Lee Stanton Blog

The Spirit of the Salon

The Spirit of the Salon

Flipping through the pages of AD Italia, something of a lightbulb went off. As I stumbled across the otherworldly gallery cum workshop that Florentine antiquarian Monica Lupi calls home, it occurred to me that our new work-home environments were not such a novelty at all. The need for hybrid space has long given rise to architectural ingenuity, and our reconsidering what that means for the designer/artist/collector/aesthete/anyone really, might even find its antecedent in the salons of turn-of-the-century Europe. 

What with the unlikely alchemies and intuitive eclecticism of her capacious atelier, it appears Lupi is something of a mad-scientist.  Embracing odd juxtapositions of style and epoch, and favoring the unique and personal over the expected and trendy, Lupi is driven by passion and instinct, not by the demands of the current mode. It is this spirit of the artist—an intransigently creative and indvidualistic spirit—that gives shape and color to her home. The material manifestation of years spent researching, hunting, honing and inventing, Lupi has created a space which seamlessly flows between work and home environment. 

I was particularly struck with the way she used statement-making architectural elements to create new spatial and textural relationships, as well as to provide opportunities for the display of art and other curious objects. By sticking to a limited color palette, and with great consideration for scale and proportion, Lupi manages to create a richly dimensional harmony between various contrasting styles and materials.   

I always admire a home that manages to strike a balance between the intimate and the composed, but the way Lupi seems to have been able to divest her space with a degree of the professional and utilitarian without sacrificing a warm and relaxed style, evokes an updated take on the inviting atmosphere of 27 rue de Fleurus, the famously simmering home slash think-tank of Gertrude Stein on Paris’s Left Bank. 


I hope we can all be inspired by the immense spirit of joie-de-vivre and guttural instincts with which Lupi crafts her immersive environment. That spirit of inquiry, of curiosity and conversation—these are the qualities that most connect the needs of the work-space with those of the domestic.


Photos by Francesco Dolfi for AD Italia