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Former Workshop of Raphael

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Via Giulia is one of the oldest streets in Rome. It was built five years ago, during the reign of Pope Julius II. The street is narrow, dark and long. The houses on the street are still inhabited by descendants of aristocratic families. There are the antique shops and palazzi on this street.

Apartment in Former Workshop of Raphael

Raphael's former workshop, living room

Raphael’s former workshop, living room

Valentine Buskicho owns a known furniture store Contemporanea on the Plaza de España and promotes a variety of “new” designers. Once driving along the Via Julia, she noticed a rare ad “For Sale”. She did not waste time, and got an apartment on the top floor of the XVI century palazzo. According to a legend, this house was once the workshop of Raphael.

The last owner of the real estate not an artist, but a respected physician. He filled his house with books. It looked rather peculiar. But Buskicho had other plans. First, of course, she came up with an obvious idea to furnish all with modernist furniture by contrast. But the apartment itself suggested other solution.

Valentine wanted walls, ceilings and floors of her home looked “old”, not just worn, but as they were “restored”. It seemed interesting to emphasize the idea of ​​the atmosphere of the past, which is felt in this place, by a couple-three contemporary designer items. The items should be not minimalist, but stylize. The designers cooperating with her ​​shop, make such things. She had to get a neo-Renaissance style, which is quite suitable for the XXI century.

At the start she threw all bookshelves and scraped wallpaper and paint from the walls, reaching the plaster. Maybe this plaster are not from Raphael’s times, but they have quite Raphael’s shade – sandy chalk. It was just what was needed. To support the theme, Valentine found several old wooden doors in the surrounding houses. Quite modern concrete floors were specially aged to make them look like an centuries-old limestone. And then she began the “infusion” of modern design. The metal staircase leading from the living room to the terrace, was forged by Nicola F. from Wunderkammer studio.

There are bronze chairs designed by Frank Aveni In the dining room. There is a fireplace of untreated wood in the living room, created by Thomas Roberts. Valentine hung pseudo tapestries on the walls of the dining room and bedroom. She bought them in an antique shop of Giuseppina Maria Fiore.

Pseudo-tapestries sometimes are called “tapestries for the poor”. The images on them are not woven, as expected, but simply written on the fabric. According to Valentine it is a nice detail, a hint that all in this ancient-looking apartment was done with humor as theatrical scenery. Lighting effects, like slanting rays of the sun, are important here. That’s why she’s not afraid to let light into the apartment – unlike many other Romans who just show excessive care over their velvet sofas and old paintings.

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Alicia Kim

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