Left: Andrea Grecucci, Kaisha Davierwalla and Didi the dog in the living room. Right: The study is furnished with the Ritual Cabinet by Cara Davide, an armchair by Tecno Spa, the Obon coffee table by Simone Bonanni for Moooi and the Bliss rug by Mae Engelgeer for cc-tapis. On the wall hangs Evoluzione spaziale del colore giallo 1 by Andrea Grecucci - Credits: Photo: Federico Torra
Left: decorative objects in the living room: Murano vase by Napoleone Martinuzzi, 20677 bowl by Axel Salto and Aura 18-k gold ring by Andrea Grecucci. Right: hanging on the wall are three pictures by Ugo La Pietra: Itenerario (1964), Ad Ognuno la propria realtà (1972) and Minimo sperimentale simbolico (1959). The Passiflora table lamp is by Superstudio for Poltronova. Leather Bowl Chair by Lina Bo Bardi. - Credits: Photo: Federico Torra
Left: wall hung with Sphera by Arnaldo Pomodoro (top, 1968), the Bilancia calendar by Enzo Mari for Danese (right) and Bosco in Città by Ugo La Pietra (bottom, 2016). The Gibigiana desk lamp is by Achille Castiglioni for Flos. Right: a desk in the study is lit by a Franco Albini lamp. The vases are by Arne Bang and other Scandinavian potters. Chiavari chair. - Credits: Photo: Federico Torra
In the living room stands a vintage bookcase by Romeo Rega. Gronda mirrors by Luciano Bertoncini for Elco. Lunario table by Cini Boeri. Super Rock rug by Bethan Laura Wood for cc-tapis - Credits: Photo: Federico Torra

In Milan, artwork and design pieces blend seamlessy in an open space

'Every once in a while, I come home from the office and notice something has disappeared. One time it's the sofa; another time the lamp, and then the coffee table. When I find out it’s been sold, I tell myself it’s not a problem.” Smiling, Andrea Grecucci welcomes me to the in-house design gallery where he lives in Milan with his partner Kaisha Davierwalla and Didi, an indolent and seemingly benevolent dachshund. When you step inside, you're immersed in a multitude of pieces of history, art and design. They fill the drawing room, the living heart of the home, a chameleon-like space that never remains the same for long. The young couple graduated from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, where they met. Their passion for collecting prompted them to begin Vaspaar, which is not simply a gallery of historical furniture, but a made-to-measure search service conceived to satisfy the most discerning clients.

Grecucci comes from Pordenone, has a past in consultancy, and is now a senior product designer for V-Moda and Roland. “Collecting satisfies my desire to surround myself with beautiful things that have a story to tell, and have given pleasure to many people before us,” he says. “It helps offset the concept of mass consumption we are used to. My keenness grew out of a longing for uniqueness. What fascinates me is the way objects can preserve their spirit over the years – something that’s unfortunately lacking in consumer electronics nowadays, in their materials, production methods, lack of sustainability and their obsolescence.” He points to a table in the room. “You can see how long ago this was made by the marks left in the glass by pincer jaws. Today they’re considered flaws, but at the time it was an incredible technique; the imperfection was considered valuable.”

Grecucci and Kaisha Davierwalla share their love of collecting. Milan being her adoptive city, Davierwalla hails from Surat, India, a city famous for diamonds and textiles. Her interest in objects from the past was sparked when she worked for a gallery. “I loved discovering the details of design projects; it became a sort of fetish I developed. One example is a Sottsass table I really pampered,' she laughs. 'After the job ended, I took some time off. One day, I was struck by a piece in the window of a small gallery. I said to myself, I’ll take a gamble. I bought it and sold it on. That was the start of Vaspaar and our gradually expanding network of contacts. In this field, you need much patience, a good nose, the ability to identify trends, and of course a bit of luck. We’re only at the start.” In the living room, a hot pink Le Bambole armchair grabs the attention first. It is paired with a Camaleonda modular sofa – both were designed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia. All around is a display of pieces by the masters Nanda Vigo, Gio Ponti, Ugo La Pietra and Archizoom, plus some delightful Scandinavian pottery.

“Not everything is for sale,” says Davierwalla referring to vases by Arne Bang and Axel Salto. “I’m deeply attached to those. I fell in love with them in Copenhagen.” The study area is used for contemporary pieces by cc-tapis, the Ritual cabinet by the duo Cara\Davide and the Obon coffee table by Simone Bonanni for Moooi. On the wall hangs a colourful canvas by Grecucci, part of a series. It connects to another one in the living room. “I was inspired by 1960s optical art. A play of perspective makes the two paintings look the same size, but they measure 50 and 80 centimetres respectively.” Vaspaar also sells through an online storefront with 1stdibs.com. Just like the living room of their house in Milan, it evolves constantly. The near future holds a project for handcrafted jewellery. “We’re young, but we often have to engage with the world of adults. Collecting is restricted to a clearly defined range, both in terms of age and purchasing power. Perhaps it’s thanks to our fresh mindset that we managed to enter the sector by making a contribution to it,” says Grecucci as he shows off a limited-edition sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro. “It definitely isn’t pocket-friendly work,” Davierwalla adds playfully.


Article published on the April/May issue of ICON DESIGN.