From fashion stores to wallpaper, Storage Milano delivers the design conversation

Portland design reporter Damon Johnston will cover the 60th edition of Dell mobile salonThe prestigious Furniture and Design Fair, June 7-12 at Fiera Milano Rho in Milan, Italy. Trends and products that debuted during last year’s Milan Design Week appear in showrooms. Here is the highlight of the designer:

On the recommendation of a friend during Milan Design Week 2019, I attended an event hosted by Swiss manufacturer Geberit, which makes wall-hung bathroom fixtures. I was amazed by the creative presentation. Pipes created a container that can be easy to forget. Competing with the world’s best design, this modest use of materials not only elevated the experience, but was memorable after years of seeing it.

The creators of the exhibition are the founders of the company Storage Milano for architecture, interior design and products. Since 2002, the company has built an impressive reputation designing stores for major luxury fashion brands such as Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Tod’s and Alberta Ferretti as well as corporate and residential spaces.

Storage Milano founders Barbara Guidoni, Marco Donati and Michele Pasini use their knowledge and refinement to mix colors and natural materials in unexpected ways. They take inspiration from designers Gio Ponte, Jean Prouvé, and others, and offer modern spaces worth spreading.

Storage Milan designed the Antonioli barn in Ibiza.

Storage Milan designed the Antonioli barn in Ibiza.milano storage

Sometimes they leave the surroundings semi-rare, while creating jewel box-like structures within the space as shown in the Bali Gallery in Milan and the Antonioli Barn in Ibiza. Other times, every inch of the project is infused with exquisite materials like the Spazio Pritelli store in Vicenza where hundreds of square feet of diamond-matched marble slabs create a shimmering wonderland.

The sophisticated use of angled curves reminds us of nautical themes at the entrance to Dsquared2 in Milan and Giuseppe Zanotti in Hong Kong. Ghidoni, Donati, and Pasini demonstrate a mastery of almost brutal simplicity at Neil Barrett, Aquasalata, and Golran boutiques.

During Milan Design Week 2021, I stopped at the Storage Milano office near Piazza Venezia, as I entered from a quiet street and entered the building. I was met in the yard by Donati, one of the partners.

Donati described Storage Milano’s strategy to reinterpret the brand’s DNA. If customers are asking for something moody based on the 1940s and 1950s, they do. “We do it our way,” he said, “but we respect the customer.” One of the projects is inspired by the Novecento Italiano art movement in the 1920s.

Storage Designed by Milano, Dolce & Gabbana.

Storage Designed by Milano, Dolce & Gabbana.milano storage

In a new project, Donati sees his role in the theoretical and architectural arena where Ghidoni excels in detail and decor – she has taken the lead in the Dolce & Gabbana department store – while Pasini works on bridges between both areas.

Donati takes into account shape, form, and architecture to select materials for each project. “If I see something that is not in the pleasant form, no matter what the substance is, I will not like it,” he said.

Although the company is known for its extensive use of copper, Donati personally leans toward natural wood and stone. Colors in a natural or neutral color palette such as light brown as well as black and gray are currently preferred. He only uses bright colors as accents.

He estimates that 50 percent of the company’s business is for retail, 30 percent for offices and restaurants, and 20 percent for apartment buildings.

Storage in Milan Designed by Bvlgari boutique.

Storage in Milan Designed by Bvlgari boutique.milano storage

They are currently designing several private homes, hotels, a restaurant in Mykonos and one in Milan, a leading fashion store and energy-efficient offices for Bally in Switzerland. They are also close to finalizing the design of the headquarters of the Italian eyewear group Luxottica in Milan’s Tortona district.

As “Architects on loan for Interior Design Projects”, they will also be renovating more than 20,000 square feet of the online marketplace Archiproducts’ headquarters in Bari, Italy.

In addition to architecture and interior design, they have many industrial design projects for tiles, lamps, armchairs, faucets, and wallpaper.

“One of the key secrets to our success is that we listen to the client. If we think there is something wrong, we start a discussion and the discussion always makes the project better,” Donati said. Good design is a “balance between function and form.”

– Damon Johnston

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