by Hans Rudolphi from 1925 are displayed above a Muji desk and 1930s lamp by <a href="https://fritzhansen.com/en/kaiseridell" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christian Dell for Kaiser Idell" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Christian Dell for Kaiser Idell</a>. </div>

With regard to decorating, Alex explains, “I wanted to keep it all a bit minimal. Since I work in a creative environment, I wanted to come home to some fresh air and space. I like to keep it simple but beautiful.” Though the apartment is far from cluttered, it’s clear that Alex is skilled in the art of mix and match: Pieces from the Berlin flea market sit beside modern Muji furniture, and a collection of photographs is paired with a 19th-century painting of the Copenhagen port.

<div class="caption"> By pairing a midcentury cafe table by Charles and Ray Eames with two Mart Stam cantilever chairs, Alex crafted a streamlined and compact dining nook in the kitchen. The vase is from <a href="https://www.richardginori1735.com/us/en-manifattura-1946" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Richard Ginori's Manifattura 1946 collection." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Richard Ginori's Manifattura 1946 collection.</a> </div>
By pairing a midcentury cafe table by Charles and Ray Eames with two Mart Stam cantilever chairs, Alex crafted a streamlined and compact dining nook in the kitchen. The vase is from Richard Ginori’s Manifattura 1946 collection.
<div class="caption"> The apartment came equipped with a gas stove by <a href="https://www.lofra.it/en/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lofra" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Lofra</a> and white industrial shelving topped by a marble worktop. </div>
The apartment came equipped with a gas stove by Lofra and white industrial shelving topped by a marble worktop.

Alex likes to entertain, but fêtes are kept super casual—he usually just cooks for a small group of friends. “There’s a good market nearby,” he explains. “I use old silver from a friend and Ginori plates.” A small Eero Saarinen tulip table surrounded by mismatched chairs and stools provides seating in the living room, while Alex managed to carve out a spot in the kitchen for a café table and two cantilever chairs.

<div class="caption"> The living room is anchored by a <a href="https://www.cc-tapis.com/designer/david-nicolas/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:David/Nicolas for CC-Tapis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">David/Nicolas for CC-Tapis</a> rug and a 1970s Italian travertine coffee table. Alex found his sofa at <a href="https://www.caravane.co.uk/products/alto" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Caravane" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Caravane</a> and a <a href="https://www.dwr.com/lighting-desk-lamps/tizio-desk-lamp/2460.html?lang=en_US" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tizio desk lamp by Richard Sapper" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tizio desk lamp by Richard Sapper</a> sits atop <a href="https://www.knoll.com/product/laccio-side-table" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Marcel Breuer’s Laccio side table for Knoll" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Marcel Breuer’s Laccio side table for Knoll</a>. On display above the sofa are posters of films by <a href="https://filmartgallery.com/collections/fassbinder-rainer-werner" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rainer Werner Fassbinder from 1974 to 1982." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rainer Werner Fassbinder from 1974 to 1982.</a> </div>

Now that he is comfortably settled in his new home, Alex is using his creative prowess to think of ways he can make an impact in the world. “I am in contact with the Gordon Parks Foundation, which has scholarships for young talents, and also support Scholarship Plus,” he says. “This is a work in progress.” With his adventurous attitude and knack for composing warm environments, it’s clear Alex will make his mark.    

<div class="caption"> The guest bedroom mirrors Alex’s, with the same Muji bed topped by an Hermès blanket—this time in a striking orange colorway. A chromogenic print by <a href="http://www.thomashumery.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Thomas Humery" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Thomas Humery</a> hangs on the wall beside the window and a poster by <a href="https://www.artsy.net/artist/rayyane-tabet" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rayyane Tabet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rayyane Tabet</a> is casually propped on the floor. </div>
The guest bedroom mirrors Alex’s, with the same Muji bed topped by an Hermès blanket—this time in a striking orange colorway. A chromogenic print by Thomas Humery hangs on the wall beside the window and a poster by Rayyane Tabet is casually propped on the floor.

⚒ Do It Yourself

It’s all about the high-low mix. Alex doesn’t hesitate to cover his Muji beds with Hermès blankets for a pop of color and luxury. 

Buying in bulk can be beautiful. A supply of green glass water bottles makes for an unexpectedly artful display on one kitchen shelf. 

Small seating areas make a big impact. Though there wasn’t space for a traditional dining table in his apartment, Alex carved out little vignettes throughout the house for a table and a few chairs—they’re perfect perches for a meal or coffee, or entertaining small groups of friends.

Keep it simple. Alex likes things minimal and clean, but he also allows his art pieces to breathe and live, whether sitting on the floor, resting on a desk or, more traditionally, hanging on the wall.

<div class="caption"> Alex’s preferred mode of transportation around Milan is his <a href="https://tokyobike.us/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tokyo Bike" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tokyo Bike</a>. A series of 1935 gelatin silver prints by Arno Breker line the entryway to the apartment. </div>
Alex’s preferred mode of transportation around Milan is his Tokyo Bike. A series of 1935 gelatin silver prints by Arno Breker line the entryway to the apartment.

🛍 Shop It Out

“FEAR EATS THE SOUL” tray by Rirkrit Tiravanija, 85 €, shop.onestarpress.com

Tree House candle by Byredo, $85, byredo.com

Oak desk by Muji, $175, muji.us

White laminate Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto for Artek, $240, finnishdesignshop.com

<div class="caption"> A tray by artist <a href="https://www.artsy.net/artist/rirkrit-tiravanija" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rikrit Tiravanija" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rikrit Tiravanija</a> is on display in the kitchen. The fruits and bread are from Alex’s favorite local market, <a href="https://www.mercatocomunalewagner.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mercato Comunale Wagner" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mercato Comunale Wagner</a>. </div>

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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