I just came from Milan last week where I fell in love with the city and just can’t wait to go back. Traditionally the first stop in Milan is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II where you step and spin on the bull’s balls for good luck. As corny as it sounds, I did it too (see above). Yes, but what does it have to do with “beautiful wallpaper?”
Bar Luce with its quirky wallpaper
One of the highlights of the trip was my visit to Fondazione Prada (Foundation Prada) with its quirky Bar Luce.
Here is a bit of a story about it:
Surprisingly, Milan didn’t have an official modern art museum. Then in 2015, a vast complex was built in an industrial district of Milan. I will talk about the museum in my next post, this one is about different inspirations.
As I entered Bar Luce I felt like I was inside a dollhouse from a dream with the Galleries Emmanuelle splendid wallpaper over my head and a candy store on my eye level. And, of course, some delicious drinks were available to adjust to my adult taste. The cafe is styled by a film director Wes Anderson, and if you saw any of his movies, you would recognize the playfully whimsical style of the movie sets.
Anderson borrowed the idea of the vaulted glass ceiling and spherical pendant lights from Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and then simplified it with easy forms and symmetry.
The bar is decisively charming, a bit kitsch and a bit fairytale-ish. But at the same time, Anderson created a functional place – a writer’s spot where you could perch with your MAC and spend hours working. Lovingly patterned wallpaper mimics splendid upper floors windows and vaulted glass ceiling of the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. But then you are immersed in a nostalgic era of the 50s and 60s with a flecked floor, veneered wood wall panels, and simple materials.
Here are the vintage jukeboxes, long-forgotten tools, scales, a slicer, and Steve Zissou pinball machine.
The patterned wallpaper with rows of “Galleria” windows multiply the fairytale-ish vibe.
Color-blocked Formica tables remind of the times when the finishes and materials were limited to basics.
The ceiling wallpaper is on a curve referencing the original grand glass and metal vault but not trying to be exact. As much as it is similar to the iconic gallery it is still intentionally naive and charmingly childish.
A pink terrazzo floor is a confetti as it is sprinkled with splashes of color. After looking at it I want ice-cream!
Fortunately, the most delicious ice-cream is right there calling my name.
The cafe has numerous sources of light, here’s the name Bar Luce. Brightly lit pastries displays make the delicious desserts irresistible. Surely I swallowed a raspberry tart which was fresh, delicious and decadent.
I was lucky to come and people watch during the lunch hour (actually several hours, it’s Italy). Most of them were the employees of the Prada Foundation, and they all wore Prada.
Any travel guide will tell you that when you are in Milan you must take a stroll along the fashion district, Quadrilatero Della Moda. I did just that without looking for anything in particular, just enjoying brightly lit and tastefully decorated windows. Then I stumbled upon Fornasetti’s new store hosted in the neoclassical building where Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of the futurist movement, used to live. Wow, I am so glad I found it!
Every room in the store is a delicious exploration of the artist’s imaginary world based on everyday objects as well as his obsession with Lina Cavalieri’s face reproduced in his art.
We were escorted by lovely Katerina (center) who led us from room to room filled with beautiful objects expertly styles by the gallery.
Nothing tells more about the artist than archives!
But what fascinated me the most was something that I didn’t know much about- the wallpaper!
My Obsession- Nuvole Wallpaper
The beauty of this wallpaper is not only in its unusual style of depicting clouds. You can actually cut it out without worrying about covering the whole surface. This way you don’t need to buy a lot of it. Place it by the entrance door for a whimsical and powerful effect to surprise everyone!
Nuvolle wallpaper comes in several colors, not only gray as shown below.
Teatro wallpaper is another one that I love.
Install it in a small space, such as a powder room to bring humor and adventure into a boring interior, and you’ll giggle every time.
Procuratie Con Vista Wallpaper
This wallpaper design is quirky, amusing and somewhat hypnotic. It reveals the capricious textures of the Nuvole theme behind the Palladian windows where the spiteful monkeys become a part of the otherwise serious architectural scene. It captures the wit and originality of the artist. Splendid!
Of course, wallpaper is not for everyone. For example, if you live in a rental apartment it might be out of the question. In this case, you might be able to use temporary wallpaper, such as Tempaper. You can read about it here.
There are many more Fornasetti designs of beautiful wallpaper that I truly admire and I can’t wait to create interiors using them!
Here is the deal: all the wallpapers can be purchased at a 25% discount off retail prices from me directly. Please connect with me at email@example.com and let me know if you are considering it. In addition, I will help you make your design unforgettable!
Rachel Volovets says
Very beautiful depiction of the city from the viewpoint of a designer. I love the photographs and how you correlate them to your inspirations. This makes me want to go to Milan!!
Marina Klima says
Anna Pozza says
Thank you for your beautiful insight on the treasures of Italian style and decor.Never enjoyed reading about elements of interior design so much!
You have a wonderful vision and understanding of aesthetics,you are so driven and inspired by beauty,it’s almost intoxicating!I feel so inspired!
I am planning my trip!!!
Marina Klima says
Thank you do much! We have to plan this trip together next year finally!
That was absolutely great, Marina what you have introduced us to! I ave been to Milan couple of times, but each time learn something new. What you posted is Much more interesting than what Rick Steve describes in his travel notes about Milan. I loved the idea of combining rustic furniture with “clouds” wallpaper! Thanks for sharing. Look forward to reading some other observations of yours.
Marina Klima says
Thank you, Reginochka,
I am glad it indpired you. But Rick Steve is great, I like him.
Leslie Mansfield, Realtor says
Loved this. You made me feel as if I were there!
Marina Klima says
Doing a happy dance in the kitchen after I read your comment 🙂
Elle Cos says
Oh Marina your trip was full of exquisite pictures and memories to last a lifetime.
The retro was fascinating and the ceiling blew my mind!
So glad to experience this beauty if only through your beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing these blissful moments.
Marina Klima says
I am so glad you enjoyed the post! It is so cool that I can share with you! Hope you are doing well!