If this is the first you’re hearing of Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, who make up the Milan-based interior design firm Dimore Studio, it won’t be the last. While the duo started collaborating back in 2003, they’ve more recently shifted their focus from private homes to public spaces. The response has been raves both within the insular world of design and among those who have happened to wander into one of their moody, elegantly faded interiors, which manage to feel Old World and modern at the same time.
Momentum started building five years ago, when they hung a hauntingly beautiful light installation at Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel in Chicago. In Paris and Milan, they reimagined retail outposts for Hermès, Aesop, and candlemaker Cire Trudon. And each project seems to get more ambitious. At the March unveiling of the Palazzo Fendi in Rome, the fashion world swooned over Dimore’s sumptuous redo of thestore’s private second floor, where Fendi entertains VIP customers.
The travel world is taking notice, too. Casa Fayette, which opened last fall in a 1940s art deco gem in Guadalajara, Mexico, was the perfect canvas for Dimore to play with different eras and styles, and it became the most talked-about hotel debut in the city in decades. “Working in hotels, we have free rein, a precise deadline, and we get to create our own worlds,” says Moran. In the just-opened Hôtel Saint-Marc, they blended the opulence of the building—an 18th-century Parisian mansion—with touches of the 1970s (orange velvet chairs, psychedelic drapes) and glittering art deco flourishes (gold-accented black marble) as if it were a completely natural juxtaposition.
How did the duo develop their particular blend of past and present? “My tastes tend to be more traditional,” says Moran, a North Carolina native who got his start as a furniture designer. He fell in love with Italy during a college visit and eventually moved there. Salci, who was born in Tuscany and started his career running his father’s design shop, “is more contemporary,” says Moran. “Emiliano is always dragging me to the MoMA when we’re in New York, and I’m always bringing him to more classical galleries like the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. We push each other in different directions.” Moran and Salci cofounded Dimore Studio after discovering that they shared a philosophy on design. “We like to mix vintage and modern, and wildly different color palettes and patterns,” says Moran. “Although we’ve matured over the last 13 years, those same beliefs are still in place.”