Interior designer Giampiero Tagliaferri’s Los Angeles home is an object lesson in the wonders of 20th-century Italian furniture and the affinities between Italian Modernism and the Mid-Century Modern movement incubated in Southern California . Shock block with treasures both familiar and obscure, the decor includes works by luminaries of the order of Gae Aulenti, Vico Magistretti, Joe Colombo, Osvaldo Borsani, Angelo Mangiarotti, Mario Bellini and Ettore Sottsass, as well as furniture of important but less known talents such as Cesare Leonardi, Franca Stagi, Gianni Celada and Gianni Moscatelli.
Tagliaferri is itself an Italian treasure. Born in Bergamo, this dapper 38-year-old talent has spent years in Milan working on the marketing strategy and design of the fashionable eyewear brand. Oliver Peoples. Six years ago, after being appointed the company’s Creative Director, he moved to Los Angeles, where he oversaw the design of more than a dozen Oliver Peoples stores in the United States, Europe and Asia. . “In college, I studied commerce and industrial design, so I learned to approach business from a design perspective and vice versa. The Rome store was my first interior project. It made me realize that interior design is where my real passions lie, ”says Tagliaferri.
Although he continues to consult Oliver Peoples, Tagliaferri recently left his post there to focus full-time on his new interior design business, tackling residential and commercial assignments in the United States and abroad. Even more than the stores he created, Tagliaferri’s alluring home in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood is the most compelling card for the urban sensibility and the designer’s cutting eye. Built in 1939 by architect E. Richard Lind, a protégé and colleague of the great Rudolph Schindler, the house synthesizes elements of early Californian modernism with more exotic decorative inspirations from distant places. “From the outside, the house has a strong Japanese vibe, like a ryokan. The glass in the entrance looks almost like a shoji screen. But when you focus on the details, you see the undeniable influence of Schindler and his contemporaries, ”says Tagliaferri.
Although the structure and layout of the original house remains largely intact, the designer has completely transformed the character and complexion of the interiors with a worldly mix of art, objects and furnishings. In addition to the aforementioned masters of Italian design, Tagliaferri’s sets incorporate contemporary pieces, including planters and vessels by Adam Sirak, Jonathan Cross, Eric Roinestad, and Olivia Cognet, as well as a singular art collection that s’ ranges from Lucio Fontana and Sonia Delaunay to John Baldessari and Herb Ritts. An African Senufo bird sculpture represents a nod to Yves Saint Laurent-style craftsmanship, while bands of emerald green and royal blue on the kitchen and office walls, respectively, reflect the organic palette and subdued from the original of the house. California redwood paneling with touches of 1960s Italian pop. The quintessentially American mid-century furniture of George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, and Walter Lamb, as well as Brazilian modernist pieces by Oscar Niemeyer and Ricardo Fasanello, expand the lexicon of design beyond Europe.
“I am interested in the cross currents of modernism that connect the work that has evolved in Europe, South America and the United States. This house gave me the opportunity to explore the kinship and tension between these disparate places and times, and the ways in which the light and landscape of Los Angeles create a specific context and sense of place, ”says Tagliaferri . The end result of these explorations is a house that celebrates the energy and spirit of California while paying homage to the extraordinary heritage of the designer’s home country and sympathetic design movements from around the world. Welcome to the world of Giampiero Tagliaferri.