This 645-Square-Foot Rome Apartment Is a Maximalist’s Dream

Italian interior architect Mirta Ottaviani and her partner, construction entrepreneur Augusto Carchella, hadn’t always expected to rent an apartment, much less one in Rome’s Parioli district. “The plan was always to buy a place, but we needed somewhere to stay while we searched for our dream home,” says Mirta, who worked at several interior design studios in Italy and France before setting up her own firm in Rome in 2021. Plan B was leasing an apartment in Piazza Venezia, Rome’s historical city center where Augusto grew up, but none of the flats they visited met their expectations. 

No matter—there was always Plan C: renting in nearby Parioli, known for its lush greenery and architecture by greats such as Gio Ponti, Luigi Moretti, and Ugo Luccichenti. Indeed, when they found a 645-square-foot flat in a five-story building (a rarity for this neighborhood, where flats are seldom smaller than 1,400 square feet), they knew it was the one. Before long, they’d locked down the deal and moved into their little rented abode. All that was left to do now was give it a bit of personality—they wanted a calm and cozy burrow for themselves and guests alike. 

Here, the sunlight is plentiful, cascading through the large windows and finding its way to the farthest corners. The space is enhanced by a menagerie of prints and patterns that hold a mirror to Mirta’s childhood. “Growing up in my mother’s creative workshop, I was always surrounded by fabrics and stones. There, I learned the art of composition, of harmoniously arranging shapes, colors, and materials—that still comes through today,” says the designer, whose eclecticism is equally informed by the maximalist style of her grandmother.

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