Dimore Gallery, an interiors company based in Milan, was founded by the genius, creative designer couple Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran, and this year their installations really blew me away during Milan Design Week. So much so, that I just had to jump online and tell you all about it here in this report. This year, these extraordinary men flipped everything that was right into a very good "wrong" that worked somehow and stimulated my imagination like crazy. Last year, their gallery was much more literal with rooms and scenes that you could imagine living in. This year, it was a total circus for the senses and for me, it was intoxicating as much as it was challenging for me to fully wrap my head around. And for these reasons, I decided that I really liked it because it was nice to be exposed to something that wasn't comfortable, easy to translate or even relatable... I liked the feeling of being forced out of my comfort zone as a creative person.
Salci and Moran had three locations for guests to experience, though I only had time for two and honestly, that was enough. Anything Dimore does takes so much time and mental/emotional energy for me to experience, then process, that I almost need downtime and a glass of wine after so I can just sit alone and try to figure out what that was all about. I love this though, the mind trip these guys take me on, it's great.
One thing that stands out about Salci and Moran is how fantastically artistic and creative they are, but also that they possess a strong sense of business, making them wildly successful and sought-after in the world of design - at least here in Europe. They really do everything so well, it is quite impressive. Journalists, designers, tastemakers, trendsetters, you name it... All want to see what Salci and Moran have to show during Milan Design Week and honestly, it's not all hype or more designers seeking some status climb - the praise is based on something very real - these guys absolutely take everything you think you know about design and interiors and give it (and your imagination) a hard and fast spin.
So, what was it like to experience Dimore this year, for me personally? Their main event was called, "Transfer: an emotive installation dedicated to Masters of 20th-century design". They took their space with its multiple rooms, blackened each room to where you almost needed a guide to take you through, and placed tents in the middle of rooms showing various settings and styles using furniture, fabric and accessories from their collections (that they also sell to the public) along with things you'd have in a typical living area - newspapers, books, ashtrays, etc. Honestly, none of it was really pretty or even something you'd want to copy and try at home. Which, well, was the true beauty of it.
It was a bit like walking through a movie set, very theatrical and heady, with music piping into each room along with fragrance, that made you feel a bit high and otherworldly. This is something, for me, that truly sets Dimore apart in the world of design that you won't find at the inspiring spaces of Rossana Orlandi, Studio Pepe, or anywhere else really - how Salci and Moran are extremely in tune with all of the senses and use them in wildly imaginative and even sensual ways to bring an interior space to a whole new level - this full-on experience that gives interiors a personality beyond just a good looking sofa, amazing light, or a few well-styled accessories.
Dimore tickles and teases all of your senses as you experience their unusual combination of aesthetics and the overall ambiance. It's so captivating.
Moran and Salci are so obviously storytellers, collectors, and some of the most artistic I've seen in Milan. They are not interested in being trendy or fitting in. They could care less about showing what's already been seen just to get some good press. They are in love with creating experiences for themselves and for others and beyond that, in making their collections of vintage and antique items come to life in magical, fantastic ways.
Salci is, what I call, an over the top, creative pirate of sorts - his fashion sense and overall look is so amazingly inspiring in a world of boring cookie cutter fashion... Just looking at him gives you creative energy and makes your brain swirl.
His partner, Moran, is also impeccably stylish and resembles Benedict Cumberbatch, at least to me. He bears no trace of his American background with the exception of his genial manner which is very distinctly southern Gentleman (he's from the Carolinas as I am). His eyes are friendly and full of warmth and his charm is contagious - I was impressed by his overall aura and vibrance.
And yes, I met them both and was happy to spend time chatting with Moran (Salci speaks mostly Italian). What an honor to share moments with them both, who were so kind and gracious to me, which took me by surprise as I assumed they'd be a bit arrogant and unavailable but it was just the opposite - they are very involved in their work and kind to all who stop them for a chat or to simply compliment their artistry and vision. They were even quite modest, a beautiful discovery which made me love their work even more.
I will wrap up by saying that experiencing Dimore this year felt so different from 2017, a bit complicated, unexpected, and very unique to them. Seeing all of the vintage and antique pieces that they collect and sell, exhibited in such a creative way, was pure magic. These types of experiences stay with me for months after Milan Design Week wraps up, and these types of people really stand out in a world where sameness and the mundane have become almost toxic to my own creativity. Dimore has given me some good energy and fuel for my own work and projects, and I'm grateful for that.
(Photography: Silvia Rivoltella)