Inside Carolina Castiglioni’s Bold and Eclectic Milanese Apartment

When Carolina Castiglioni welcomes you to her new flat in a turn-of-the-century neoclassical building in the center of Milan—the door opening to reveal brightly colored interiors filled with bold, modernist furniture—you cannot help but notice how naturally she seems to embody the city’s charm, her distinctive blend of polite reserve and cultivated individuality shrouded in formality. The piercingly blue-eyed Carolina—at ease in her everyday uniform of voluminous, masculine pants and a crisp, oversized striped shirt—belongs to a tight-knit Milanese clan for whom an immersion in style goes hand in hand with business acumen and a flair for the unconventional. It’s a deep-rooted attitude passed on to Carolina, 41, from her parents, Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni, who in 1994 founded Marni, which quickly became the embodiment of an Italian bourgeois style tinged with idiosyncratic, artsy quirkiness.

The aubergine drawing room.

Photographed by Danilo Scarpati

This same spirit animates Plan C, the clothing line Carolina launched in 2018—a fusion of bohemian comfort, boyish volumes, bold blocks of color, and edgy graphics. It’s present in the artists she chooses for creative collaborations, and in the rich hue of aubergine that makes the walls of her drawing room as velvety as a jewel box. It’s fair to say that her eclectic style is as far from clichés of predictable eleganza as it is expressive of devotion to offbeat mélanges.

The road to a new home for herself and her two young children, Filippo and Margherita, has been a long one. “I saw so many apartments, I’ve lost count,” she says with a smile in the drawing room as light pours in from tall windows. Her dark blond hair is kept straight and neat, and her radiant skin bears no trace of makeup. “I had very specific requirements: Our new home should have a garage and a terrace. And our previous house had a charming green courtyard where my children loved to play with their friends, so that seemed not-negotiable.”

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