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Potent Pattern

ELLE Decoration // August 2019


Prints don’t have to shout to make a big impact. In this home, florals and stripes in soft colours demonstrate the growing appeal of quietly daring decoration




Inspiration for most of the patterns in this house came from the gardens,’ says landscape architect Cristiana Ruspa of her Turin home, located close to the River Po in the city’s Precollina district. It is this element of the natural, perhaps, that brings a sense of calm to what could be a very daring combination of prints – the striking and the subdued in perfect harmony. Indeed, Cristiana’s flair for layering colour and texture, gained while creating green spaces for clients with her firm Giardino Segreto (or Secret Garden), can be seen throughout the home she renovated for herself and her children – Filippo, Sofia and Letizia.

Things were not always so serene in this 1930s property, though. ‘When we moved in, the house was full of dark wood and lacked natural light,’ she recalls. ‘I used a lot of white for the interior so that I could retain the period features, while making it a much more inviting place to be.’ Now, her four-bedroom home’s clean, bright scheme is the perfect foil for her expertly implemented mix of wallpapers and fabrics.

Shades of green – ranging from pale and muted to vibrant and jewel- like – combine with corals and soft pinks throughout the interior, while repeating floral patterns sit harmoniously alongside wide-set stripes. The overall effect manages to feel fresh and current, while also conveying an air of nostalgia that conjures up the old-world charm of 1930s summerhouses and garden rooms. Carefully selected furniture pieces from many different eras contribute to the modern-vintage aesthetic, curated by Cristiana in a bid to reflect the history of the building. ‘Why buy a period house only to destroy all the elements that give it character?’ she muses. ‘I needed to update the place to suit my taste and needs, but I wanted to retain its soul.’