Milan is known for being the city of fashion and design, so it’s not surprising that it’s also the hometown city of some of the world’s top interior designers like Carlo Donati. A path full of incredible, national and international, recognitions, that you’ll be able to discover in CovetED maganize‘s exclusive interview!
Carlo Donati’s Studio is always evolving, taking into consideration the latest design trends and also the needs and wishes of clients. A new retail concept and design of several stores and showrooms all over the globe are being developed, and we cannot wait to find out more about this Italian Legend and what he’s planning for the future!
Whether it isresidential design, villa or even commercial projects the Italian design studio has become one of the most renowned experts not only in Italy but also worldwide. It’s founder,Carlo Donati was born in Zibello (Parma) in 1965 and studied architecture at the Politecnico of Milan where he graduated in 1992. Passionate about the world of design and all of its creative possibilities, Carlo has featured a strong aesthetic and sense of beauty from a young age. “Memories of details in my friends’ houses or in hotels during family vacations have monopolized my imagination since early childhood. Since then, beauty to me represented a matter of proportions, colours and details”, he explained.
The designer started working in the field in an early age, being part of the teams of Studio BBPR and Gregotti, in Milan. A years later, Carlo decided to move to the city that never sleeps, aka New York, to be a consultant architect of Versace, known as one of the most famous luxury design groups in the world, being responsible for the renovation of Gianni Versace’s townhouse and the historic Vanderbilt mansion. “Though his style was different from mine and rather decorative, I found his creativity and taste for colours very inspiring”, claims the designer.
After this amazing design challenge, Carlo worked on the image of other renowned brands, such as Aldo Coppola, Liberty of London, Linea più- A2A, Stybiella and Colefax & Fowler. Later, in 1996, Donati wanted to create his own firm, with a distinguished signature style – Carlo Donati Studio. However, we also wanted to be part of the project ‘Farnece Contract’ with Adriano Donati and Massimo Avanzini, working alongside with some of the most famous design studios of the globe “In every project, I design custom made furniture, both for residential or retail projects because I believe that each work requires special attention to furniture details”, explained the Italian designer.
Specialized in a style that is hard to define, today we’ll try to show you how the company did its best with this contemporary residence. Contemporary means ‘at the moment’, which makes this style particularly hard to define. Dating back to the 1970s, this style is unique because it borrows elements from many other aesthetics. In it, you can see nods to modern, traditional, art deco and even futuristic design. At the end, it means that contemporary style is always evolving, and the studio does its best to be always updated with the latest design trends. Nowadays, it can be defined by neutral colors, clean an curved lines and minimalism. Open spaces are also a strong architecture feature that Carlo Donati works with.
A unique contemporary style signaturewith a touch of the past, the design legend is always seeking for inspiration in the architectural landmarks and Italian design references of the post-war modernism (like Gio Ponti, Osvaldo Borsani, Franco Albini), as well as the magic abstract scenography by Bob Wilson, the interiors in Stanley Kubrick’s or Quentin Tarantino’s movies. An elegant timeless narrative that ” contaminate the design with details which can be both precious or low-cost budget but always elegant and peculiar creating unexpected contrast.” His most recent inspirations were the famous Korean movie called “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho that won the 2020 Oscar.
STEAL THE LOOK
Regardless of the style of the project, one thing is for sure: you need to be ready for Carlo’s unique perspective of a minimalist approach is always contaminated by chromatic and graphic suggestions inspired by the theme chosen in the planning process. “If I think about all the projects we did, the best results always came from synergy and a strong feeling with the client. This friction can be a source of creativity and can bring us to better solutions”, said the interior designer. The attention to every detail is the key of the designer’s success. Light is one of the most important feature of the designer’s projects, becauseit can emphasizes volumes and perspectives of his design project. To reach this goal it is important to use both artificial and natural light.
For Carlo Donati, every project is unique, so it’s important to include in the design, unique furniture ideas, specially tailored to each interior. With a career filled with some of the world’s most inspiring designs, Carlo shares special care for two of his projects. “I think the projects that are most representative of our work are the villa LA modern and Loft A.” The first one is a brand-new construction that perfectly their sense of proportions, careful choices of the materials, use of light, a revisited modernist approach. As for the Loft A design, this was 800 sqm renovation that is still very innovative both for the use of materials and for the interpretation of the layout.
Currently, the design studio is working on a new residential building with luxury apartments in Milan. “I believe it’s important to be very updated on the actual trends of the industry but at the same time to be able to work on different tracks out of the mainstream in order to anticipate new trends, be original and try in our little field to be some kind of disruptive”, enlightened Carlo Donati.
STEAL THE LOOK
Carlo Donati Studio, besides creating unique and mesmerizing interior design projects with its timeless touch, has also entered the world of furniture design and production with the presentations of two incredible collections. Reloaded, a collection that mixes italian iconic elements with the latest features with materials, such as perforated metal sheets, brass and coloured mirror or glasses. In these ambiances, we are able to see the beautiful sliding screen called Filter, a room divider with a brass frame and geometric patterns. These designs were introduced at Fuorisalone Milan 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Currently, the studio is working alongside with one of the top furniture brands of the world, Essential Home, to create a mid-century collection that will enhance the power of luxury design and craftsmanship.
“Designing for Essential Home is a challenge I took up with enthusiasm because it gives me the opportunity to work on one of my favorite styles and moods which is the mid-century modern reloaded with new cues and materials.” Carlo Donati
For those of you who don’t know, Portuguese craftsmanshiphas a well-known old tradition especially in relation to a cork that is a light and resistant material and moreover an example of recyclable and sustainable energy. The hand-painted ceramic tiles and textile manufacturing are also a huge part of the country’s artistic culture. According to Donati, this partnership was the perfect opportunity to combine the great tradition of the master artisans, through the finestPortuguese craftsmanship culture, with a more Mediterranean mood. His main goal with this mid-century collection was to introduce “lightness, sixties patterns, some kind of ‘joie de vivre’- very Italian. Like the atmosphere in ‘La dolce vita’ -Federico Fellini’s masterpiece.” This is might be one of the most memorable collections ever created by the amazing Carlo Donati, don’t you think?