Following a nomadic upbringing, Simone Ricart has used her talents to create for herself a haven of beauty and serenity in her beloved Milan apartment
Contemporary art and international style combine in this elegant apartment
Simone Ricart has had a nomadic life. She was born in Germany, where her father was the Dominican ambassador, grew up in the Caribbean and moved to New York to study before finally, in 1980, fulfilling her dream of living in Italy. Although she is based in Milan, she spends a great deal of time in Como and maintains strong links with Hamburg, a city that has always exerted a strong influence over her.
This rich and complex geographical background has laid the foundation for a highly developed and individual concept of beauty, which is what drew Ricart to this international community of artists, collectors and designers.
After working in fashion and travelling around the world, Ricart decided to focus on creating bronze objects and today is represented by the prestigious Erastudio Apartment Gallery. She continues to develop her art, studying and working in an old foundry where she has learnt the “cire perdu” casting technique to create jewellery and unique, limited-edition furnishings.
Her apartment in Milan, not far from the convent that houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, is a rock of stability for Ricart, ready to welcome her home every time she comes back from one of her journeys.
It’s not just an ideal place in which to host friends, it’s also a sort of memories box, where past and present live side by side. Ricart refurbished the flat using some furniture and other items from a previous apartment: a terrazzo floor in the entrance in the style of Carlo Scarpa, mosaics in the bathroom recalling Andrée Putman’s work. Every detail summons up memories that are part of her private story.
Overwhelmingly, the interiors speak about her love for Italy. “It’s the best country in the world to study art,” she says, remembering the time she spent in Florence attending the Institute of Art and Restoration in Spinelli Palace.
Her declaration of love includes contemporary design as well: “In particular I admire the proportions of Antonio Citterio’s products. I bought some pieces without knowing that they were his.”
The console in the entrance, the sofa, the dining table and the bed are all designed by the Milanese architect but placed alongside some fine historic pieces, such as a bookshelf by Joe Colombo and a pair of armchairs by Gio Ponti. The beautiful furniture between the two windows in the living room is by Osvaldo Borsani. There’s a definite eccentric touch in the form of a sculpture lamp, torchere “Seville” by Garouste & Bonetti, an iconic piece from the 90s.
Not content with adding her own pieces of furniture to the rooms, Ricart also oversaw some interior remodelling of the spaces in her apartment. Rooms have been enlarged, and the flow between living room, dining room and kitchen is now freer. The sleeping area is a more private, intimate space.
Although Ricart has decorated her apartment in consultation with architect Giulia Fontana, the final choices are very much her own. She has left her creative mark in the form of details and objects she has designed herself, from the applique in the entrance to the elegant stool and floor lamp in the living room.
For the walls in the doorway she chose a dark, intense shade, but the other rooms are painted mainly in white. Contemporary art abounds in the form of paintings and photographs. The result is a natural elegance that sums up Simone Ricart, who with her smile and demeanour demonstrates her familiarity with every aspect of the beauty with which she has surrounded herself.
Words by: Chiara Dal Canto. Photography by: Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside.