Inside Aquazzura Founder Edgardo Osorio's Eclectic Florentine Home
Gorgeous De Gournay wallpaper with animal print, marble busts with displays of coral—the home of Edgardo Osorio and his partner, Ricardo D’Almeida Figueiredo, is a riot of colour and patterns, of contemporary and classic elements, all contained within the stately Palazzo Corsini in Florence.
“I love the contrast between the antique and the modern and I can hardly believe my luck, some years ago now, at securing such a gem. I have always been in love with this beautiful palazzo,” says Osorio, who is the founder and creative director of luxury shoe brand Aquazzura, and whose headquarters and design studio are located in the same building, along with a ground-level boutique.
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There are certainly plenty of contrasting elements in the home, which Osorio designed with interior design firm Casa do Passadiço. The damask gold and cork wallpaper in the living room is matched with a carpet in a geometric pattern, while blush-pink sofas from Meridiani flank a pouf covered in zebra print. Potted plants with large fronds and a decorative crane leaven the mix.
Overlooking all this are artworks by Aaron Young, Dan Res and Douglas Gordon, while a baroque-style Portuguese altar from the 17th century is a striking feature of one of the walls. Full of colour and character, the room looks sumptuous but not intimidating—a place to relax and have fun.
“I love colour, I love to host, I love to have fun,” says Colombian-born Osorio. “When I think of space, I think of where I can entertain my friends. I don’t want it to be formal; the space is beautiful but I want to be able to sit on the floor, or the couch, to have a good time and be relaxed. I love joyfulness, and that, I think, is my Latin side coming out.”
The home is like a living scrapbook of Osorio’s loves and lifestyle. A fascination with corals and shells has resulted in a collection, some found at auctions, that covers a wall in the TV room.
“I think that a space needs to communicate something. I like rooms that feel lived-in. They give you an emotion in a way,” says Osorio. “When I decorate a space, it is very much a feeling. There is no rule to follow; it’s just whatever feels right.”
Each room was designed to have a personality of its own. The dining room features a more stately look, with extensive moulding and panelling on the walls, complemented with columns. A vintage Sputnik crystal and brass chandelier from the 1970s hangs above a Carrera marble-topped dining table from Carlo Colombo.
“I had mood boards of things that I love, such as different palaces across Europe, or places and apartments that I admired,” says Osorio. “Yves Saint-Laurent’s apartment in Paris, the entrance featured Chinese lacquer. I love the colour and I wanted that, so I made one of the foyers in the home all lacquered in red.”
The striking red, along with a zebra-print rug and a marble-topped coffee table featuring hues of golden brown and white, turns a mere foyer into a space that makes a bold statementon its own, even if you aren’t there to linger.
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Another foyer area in the home, the entrance, offers a different vibe, with the walls covered in exquisite De Gournay wallpaper featuring a flowering tree and birds on a pretty blue background, as Osorio wanted the area to resemble a winter garden.
“It is because of this wallpaper that my collaboration with De Gournay started,” says Osorio, referring to the Amazonia wallpaper print on which he collaborated with De Gournay. “It all came about naturally as they happened to see pictures of my house and we got to know each other.”
Osorio’s first foray into the field of home and interior design was an enticing one both for him and fans of De Gournay and Aquazzura. “I would love to branch out to interiors and homeware. I created Aquazzura thinking of making it into a lifestyle brand, and apart from natural extensions for the brand like sunglasses, perfumes and bags, I would love to do things for the home, things that encompass a lifestyle.”
In the meantime, Osorio continues to add to his home treasures found in antique markets, auctions and art and design fairs around the world, making it a design narrative of his life and travels.
“I’m passionate about art, design and antiques, so it has been a process and it has taken years to collect all the special items you see around, as they have been sourced personally by Ricardo, me and Casa do Passadiço,” says Osorio. “Every year I add maybe a different painting or I add more sculptures. It tells a story of the things that I like, of my trips. There are corals that I found from different places or things that I bought. It is a story of the last few years of my life in a way.”
This story was originally published on Hong Kong Tatler.