De Cotiis Residence

In Milan, designer Vincenzo de Cotiis makes the case for not meddling with raw beauty.

On taking over the first floor of a once-abandoned 18th-century palazzo in the Corso Magenta district of Milan, local architect and designer Vincenzo de Cotiis decided to make no structural changes to the 300-square-meter space.

Instead, he wiped the apartment of any decorative embellishments added by the families that had previously lived there, and stripped back the building’s layers until he was left with only its raw antiquity. “We spent a lot of time carefully peeling away what had been added by previous owners: years of paint and paper, false ceilings, moquette floor coverings,” says De Cotiis. “What was beneath—in a wonderfully imperfect, worn state—was far more incredible.”

De Cotiis, who had long harbored a personal passion for time-worn objects, purposely left t...


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