3 weeks ago

See Inside Designer Malene Birger’s Italian Villa

3 MIN READ

Name: Danish fashion designer Malene Birger and her husband John Risman Address: Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy Home: A renovated, spacious villa dating from 1905 The vibe: Nomadic chic

I have a passion for interior design, and I have moved home multiple times, usually every two years. I have lived in various places from a remote island in Greece to Southeast Asia. I found this old villa, which has a view of Lake Como, in 2016. It had not been renovated for over 40 years. The ground floor was like stepping into a damp, dark cigar box, but that space has now become my beautiful, bright office. The house is grand with high ceilings and the sense of space adds freedom to everyday life – I finally have space for everything – my furniture, my art and even my collection of vintage clothing and jewellery. We’ve found peace here.

I am definitely a maximalist and my style is eclectic but it’s controlled. I have developed my style through my travels and inspiration of different cultures, handicrafts, artisans, flea markets, museums, art, movies, hotel living and just living … meeting interesting people, not to mention surfing the Internet to find out more about the Italian designers who dominated during the 1960s-1980s. My home is a mix of it all. I adore glass, textiles and jewels. Although I worked with colour while designing my collections, I did not add too much colour to my home. I feel calmer in my non-colour interior. The only exceptions are the yellow walls and dark brown hallway. We still have to finish the swimming pool and the garden, which is full of old, beautiful magnolias and pine trees, but it needs structure and a concept.

From: Travel Home Design With A Global Spirit, Caitlin Flemming & Julie Goebel, Abrams. Photographs by Peggy Wong

Birger laid black and white marble floors in the kitchen, the hall and the four bathrooms. The lower cabinets in the kitchen are from Ikea.

The dining room features a pop of saffron yellow. The Beni Ourain rug and Saarinen Tulip chairs are arranged around a marble-topped dining table.

Texture and pattern on inlaid wood columns and headboard in the bedroom more than compensate for the restrained colour palette.

Birger’s office and hallway with artwork arranged on ledges.

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