THE MIANIS’ PALAZZO WAS ONCE PART OF
the Episcopal Palace of San Pietro di Castello, but over the past
two centuries it had suffered more than its fair share of indignities
and was practically a ruin. The couple’s first task was to rid the
structure of the design defects that it had accumulated over the
years. They then developed their own design while being careful
not to detract from the building’s proud Venetian heritage.
Miani created three independent levels, each connected by
stairs or an elevator and each enjoying views over the city. On the
ground floor, flush with the waterline of the canal, a vaulted space
that once served as a boathouse is now used as a reception area.
Furnished simply with oxidized copper pendants and contemporary
tables designed by Miani, the rustic space has its own private
jetty that doubles as a terrace. This level also features a gym, a
bedroom, a garden and a small pool.
The next level up contains two living areas, a kitchen, two
bedrooms and a dining room that opens onto a terrace. The floors
throughout are terrazzo, a material used for centuries in Venice
and composed of chips of marble set in a paste of brick sand and
fine limestone. The material is especially well suited for a city like
Venice, built on constantly shifting soils. The top level of the palazzo
contains four bedrooms, and there is a small gazebo-like enclosure,
or altana, on the roof, offering wide views of the glories of Venice.
To furnish the home, Ilaria Miani designed every object—from
chairs, sofas and beds to cutlery and fabics—with a sense of natural,
uncomplicated style. The living area’s clean white sofas, chairs
and linen draperies set off blackened-steel bookshelves and side
tables made from fossilized tree trunks. An artwork by Alessandro
Diaz de Santillana reflects the shimmering light of Venice, as does
a mirrored piece in the shape of Italy that hangs in the hallway.
Miani designed the wood dining room table and chairs, and the
contemporary metallic pendant light; Orlando Miani’s large 2013
canvas The Riot Vandal 2 provides a surprising counterpoint. She
also designed a wood-and-iron table for the adjacent terrace,
which is perfect for al fresco dining. The rustic beamed kitchen has
been given a modern and functional boost with sleek Gaggenau
appliances, a Bulthaup sink and custom stainless-steel shelving
throughout. The bedrooms all have the fresh, simple elegance that
has become the hallmark of Iliara Miani’s work.
Rooted in the rich history of Venice, the home that the Mianis
have created is nevertheless forward-thinking and attuned to
today’s tastes. "My life’s work is to maintain the heritage of buildings
like this and to adapt them to the twenty-first century," says Ilaria
Miani. "It’s exciting !"
Ilaria Miani + 39 06 6833160 ilariamiani.com