Italy is the birthplace of luxury design and excellence in interior decoration. We’ve been inspired by Italian design for centuries, being the consistent focus of every design and architecture lover. Since the interior design industry is so competitive, every design professional aspires to be groundbreaking and bolder than the others, thus leaving their signature in the design world and be considered one of the best. CovetED has selected our top 20 best interior designers based in Milan, so you too can feel inspired!
Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran invested in their individual experience with the profession and study of Design, Art and Fashion, and founded DIMORESTUDIO in 2003. Since that moment, they have designed and carried out every project in a personal and recognizable way: objects created by historical design masters live together with reclaimed materials and other “bespoke” objects to create and forge a particular atmosphere. DIMORESTUDIO interprets memories and creates dreams. DIMORESTUDIO crosses the boundaries between art and design, fashion and architecture.
Spanish by birth, and Italian by choice, Patricia Urquiola was born in Oviedo, Spain and studied architecture in Madrid before graduating from the Milan Politecnico in 1989. She is one of the best interior designers in the world and the keywords for her work are rigour and emotion, innovation and mental comfort. She was mentored by some of the masters of Italian industrial design: Achille Castiglioni oversaw her graduate thesis, and Vico Magistretti, with whom she designed her first projects. She learned her craft in Italy and opened a studio in Milan in 2001, where she has developed a truly global enterprise. Some highlights from her career include her encounter with Maddalena de Padova (1990), her collaboration with Piero Lissoni (1996-2000), and her partnership with Patrizia Moroso (since 1998).
A list about the best interior designers of Milan wouldn’t be complete without the name of Matteo Nunziati in it. Born in Bologna in 1972 he’s currently considered one of the most influential designers and architects that the industry has ever seen. His career started in 200 when he opened his own interior design studio in Milan and since then in his projects, he’s managed to project the excellence of the Made in Italy design, basing his style in this sense and providing his clients with the best luxury furniture and finishes à l’Italiana. Matteo Nunziati has been handling Luxury hotels, Residences, Wellness Centres, and Spas. One of the main highlights of his career has to do with his take on the Trump Towers which earned him many compliments from the current POTUS himself.
Park Associati is an architecture firm created in Milan in 2000 by Filippo Pagliani and Michele Rossi. Since its creation, this firm has been focusing on giving each of their architectural projects a whole new shape either being a remodelling or a completely new concept. Whenever they tackle a new project they focus on the creation of geometrical constructions, improving the conditions (especially when it comes to illumination and energy saving) and adapting the project to its surrounding area. Among one of the most famous projects Park Associati has done, we can definitely point to the redesign of the Engie Headquarters building in the Bicocca district which turned the building and its surrounding area into one of the most attractive for new service industries and offices of major corporations.
Marco Piva is another top reference when it comes to Milanese architecture, interior design and product conceptions. After leading the establishment of Studiodada Associates (one of the most representative companies of the period of Radical Design) the architect opened his studio during the 80s and since then, this firm has been known for handling projects mainly in the areas of architectural interior design, as well as industrial design. Seen as this is a company that has had many projects worldwide, Marco Piva has a careful approach to his design projects, by studying and creating design solutions defined as having compositional sobriety and stylistic freedom, adapting to the culture of the project at stake. Within Italy, he’s known for his work in the Hotel Excelsior Gallia.
Alfonso Femia first created the 5+1 agency in 1995, a company which evolved into 5+1AA in 2005, and that would eventually be known as Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia. Having a business that has expanded to Genoa, Milan and Paris, Alfonso has been tackling his architectural projects with the aid of a multidisciplinary team, inspired by the main features of these three locations. This company’s architectural style is heavily driven by the “perception and the transformation of reality” which can be seen in the many projects that Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia have tackled in their projects, like, for example, the Dallara Academy at Varano de’ Melegari, Parma, Italy.
Michelle de Lucchi
Born in 1951 in Ferrara, Michelle de Lucchi began taking his steps in the architecture area after his graduation in architecture in Florence. He’s also known for being a weigh figure during the period of radical and experimental architecture, having been the designer behind the conception of bespoke furniture pieces for many well known Italian and European companies. Aside from furniture conception, he was also credited for his restored buildings, as well as in the conception of many architectural projects for private and public clients. His architectural style, be it a huge building, or simple wooden house definitely shows De Lucchi’s tendency in his work of finding what he calls the “essentiality of the architectural style”.
In 1986, the Italian architect, art director and designer Piero Lissoni, together with Nicoletta Canesi, founded the interdisciplinary studio Lissoni Associati in Milan, focusing on architecture as well as interior and product/light design.
Galleria Rossana Orlandi has been forecasting along the years new and upcoming designers and establishing the premise as one of the most revered platforms for avant-garde design and lifestyle. She has been working as a curator for several exhibitions in Italy and abroad and she collaborated also with the high-end brands in fashion, luxury, and lifestyle. Her constant research worldwide has made her one of the most influent people in forecasting young and upcoming designers. In simple words, Rossana Orlandi doesn’t just spot design trends, it actually helps to define them.
Matteo Thun & Partners is an architecture and design studio with a headquarters in Milan and subsidiary office in Shanghai. The studio’s designs are inspired by timeless simplicity and centred on the human scale. Founded in 1984, the company is operating internationally in the hospitality, healthcare, residential, offices and retail sectors and product design.
Ludovica and Roberto Palomba are often referred to as “the golden couple of Italian design” and with a career such as theirs, it’s no wonder they’re considered some of the best interior designers in Milan. After setting their own studio in Milan in 1994 their career has been through several stages, among them architectural planning, interior design, and partnerships as product designers and art directors. Their partnerships with Foscarini and Poltrona Frau are some of the highlights of their career, which has counted with prestige awards such as the Compasso D’Oro, the Red Dot Award, the Design Plus Award, as well as the Product Innovation Award. When they’re taking on a new project they aim to search for essence above all. They take a lot of inspiration from the concept of balance of oriental heritage as well as a little touch from the Nordic style. They always strive to acquire an aesthetic result mixed with a space that allows for the well-being of clients.
Fabio Novembre earned his degree as an architect in 1992, the year in which one of the references of contemporary Italian design. Since he began his career he became notorious for his take on restaurants, dance clubs and shops either in Italy or abroad. He also manages to have a unique and provocative design in his furniture conceptions as we can see by unique looking pieces such as the Org table, the Adaptation sofas and armchairs, the And sofa, and the carpets Mino and Pure Italy. Above all Novembre is known for trying to make a statement with every piece he produces.
Paola Navone was born in 1950 in Turin, but despite that Milan ended up becoming her home. After working with Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass and Andrea Branzi in the Alchinia group during the 70s and 80s, she definitely managed to launch herself in the market as an architect, a designer, an art director and an interior designer. She’s had cooperations with names such as Armani Casa, Alessi, Casamilano, Knoll International, Molteni, and Poliform, and has been graced with awards such as “Designer of the Year” attributed by the German magazine Architektur & Wohnen. Her design style has been very focused on the styles from nay distinct cultures between East and West as well as a deep appreciation for several styles of design and craftsmanship.
Laura Pozzi created Laura Pozzi Studio in 2003, a business focused in styling, interior design, set design and photo production. Laura herself has the role of stylist, creative director and executive producer in an interior design firm currently located in Follina, Treviso and in Milan. Aside from being the author of two books about Finnish decorations, she’s taken her 19-year-old career to the max, by mixing her visual moods of design, architecture and styling into each of her new projects. Her take on projects centres essentially around three main keywords: colours, emotions and simplicity.
Based in Milan, Studio Peregalli has a reputation for creating some of the most luscious and evocative interiors in the world. The duo’s hallmark is the layering of different styles and combinations of patterns and historical techniques to create something that is in constant dialogue with the past while looking remarkably new.
The work of architect and designer Alberto Biagetti and artist Laura Baldassari challenges the boundaries between disciplines. Biagetti and Baldassari draw their inspiration from the world around them, from human behaviour and contemporary society’s greatest obsessions. Their work aims to construct an immersive environment full of hints and clues in which the objects that inhabit the space become actors in a possible scene, questioning the space surrounding them and the habits related to it.
Antonio Citterio is an Italian architect, interior and furniture designer. During Salone Del Mobile 2019, Citterio launched his most recent project, the launch of a series of new elements in Maxalto’s collection that direct the brand’s rich history towards the future.
Born in Pordenone in 1980, Cristina Celestino worked in several areas of architecture, before finally focusing her attention to interior architecture and design. With that, she moved to Milan in 2009 where she created “Attico”, her own design brand which mainly focused on the conception of lamps and furnishings production. Among other relevant highlights of her career, we can point to her part in Salone Satellite in 2012 as well as her design of “The Happy Room” for Fendi in 2016. Her style is heavily based on observation and research, mixing in old and new and exploring many variations between scale and small inventions with the purpose of creating new messages and meanings.
Giulio Cappellini is often referred to as an emblematic figure in the design panorama as a whole. Born in 1954, he was deeply involved with design since childhood thanks to his family business. After graduating in Architecture he immediately launched himself in the family business as well as other international prestige brands. He’s had many cooperations with other prestige names such as Jasper Morrison, Marc Newson, Marcel Wanders, the Bouroullec and Nendo brothers. His design style is definitely fitting with the modern trends as we can see from products such as the Mill sofa (a chair inspired by the contemporary needs of the Millennials), the Bong and Gong tables as well as the Break table series.
Last but definitely not least we have Stefano Giovannoni, born in La Spezia in 1954 and a person who definitely made a career as an architect and designer. During the 80s he King-Kong Production Group along with Guido Venturini. Currently living and working in Milan these days he works as an industrial and interior designer and architect, specializing in plastic products. He’s done several projects for brands such as Alessi, Fiat, Mooi, Nestlé, Helit, Henkel, and more. Among some of his most famous projects, we can point to “Girotondo” in 1989 (along with Guido Venturini) and in 1993 the first transparent objects in plastic from the “Family Follows Fiction” series. He’s known for embodying a very complex system of what he calls ‘affective codes’ in his projects.
TOP 100 INTERIOR DESIGNERS BY COVETED MAGAZINE: PART I
TOP 100 INTERIOR DESIGNERS BY COVETED MAGAZINE: PART II
♦ Discover All About Best Interior Designers & the 13th Edition of CovetED Magazine ♦