Enrica Stabile started her career in fashion, creating clothes and accessories that echoed the Victorian style. When trends began to change, she took a different direction. She dedicated her career to interiors. She started L'Utile e il Dilettevole a place where she could sell antiques, vintage and curated pieces, create workshops, and reflect her glorious style, 'The atmosphere is that of the English and French countryside, where furniture, objects, fabrics and garden furnishings'.
I have been a fan of Enrica's for some time. Many people try to create this aesthetic, but only some manage to conquer it, as Enrica does. I was so excited when she agreed to participate in Knock Knock and even more so when she sent me the below.
N.B As you will have picked up, Enrica is Italian. She has been kind enough to write the below in English. I have changed as little as possible, as the charm in her writing is uplifting.
Shop Instagram - @solamentegiovedi
Enrica's Instagram - @enricastabile
MY HOUSE IN MILANO
If you ask me what MY HOUSE IN MILANO means to me, it is my essence.
I have been living here for about ten years. I was alone after my husband's death, my four children now grown up, going their ways. I happened on it by a lucky chance which I think I deserved. I had spent a few challenging months looking around properties. Most of them I didn't like, most of them were badly restored, most of them I could not afford.
Then all of a sudden a friend of our family told me about his old aunt, the countess, owner of my actual flat, he thought it was no good for me, because there is no lift. It is the second last floor of a building end 1800 and beginning 1900, with no lift but a lovely comfortable staircase.
The previous owner left the house in a depressing condition. The only good thing she left me were the window boxes built to measure each window. It was the light from the windows that really conquered me. Each room has a line of three windows. My biggest room, the sitting room, has nine windows altogether! Glorious on a sunny day, and even with a cloudy sky or winter, the light makes me feel quite positive.
As a profession, I'm both an antique dealer and an interior designer. I felt fortunate to start nearly from scratch and to be able to put into practice many of my ideals and beliefs.
I did quite a lot of work before moving in. It was the first time in my life that I didn't have to ask anyone else's opinion. Everything from the smallest decoration was down to me.
There was only myself to please. It was incredible. I did everything I liked, including a few mistakes, which I have accepted with good humour.
A long and imposing corridor, typical of the Milanese houses of that time, divides the space into two wings: to the right, two guests bedrooms, Kitchen and two bathrooms. On the left side is a large sitting room, dining room, study and my bedroom.
Colours have been my passion and skill since my first work experience at 23 as a colour specialist for a printed fabric company, so every room of the house has its own colour and story.
RED in the sitting room, a colour which I had never considered before, but after the purchase in Toulouse of a wonderful sofa covered in a worn-out red damask, became my starting point for playing with red patterns and textures in various shades for that room.
PINK, a colour I adore, for my bedroom to enhance a collection of Massier ceramics I have collected for a long time in every shades of pink. This colour makes me happy and positive when I wake up in the morning.
CREAM with a twist of grey-blue for the dining room, a small but cosy space where I have mixed a series of barbotine and Creil- Monterau plates from various eras. It sounds awful, but actually, it works quite well.
BLUE is one of my favourite colours. I used it in the Kitchen, where I wanted to be minimalist but ultimately failed because of my passion as a ceramic collector.
This room is one of my favourite places to relax. The blue-green of the bathroom is the epitome of sophistication. I gathered my collection of shell-themed objects here, and the result is beautiful.
The highlights of my home are: the wise use of colour, the mixture of various elements between sophistication and simplicity and, above all, the cosy and welcoming atmosphere that I love to share with family and friends.