MDW19: How a Tile United a Home in Kinfolk and Menu’s “Perfect Darkness”

04.19.19 | By
MDW19: How a Tile United a Home in Kinfolk and Menu’s “Perfect Darkness”

In an elegant third-floor apartment in Brera, the Design District of Milan, Elisa Ossino and Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer have created an installation where the humble tile reigns supreme.

Ossino and Hoffmeyer work under the title H+O, or the initials of their two respective last names. Elisa Ossino is an Italian architect and designer, whereas Josephine Akvama Hfofmeyer is the Danish creative director of the handmade tile and wallpaper studio File Under Pop.

Pelican chair by House of Finn Juhl. Photo by Keshia Badalge.

Elisa Ossino Studio designed the interiors of the apartment and curated accompanying design furnishings by loudspeaker company Artcoustic, Danish design studios AstepFrama, House of Finn Juhl, Menu, Stine Goya, as well as Italian input with Officine Saffi, De-Tech, and designer heating and plumbing company Tubes. The tiles, of course, were supplied by File Under Pop.

The apartment has colorful terrazzo floors and carefully curated music to accompany each designed atmosphere. With the hustle and bustle of Brera, Akvama Hoffmeyer and Ossino decided to collaborate with Italian musician Stefano Ghittoni to come up with a playlist that mimics the different compositions of the home.

The home’s standout feature was the use of tiles as the fil rouge, the guiding thread linking all the home environments.

“The tile became central throughout all rooms—we wanted to revitalize the object by bringing it out of kitchens and bathrooms and into places where you wouldn’t traditionally see it,” Ossino said in Kinfolk.

The kitchen. Photo by Keshia Badalge.

The kitchen, for example, is covered with tiles. Midnight blue and off-white tiles are laid like carpet on the floor, while scarlet red ceramic tiles add an extra layer to the furniture designed by Ossino.

Photo by Keshia Badalge.

Photo by Keshia Badalge.

The tiles stretch to the quirky black and white bathroom, along the hallways, and to a lemon green colored bedroom. Here is where the simple, angular geometrical tile reaches an elegant state of domestic softness, laid under a mattress with white sheets, inviting you with its new transfiguration as a platform bed.

Photo by Keshia Badalge.

Photo by Keshia Badalge.

In the state of “Perfect Darkness,” the white tile achieves its highest form.

Keshia grew up in Singapore and moved to the U.S. to attend Dartmouth College. When she was living abroad after graduation, a chance enrollment at the Architectural Association Visiting School led to her becoming enamored with door schedules and architectural écriture. She's particularly interested in design for aging, rural architecture, and Asian design heritage.