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Style spotting in Rome: Big buttons and modern hanging scrolls

November 18, 2009 | 10:27 am

PepeDesign2

Deborahbowness3 Don’t hate me, but I spent a recent weekend strolling along the streets of Rome hunting for design inspiration.

I found it at Mia Design, located at Via di Ripetta 224, just a few blocks from the Piazza del Popolo. Run by stylish owner Emilia Petruccelli, this delightful interior design and furniture gallery features a mix of sleek, modern pieces and rustic, hand-crafted and repurposed items.

Two of her wall-worthy collections caught my fancy. The first, a cluster of whimsical oversize ceramic buttons (bottone) by Vietri artist Pepe Design. With two or four holes, they can be “stitched” with contrasting cording to hang from a wall, just like the display at Mia (above). Prices range from 13 to 38 euros; dimensions range from salad- to dinner-plate sized.

Rows of hand-painted and digitally printed wallpaper panels by U.K. designer Deborah Bowness decorate several of the store’s vertical surfaces (right). Measuring 20 to 22 inches wide and 130 inches long, each panel depicts life-size, everyday objects --  lamps, chairs, bookcases or clothing on hangers. These contemporary trompe l’oeil panels aren’t currently sold in the United States, although a spokeswoman for the artist told me the company will be looking for outlets at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in May.

Anthropologie has commissioned Bowness panels for some of its U.S. stores, and the wallpaper is also featured at Soho House, a New York hotel. The panels can be ordered for 239 euros each from Mia Design or you can contact the Deborah Bowness studio directly for ordering information.

-- Debra Prinzing

Photos: Debra Prinzing

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