Sprezzatura

Sprezzatura.

A wonderful word coined by sixteenth century writer Baldassare Castiglione – effortless ease, studied nonchalance, graceful restraint. As Luca Rubinacci said “Sprezzatura is an error that makes an outfit stylish, and is not related to clothes but to the personality of the man”. Sprezzatura is the art of standing out, subtly.

When some of you hear this word, you may think of a certain fashion event in Florence; Pitti Uomo. One of, if not the most important men’s fashion event of the year – a biannual gathering that draws retailers, editors, and menswear enthusiasts from around the globe.

I believe this distinctive word, sprezzatura, is just as relevant when talking about interior design as it is about an outfit. To quote Castiglione “A certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without thought”. I’m not one for grandiose design. It’s not big, obvious statement pieces that capture my attention. I find beauty in the finer detail – the use of colour, texture and light. We are effected by our surroundings; it’s not until a space has a personality that we can relate to it. When human needs are prioritised within a design it has a profound impact of the way we feel – the objects, form, texture and colours must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another. This, for me anyway, is when a design stands out.

Here are a few examples.

Scandinavian Homes is an interior stylist based in Stockholm. I love their style; the balance between beauty and function. Photography by Adam Helbaoui.

 

Landmass is a London based multi-award winning design and development company, delivering private luxury and commercial properties worldwide. They offer a complete service; integrating architectural and interior design, project management and construction.