sneak peek: olimpia zagnoli


Olimpia Zagnoli is an illustrator based in Milan and New York. Her work has been published in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, GOOD, the Boston Globe and more. She works mainly in the editorial field but sometimes enjoys drawing on shop windows, t-shirts or sidewalks. This is the home she shares with her mom and sister in Milan. Set to move out in a couple months, Olimpia wanted to share these pictures and memories of the place she’s called home for the past 10 years. It’s where she does most of her work and gets inspired by her mom’s collections. She loves the way her mother’s furniture from the ’50s and ’60s naturally blends with her sister’s style, which says “diva,” and her own constant mess consisting of children’s books, cups of tea, records and a yoga mat that she never uses. Find more images of Olimpia’s home here, and stay tuned to her work, as she is currently working on a children’s book and has a few album covers in the works. Thanks, Olimpia! (And thanks to her father, Miro Zagnoli, the photographer!) — Anne

Image above: This is the dining room. The table once belonged to my great grandmother, the carpet is vintage, the chairs are designed by Enzo Mari for Castelli and the chandelier is designed by Giò Ponti for Venini. (One light bulb burned out! Shhh.)

Image above: This is a very messy table. All the works you see are by my mom, Emanuela Ligabue, except the one with the gun, made by artist Ivo Bonacorsi. The little chair is designed by Marcel Wanders for Cappellini.

Image above: This is the first thing you see when you enter the house. The previous owners left that amazing marble floor with zodiac signs. In the beginning, it looked a little creepy to me, but then I got used to it and now I love it. All the books are divided in categories like poetry, literature, art, music, illustration, travel and more.

Image above: This is my mom’s bedroom. The walls are all covered with a beautiful wooden boiserie from the 50s, and on the top there’s a false ceiling that reminds me of old movie theaters. The bed is designed by Giò Ponti.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Olimpia’s home tour after the jump!

Image above: My dad took that picture of me on my 18th birthday. There’s a message written backwards, but it’s a secret. The painting is by Achille Incerti. When I was little, I wanted my hair to look like hers.

Image above: This is the other side of the dining room. The red sofa is by James Irvine for Cappellini, and it’s where all my friends sleep when they come visit. The carpet is designed by Mario Radice. There’s a print by Bruno Munari hanging on the wall. It was my birthday present last year. Somebody gave us that beautiful Grundig record cabinet for free! The two plastic fluo vases are a present for my mom [that] I got at Fiorucci.

Image above: This picture is a work by Gina Pane, one of the founders of the 1970s body art movement. The other one is a collage my mom made inspired by Saint Lucy. The black vase is a Chinese urn a friend of my mom’s gave us. I bought the peanut-shaped peanut jar online (I couldn’t resist). My boyfriend got me that ceramic hand after I fell in love with it through a shop window in Glasgow.

Image above: My mom gets a new bouquet of fresh flowers every Thursday, so the green vase is always full. We put some silver snowflakes on the windows for Christmas. I got them in Los Angeles in a huge party store.

Image above: This is a close-up of my mom’s bedroom. The lamp is 2,99€ at Ikea. The print is a work I made on the theme of “loop” and obsessions for an exhibition. My obsession is thumbsucking.

Image above: This is one of the walls in my room. A lot of images come from my sister’s collection of old diva pictures while the punk rock fliers and stickers belong to me. And if you look at the mirror, you’ll find me!

  1. Tanya says:

    I love all the natural wood trim. It is so rare to see a home where the wood hasn’t been painted out.

  2. Holy Cow, a bed by Gio Ponti… so jealous!!!! Thanks for sharing this awesome post!

  3. Very interesting spaces. I especially love the library in the entry!

  4. amazing! so in love with the library! and everything else as well!

  5. Your right! Just like you tweeted, those zodiac floors are awesome!

  6. christina says:

    WOW, that marble floor and library entrance way is amazing!!

  7. Kami says:

    so unique and beautiful…and now i’m dreaming of a bookshelf-lined foyer :)

  8. Star Bossom says:

    I am beyond jealous of the entryway to this home.

  9. linda says:

    That greenish blue wall color in the dining room is great. I’d love to find out what it is!

  10. taylor says:

    This place is amazing, it is very different from some of the over the top indie chic creations. (which I also like) but this has natural beauty & is sustainably classic looking.

    LOVE it!

  11. Laura says:

    Something about this is so Italian to me. Agree with Taylor: it is a nice step away from the usual indie chic things we see. It doesn’t feel cozy exactly, but a little austere and cool. Very timeless. Kind of refreshing, really!

  12. Too cool. I love the library entrance!

  13. courtney says:

    this house is STUNNING. especially the marble floors. i also love all of the wood and the green walls in the dining room. beautiful.

  14. So nice! Beautifully charming.

  15. Fiyel says:

    This one is so unique and chic – like something out of a
    film. Beautiful!

  16. Very different, great colors!

    -Chic Done Cheap

  17. Kira says:

    Having a library like that in my home would be amazing! I love the wood paneling throughout the house as well. I’m not sure I ever thought I would like wood paneling, but it’s beautiful.

  18. Lynn says:

    So absolutely fantastic! I have come back to this house tour now twice today. I love the architectural detail so much, but what I find impressive is the quality of the art! I covet a Gine Pane piece so hard!

  19. melanie says:

    one of my faves. love the greeny blue wall colour! it’s almost like my room.

    so lovely.

  20. Jürgen says:

    How wonderful! How design quality!

  21. Wow. Za. WOWZA. I love it! And what I would do for those dining chairs…swoon…

  22. @Olimpia – I was curious who the artist is for the painting sitting on the floor in the second image?

  23. claudine says:

    At the very first image I went “Oh – this is Italian” – the look of the door, the colours the mix of old and modern is so natural unaffected. Very refreshing – a great sneak peak!! Grazie mille!

  24. Olimpia says:

    Thank you! I’m so happy you liked my house. All the
    comments were very sweet. @Brian Everett – That painting is by
    Emanuela Ligabue which is also my mom and the person who chose
    everything in the house. If you want more infos about her work,
    feel free to drop her a line at this email:

  25. Bettina Elbæk Pedersen says:

    Anyone has an idea on how to define that green wall color?
    To die for!

  26. Danielle says:

    Man…totally cool bedframe! I would be elated if I found something like that on Craigslist or at a flea market!

  27. orlando says:

    awesome. the flavor is culturally foreign but seems familiar too. looking through these pictures took my imagination away! location scouts will be knocking on their doors with a contract in hand.

  28. m. laura says:

    Hi! does anybody know the red sofa model name? i want to buy something like that but i don´t know how to explain it o google it. Thanks!!!

  29. pea says:

    i agree, that red sofa is amazing!

  30. Christi Aaron Wright says:

    Gorgeous! Designed that native things from the house was kept!

  31. nora says:

    this is all gorgeous.

    i would also like to know what color the green-blue paint is on the wall! looking to paint one of the walls in my living room that color. Thanks!


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