Inside the home of an italian designer and collector
Despite having lived in New York, Melbourne and now Milan, Tommaso Spinzi is from Lake Como, and it explains a lot. Unlike other Euro hotspots of glitz and glamour — St Moritz, Cannes, Monaco — Lake Como possesses plenty of celeb-bedazzled cars racing around cliff edges at full pelt but none of the tat. Spinzi’s new Milan studio is a “container for all my passions”, as he describes it, where fast cars meet refined interior design. The best part? It’s open to visitors.
One of the factors that sets Spinzi apart is how he translates his love of automotive design into the objects he then designs. It is not the usual repurposed mechanical apparatus — piston lampshades and such. When Spinzi looks at objects, he doesn’t see a table, a vase, a car; he sees objets d’art. Their design, rather than their inherent associations, inspires his work. It is this that makes for genderless objects such as the GDA (Gentlemen Driving Armchair), a bulbous piece upholstered in green leather based on the driving seat of a 1960s Mercedes-Benz 280 S-Class. Its tight vertical stitching screams sports car, but from the side, the voluptuous curves resemble graceful petals unfolding.
Fine art, too, peppers the apartment — pink granite sculptures by Aldo Flecchia, drawings by Alessandro Paglia and Roman busts. Their disparity means they shouldn’t work together, but Spinzi’s keen eye — bowerbird-like in its unprejudiced attraction to beautiful things — link it all seamlessly. “I am inspired by beauty, and you can find that in everything,” he says. “To me, the furniture pieces are art pieces.”
This year, he’s channelling the Milan tradition of setting up summer quarters on nearby Lake Como by establishing a version of his studio in a Modernist house on the lake. “The Milan space is the gallery, the hub; it’s all about the design,” he says. “But the Lake Como house will showcase the lifestyle. People can have a swim in the lake, have a drink at my place and get inspired by the furniture. It’s a different pace than Milan — this is where you disconnect.”
The house is now open “although not fully finished”.For Spinzi, it’s now an opportunity to spend some time back home. “Where I grew up is a big part of who I am — the adrenaline of racing along the coast of Lake Como on a motorcycle,” he says. “I am a gentleman — but I have the soul of a boy.”
Original article on Vogue Living Australia