Designers and creative directors Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and Elisa Ossino were inspired by a song by The Velvet Underground and Nico for their new apartment installation, I’ll Be Your Mirror, unveiled during Milan Design Week 2021

The duo (who work together under the H+O aegis while also running independent studios) invited a selection of international design houses, with a strong Italian and Nordic representation, to their new gallery-apartment on Via Solferino. The result is an abstract and reflective space, light-hearted rather than explicitly playful, despite the use of bold colours and unambiguous contrasts. 

The space is characterised by the presence of mirrors in every room. In the living room, they are partially covered by line drawings that start from the walls: ‘Metaphorically, they unite the outer and inner worlds, as we wanted to recollect the intimate moment that we all went through this year, an aspect that relates a lot to the way of experiencing a space,’ Ossino says. ‘That is why we asked artist Roberta Savelli to create wall frescoes, as painters used to do in the past to draw a piece of history on the walls – we wanted to recreate the moment of closure, and fix it on the walls.’

The interior design is by Elisa Ossino Studio while the surfaces are by File Under Pop (a Danish tile brand founded and directed by Akvama Hoffmeyer). ‘The selection of pieces has a futurist and abstract vision,’ continues Ossino. ‘All functional aspects are hidden: the pantry, in the kitchen, is concealed by an imposing red cylinder covered with tiles. The cupboards, with their iron doors and the three-dimensional structure, are a highly sculptural presence’. 

The furnishing is contemporary yet sprinkled with icons. In the living room, two ‘Grasshopper’ chairs by House of Finn Juhl are in dialogue with a group of tables, playfully covered with ceramic tiles, by H+O. In the office area, artworks by Officine Saffi generates a strong tension, while in the library you meet a ‘Spanish’ chair by Børge Mogensen for Fredericia Furniture. 

In the bedroom, the bold palette is mitigated by the intimate appearance and the soft profile of a wall-mounted storage unit by Jacobsroom Editions, overlooking a Hütte geometrical blanket, on the bed. Just outside, the view of a narrow inner courtyard has been screened by &Drape mirrored curtains in silver steel. In the kitchen is a minimal ‘I Ching’ heating rail by Tubes. Lighting partner Atelier Aretti helped set the ambiance throughout, which is complemented by a soundtrack by Artcoustic.

‘Colour, light, texture, music, mirrors: this is not a passive space,’ concludes Ossino. ‘On the contrary, this apartment invites to a synesthetic interaction and, we hope, to reflection.’ §