Casa Piero Russo Milan

La natura a casa

 ‘When I entered this apartment for the first time, I got a good feeling. I’m a strong believer in energy and that we, if we can permit ourselves the luxury of a choice, can very clearly feel if a house fits us or not.’

0006WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi
0011WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.
0034WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.

The beautiful Targa Sofas were designed by Gam-fratesi for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH with soft pink Kvadrat upholstery. The rest of the furniture was designed by Russo himself: Trabea bookshelves, made of solid maple and brass. The wooden cones are dyed with aniline. The SAT coffeè table is a composition
of black Marquigna, green Guatemala, white Carrara, and red Verona marble. The top is made of extra-light glass and has a brushed brass handle.



The Romboidale divider, designed by Russo, is a beautiful and spatial gesture. The uprights of black powder-coated iron are combined with crosspieces of brushed brass and shelves finished in maple with black edges. On the floor is a carpet NET by Ilaria Innocenti. On the ceiling a Libra light sculpture, a gunmetal-coloured iron structure with borosilicate blown glass. The lazy loungers are by Gamfratesi for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH.

Pietro Russo, designer in Milan, the city where he ended up after his studies at the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Florence, explains: ‘I was studying scenography until my teacher Edoardo Malagigi looked at my work and said: Pietro, you should become a designer. I followed his advice.’ A successful career in which Pietro collaborated with Lissoni Associati, Alessi, Kartell and various other famous names followed, but in 2010 he decided it was time to start his own business. ‘I wanted to combine my love for scenography with interior design, and I wanted to make use of traditional craftsmanship. All my designs are made through close collaborations with very competent craftsmen.’

0085WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi
0084WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.
0080WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.

 Pietro Russo at work on the wall of the studio.

Prints and drawings of his research for the wall of plastered clouds.


A space for rent in the green Città Studi neighbourhood turned out to be big enough to contain both his office and living space. Claudio: ‘It’s a building from the 1930s, with spacious rooms and lots of light. When I first moved in the floor was made of ugly concrete, one of those cheap antiseptic floors, which I singlehandedly removed because I suspected that there were original graniglia-tiles underneath. And that turned out to be true.’ It was an enormous task that didn’t deter Russo at all. 

0042WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.
0050WOTH Pietro Russso InteriorFilippo Bamberghi.

The kitchen/dining room area of the studio with the large Alma table in solid walnut Canaletto, lit by light sculpture Drone, made of brushed brass and opal glass, with a LED light. All designs by Russo. Traditional Chiavarina chairs ring the table.


The beautiful Kitchen is an iron structure, the sheet-metal doors are decorated with a diamond pattern. Worktop and backsplash in Carrara marble. Handles in leather and brass. On the wall the Hexagonal wall lamp, brushed brass and opal glass, with a LED light.

For one of his last projects he plastered an entire wall with carefully chosen colour nuances, and then, using spatulas, he transformed that into clouds. ‘Plaster exists in various shades of grey, not just white. To find the exact colours I wanted I had to visit several different plaster quarries.’ The result is a beautiful Northern-European cloudbank that seems to be ready to unleash a downpour at any moment


‘We flee the city to be outdoors, but why not bring nature inside? The same counts for the exotic plants you’ll find everywhere around here, all of that green has a super-positive influence on us people. Sadly, my plants always used to die, but thanks to tips and advice from my mom they’re now flourishing.’ Laughing: ‘The plants weren’t the problem, I was.’ 

Russo’s personal working space is the Alma writing desk, made of solid walnut Canaletto with black powder-coated steel and glorious details in brass. Next to the desk a set of drawers in walnut harlequin wood. Lots of green plants on the Ginko exhibitor for Seeds London, which Russo designed to show off his renowned talents as a plant keeper. Wooden shelves inlaid in Taba on an iron structure. All designs by Studio Russo. 


A custom-built headboard in walnut harlequin wood adorns the bedroom, the SAT light table in brushed brass and opal glass has been used as a nightstand on both sides of the bed.


Almost everything in the space was designed by Pietro himself. Exceptions are the chairs around the dining table and the armchairs by GamFratesi, the successful designer-duo from Denmark. ‘I really like the vintage appearance. I saw them and immediately thought: I have to have those.’ For many of his own designs, it’s pretty hard to determine whether they’re new pieces or modern antiques. ‘I started out as a set builder and I like to create situations that aren’t immediately recognizable as being from a certain time period.’ Romboidale, a geometric wall-closet that can also be used to elegantly divide a space, has an obvious 1950s look. 

Sketchbook. Russo’s drawing pad on his desk, along with a pair of bronze whales that he molded by hand and reptiles that he found in various shops.

The same also applies to the various lamps, the round, marble side tables and the bed with the illuminated night stands. ‘I was inspired by the bedrooms from the 1950s, where even the radio and the record player were integrated into the bed.’ The many small objects spread throughout the house catch the eye. ‘I travel a lot, wander the flea markets and sometimes find inspiration in small trinkets. I’d also rather not throw out leftover wood and always try to make something out of it. If you cut down a tree, you have the responsibility to use every piece of it.’

Display cabinet in walnut Canaletto wood that was partly built into the wall holds all of Russo’s glass ware

This story was previously published in WOTH issue No6 - still available in our shop.