How to invite light, serenity, and a sense of play to even the smallest urban spaces? For this week’s City Sense issue, we’re traveling, virtually, to Rome to take notes from
Studio Strato, a firm that pairs apartment living with the feeling that you’re anywhere but.
Italian architects Vincenzo Tattolo and Martino Fraschetti infuse spaces with a sense of respite, even escape. (Just see
this open and color-blocked apartment in Rome’s Testaccio district and a top-floor apartment that feels much more like a villa on the Mediterranean, both evidence of the magic they work in city spaces.) But a favorite is Martino’s own nineteenth-century flat in the Esquilino neighborhood of Rome, which the duo remodeled. Beyond a wall fitted with interior windows—for bringing in gauzy Roman light—is the kitchen, the size of which is all city, but the spirit is all quiet countryside escape.
Serena Eller, courtesy of Mondador and Studio Strato.
Above: The home is in a 19th-century Umbertino-style building that had been converted into offices. The duo demolished many of the newer walls that chopped up the space, leaving a few in place to create careful, considered dividers. Here, though the kitchen is set apart, high interior windows create a sense of airiness and permeability. Above: The petite L-shaped kitchen, with the subtlest of color-blocked walls, painted in Little Greene’s Slaked Lime (above) and pale grey (below). “Being an office, there was no kitchen,” Vincenzo explained to us; the space had to be fitted from scratch, with a range from Ikea and unfussy open shelves. Above: A marble-topped table—once Martino’s nanny’s—serves as a casual breakfast spot, with mix-and-match chairs. Above: In a small kitchen, serenity comes from smart storage. Hooks all over for keep essentials within easy reach.
Above: The sink is also a budget find from Ikea. Setting it into an original window affords both a view and sinkside storage. Above: Just beyond is the dining area—actually a ping pong table that can seamlessly transition, after dinner party, to a game room. Above: The summer table, set with a wooden fruit basket by Piet Hein Eek and a hand-painted tile-as-plate by Italian artist Davide Monaldi.
For a full look at the apartment, see
Ping Pong House: An Architect’s Own Playful but Serene 19th-Century House in Rome. And for more on making the most of city kitchens, see: