“I’ve never been by myself so much, but I’m treating this period as a good pause,” London designer Oscar Piccolo tells us. “I’ve always felt connected to domestic spaces so I am finding this aspect interesting. My home is my studio, really the two go hand in hand.”
A 2018 fine arts graduate of London’s Chelsea College of Arts, Piccolo emerged as a multi-media talent to watch thanks to his Lampada Cappello, a serpentine lamp with a playful hat-inspired shade that he sells on his website—and keeps selling out. While social distancing, he’s at work on a new version, La Coppia—”meaning ‘the couple,’ in Italian; it’s two Lampada Cappello lamps made to be used together and is dedicated to family, friends, and all of those who have found each other.”
We ourselves found Piccolo via The Modern House, which spotlighted his stylishly patched-together studio apartment, a rental in South East, London, filled with prototypes, works in progress, and a lot of uplifting curving lines. Piccolo, who grew up in a peripatetic Italian family (and has recently himself moved to a new flat), says he learned from his artist/interior designer mother that “the idea of home is less about a physical place and more about the objects we live with that carry significance and meaning.” He recently gave us a guided tour via Facetime.
Photography courtesy of The Modern House.He was able to keep the space feeling open and airy thanks to an overall pale palette offset by sculptural wooden elements. The blue structure in the corner is a bookshelf turned plant house that he built himself when he first arrived in London six years ago.
In addition to making art and lamps, Piccolo designs interiors and sets with Charlotte Taylor, a friend from art school—their business is called Dello Studio (website and furniture collection to come soon: stay tuned @dellostudio). The curved floor shelf is a leftover prop from one of their sets: “it started as a storage problem, but ended up working well here.”
Piccolo was born in Sicily and, thanks to his father’s job at an international aviation company, spent his childhood living in Ghana, Istanbul, Cairo, and Libya, with summers in Sicily. “When we moved to Ghana, we had a big, beautiful house with nothing in it but mattresses. My mum being the creative one started to draw furniture, which she then had made—so I grew up with the idea that you could make things from scratch rather than just buy them,” he told The Modern House. “My parents created stability for us by always having the same dining table, sofa, bedroom and objects everywhere we went.”
“Making coffee is one of the things I like doing most,” says Piccolo. “I might even like making it more than drinking it.” After breakfast, the kitchen becomes his work space.
Note the bedding in shades of brown: “If I had to pick a favorite color,” Piccolo says, “it would be beige. It’s so peaceful.”
Here are three more artist visits, design tips included: