Moody Blues and Antique Touches Rule in This Paris Apartment

Costantino Affuso and Paolo Badesco, creative companions and founders of Milan’s Raw home atelier and shop, bring whimsy and a sense of place to their Paris home.

Blue Portrait

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


If there’s such a thing as a nomadic homebody, architect Costantino Affuso and designer Paolo Badesco fit the type. The duo travels constantly, hopping between apartments in Paris and Milan every few weeks and going on frequent buying trips around Europe. Home is where they completely unwind, stretching out on the sofa with their two Irish setters and throwing together a casual dinner, usually with opera playing in the background. 

Their walk-up apartment in Paris’s verdant 12th Arrondissement gives the sense of an exacting Italian modernist inhabiting a painter’s studio from the Belle Époque. (Born in Milan, Badesco’s French grandmother instilled in him a love of Parisian style.) That culturally fluid, ancient-meets-modern aesthetic permeates most of their creative projects, including residential renovations, shop interiors for the natural beauty brand L’Erbolario and Danish fashion house Sand—as well as their own much-coveted store, Raw

Black and Blue Living room

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: Many of the materials in the flat are inherently Parisian, like the parquet floors and ornate moldings that Affuso (opposite, standing) and Badesco accentuate with 19th-century furniture and a few well-placed modern flourishes. Toio Floor Lamp, Flos, $1,495.]

Since opening 11 years ago as a tiny “cabinet of curiosities” on Corso Magenta, the Milan boutique expanded with a second, larger location on Via Palermo in the Brera design district in 2012. Raw has become synonymous with storied vintage Italian style—Milan’s answer to John Derian—stocking Astier de Villatte and Fornasetti accessories (and Derian pieces) alongside antique trunks, salvaged architectural elements, and beautifully worn furnishings.

Blue and Brown and Wood Entryway

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: Affuso and Badesco often build displays around one “master piece,” like this vintage map. A bell jar and antique clock play supporting roles.]

“We love to reinterpret elements from the past,” says Affuso, “for example, a naked, unupholstered bergère armchair with a 1962 Toio lamp from Flos designed by Achille Castiglioni.” Everything is done with care and purpose, such as their upcoming line of home accessories, Raw Collection—which comes with the caveat from Badesco that “it won’t be fast; we’re taking our time and developing a complete language for this new way to live and feel.” 

Blue and Brown and Silver and Wood Kitchen

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: A patinaed palette of antique wood, milky marble, and smoky blues carry throughout the home. Flip-Up Hobs Stove, Alpes Inox.]

That idea is stylishly put into practice at their Paris apartment, where a palette of misty blue-grays draws inspiration from the zinc roofs and bistro counters of their adopted city, as well as the light blue in the interiors of Montmartre’s Hôtel Particulier and Brasserie à L’Ancienne.

Blue Hallway

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: Punto 2 PL Spot Light, Davide Groppi, $336.]

Affuso and Badesco were “very lucky” to find original finishings and only introduced new tile in the bathroom and kitchen, where they designed the oak cabinets themselves using wood sourced from old French shop counters. The Smeg appliances complement the vintage aesthetic, and Carrara marble counters feel solid and stately.  

Blue and Taupe Dining room

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: N.217 Lamp by Lampe Gras, Made in Design, $542; Pillows, Raw Milano.]

The pair’s approach overall is best described as restoration rather than renovation. “We try to interpret the intrinsic features of a place,” Affuso explains. “Sometimes under a painted wall we’ll find a ruined decoration, and we’ll keep that. We prefer the sound of a creaky wooden floor and being a little chilly if it means keeping the old, charming, blown-glass windows.”

In any project they undertake, they bring a respect for the architecture, history, and spirit of a space. “It’s sort of a puzzle,” says Badesco, “where every piece has a special meaning and represents a part of our lives.”

Blue and Brown and Wood Bedroom

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: To loosen up the grid of a gallery wall—displaying just the frames, for added impact—Badesco and Affuso hung a single painting and casually propped an empty frame on the floor. N.203 Lamp by Lampe Gras, Made in Design, $320; Bedding, Orizzonti Italia; Pillows, Merci.]

White Bathroom

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


[In this image: In the bathroom, Affuso and Badesco covered the walls and floor with modern geometric tile, which contrasts with the antique shower doors and sink. Tiles, Kalos.]

Gray and Yellow Living room

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


“We try to interpret the intrinsic features of a place.”

White Graphic

photography by DOMINO


Shop the look:

Princeton Long Sconce, Schoolhouse Electric, from $209
18th C. Antique Map of France, Chairish, $195 
Diamond Twist Cement Tile, Cle Tile 
Sobre Bowl by Astier de Villatte, ABC Home 
Seventy-Seven Drawer Filing Cabinet, Rejuvenation, $4,250 
Toio Titanium Modern Floor Lamp, Flos, $1,395 
Simple Linen Bedding, Hawkins New York, from $248
Rustic Trunk with Painted Tin Paneling, Rejuvenation, $685 
Plume Chair, John Derian, $2,115
Paint: Cook’s Blue, Lulworth Blue, Parma Gray, all Farrow & Ball
Cloche, Crate & Barrel $129
Frames, Restoration Hardware, from $69

Black and Taupe Bedroom

photography by STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON


This story originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue with the headline Rhapsody in Blue.

See more inspiring spaces from the issue:
A Minimalist Los Angeles Home Where Quiet Is Key
A Renovated Farmhouse, Draped in Cozy, Colorful Textiles
An Eclectic London Townhouse, Filled With Storied Souvenirs

Published on January 06, 2018 - 5:15am EST

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