When handling a major publication like Vogue Italia, it’s important to be meticulous of details. The late Franca Sozzani, who led the magazine for 28 years, was known to practice this with her minimalist style. and even in her own home.
Architectural Digest writes that Franca’s homes usually had “Stern black and white lines created a spotless and fuss-free gallery-like aesthetic in all her domestic surroundings.” Her son, filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini also notes that not only was Franca a minimalist, she had a good eye when it came to designing the floor plan of her homes.
We get a glimpse of how Franca looked after her Paris home from the renovation to decorating. You can gather some lessons too if you’re thinking of moving to a new place.
Franca saw great potential when she first discovered her 19th-century townhouse. “It was in bad shape, divided into three apartments, but it totally blew my mind. I said, ‘I want it!’ I knew there was great potential.” She later refurbished the home with the help of architect Massimiliano Locatelli to make it look good as new.
Francesco tells AD that Franca would ask him to send photos of each corner during the renovation process to see what it looked like so far. He says that from the photos, Franca could spot where to put the wire sockets and lighting. “In a picture of a maid’s room—just a small space, not the main living room or her own bedroom—she immediately spotted a tiny white wire next to the doorframe and focused on it,” he says. “ ‘That’s where the sconce will go,’ I told her. She said, ‘No, not there.’ When I got back to my office and looked at the plans, I saw she was right. She knew exactly where she wanted each light, outlet, and switch. No detail escaped her vision.”
Whether you’re living in a one-floor bungalow or four-story townhouse, it’s important to know where each room will be and plan out how to make them look good. “If I weren’t in fashion, I would have gone into real estate or architecture,” she said last fall. “But not interior design. Because what I really like is the division of the house, not where to put the couch and flowers.” This is also why she had Massimiliano on board. Franca believed that an architect will know what works best for each home division.
A look at Franca’s living room shows a clean and systematic way of placing furniture. Interior designer Ana Cardinale put two Marco Zanuso sofas back-to-back to provide more seating room. She also spaced out smaller chairs within the room so it doesn’t look crowded. This is the same with Franca’s dining room which doesn’t have a lot of decor. The styling is a testament to Franca’s minimalist approach to things and it makes for a good holding room when you have guests over.
It’s normal for us to want a dash of color to a monochromatic space. Franca, on the other hand, chose mostly yellow-brown and gold for her home accents. This adds a regal feel to the townhouse and makes it look brighter.
Photos courtesy of Architectural Digest