This Growing Family Maximizes Every Last Inch in Their 850-Square-Foot Apartment
"We immediately understood that we needed to erase everything," says designer Roberto Di Stefano, who, along with architect Alessandro Bongiorni, overhauled an 850-square-foot home in Milan. The 1950 apartment, purchased by Andrea Maffei and Rossella Acierno, was highly segmented, divided into small rooms that received little natural light from the narrow windows. Dated materials and finishes—seemingly untouched by the previous owner for decades—completed the sad picture. "You had to have a good fantasy to imagine a livable apartment, with the state that we found it in," Andrea says.
Structurally, the space was an ideal candidate for renovation: With no load-bearing interior walls and only one essential column, the entire layout could be reconsidered. The southwest-facing orientation also meant that a better approach to windows would dramatically improve the lighting.
The couple had worked with Di Stefano and Bongiorni on their prior apartment, a one-bedroom that they felt would be too small for a family (their son, Alessandro, was born in February). Di Stefano is a member of the online interior decorating platform Decorilla, which Andrea and Rossella used to fine-tune their ideas and create mood boards. "We did research and played around a bit," Andrea says. "It helps in figuring out what you want to do, because at the beginning you typically do not have an idea."