Upon Inhabiting – Nolita
Upon Inhabiting
Milan, IT

Sitting snug within the design district of NoLo in the north-east of Milan, Nolita is a beautifully cosy and well-lit home for travellers.

Waking up in an apartment building from the 20s has never felt quite like this. Snippets of the apartment’s history greet you around every turn, with ornate ceiling details and beautiful concrete floor tiles flowing from room to room. Sunlight beams through the apartment in the early hours of the morning, as the crisp Milan air flows through the central corridor. The birds singing from the treetops in the lush courtyard beside the kitchen detach you from the hustle and bustle of the city, virtually transporting you to the flowing greens which surround the city’s urban fringes.

With obvious reference to the book “Lolita” by novelist Vladimir Nabokov, the apartment takes on the character of being precociously seductive, much like the story’s second lead character Dolores Haze, also referred to as Lolita.

The attention to detail in this big yet simple apartment is evident from the first moment. A small light greets you with a warm embrace, turning on automatically as you enter. From this point, the central corridor, already filled with natural light beaming from the rooms along its full length, is now full of light.

When making your way along the central spine of the home, hints of colour catch your peripheral attention as you go. Each room, still with its original flooring, is painted with its own colour, inspired by the apartment’s historic narrative lying underfoot.

The rooms leading off the corridor are dressed with a double door with an ornate architrave to frame it. The walls of each room are divided; the lower portion painted in a colour which seems to flow upwards from the existing floor tiles, while the upper part of the walls and ceiling are painted white, allowing the natural light to bounce around the room. This simple strategy allows for an elegant yet relatable domestic finish, encompassing and enhancing all of the detailed characteristics of what remains of the historic narrative of the home.

The apartment is sprinkled with a number of free-standing designed furniture pieces, allowing for freedom of movement and flow. The only permanent piece of furniture is the kitchen countertop; and what a piece it is. Lightly dashed with hints of pink and white marble granules, the pink concrete worktop flows seamlessly from a horizontal plane into a backsplash and finally capped with a narrow and elegant ledge. All cast as one unique piece, this feature further highlights the attention to detail which is echoed throughout the apartment – the most agreeable discourse between aesthetic pleasure and utility.

The long outstretched breakfast bar extends towards a glass double door at the end of the kitchen, guiding you to the beautifully lit balcony which stretches almost the entire length of the apartment. A small table set for two provides an incredibly romantic setting, channeling the apartments inner "Lolita" and providing the perfect spot for a morning coffee, nestled in the treetops of the lush courtyard below.

The home as a whole, with all of its minimal yet particular design considerations, provides the sensation of full immersion into a wonderfully gentle world of Italian domestic bliss.

Project Link: Nolita – A home for Flâneurs
Original text written by Nolita guest