It’s not always easy for an architect to stay focused when renovating his or her own home. There’s time to reflect on decisions, and there may be a temptation to try to make everything perfect. For Milan architect Selina Bertola, however, renovating her own home was less challenging than she expected. “Strangely, I had it all pretty clear from the beginning. My ideas have been gradually pared down and the various phases of designing and building have followed one another naturally,” Bertola says. Perhaps it’s because the home is full of history and character, without being extravagant, and boasts a fabulous location overlooking one of the most spectacular corners of the city.
Navigli, one of the most famous and liveliest neighborhoods of Milan, is named after the five famous canals that are a magnet for anyone looking to enjoy an evening stroll or a cocktail. Here Bertola found the home of her dreams: a traditional 19th-century apartment with a balcony.
The renovation, which lasted six months, started by enhancing preexisting structures and elements. The wooden ceiling beams, which had previously been hidden, were exposed, treated and stuccoed. The apartment’s structural walls would not allow for a major reorganization of the layout. The only wall torn down was in the living area, to create an airy, comfortable space.
The kitchen incorporates industrial design elements: hexagonal cement floor tiles, a warehouse-style ceiling lamp and iron and wood shelves.