Decor journalist and stylist Juliette Arrighi de Casanova debuts her eclectic decorating fingerprint in her compact apartment where design meets personality.
Former decor editor Juliette Arrighi de Casanova launched her lifestyle brand Juj Living in 2017. Since then, her name and her creations have become synonymous in Cape Town where she is based with a fiercely eclectic and layered aesthetic.
When Arrighi de Casanova purchased her micro apartment (a mere 47m2 which by South African standards is minuscule), she was gifted the challenge to complete her first Juj Living interiors project from scratch. Bought off-plan, the initial shell was limited in terms of materials and budget.
“I opted for a few upgrades like a wood-look vinyl on the floors with a charcoal-stain appearance”
“New cupboard handles and jute carpeting in the bedroom were installed along with mirror-cladding and a hand shower above a bath that was not originally specified on the plans”. All these additions culminating in a modern bijou apartment for a young and optimistic interior designer.
Arrighi de Casanova had the vision to create a space closest to that of a boutique hotel suite. Each piece of furniture is original and tells a story. Vibrant colors and unexpected patterns and textures sing in perfect harmony. She tends to an arrangement of multi-colored blooms in a Delft vase she purchased in Amsterdam.
“I consider animal print a neutral and I'm a total maximalist”
This unique approach to a small space, of adding rather than subtracting, is more nuanced than one thinks. Here, Arrighi de Casanova founds her decorative layering on a canvas of black and white and other neutral materials and finishes such as soft grey marble mosaic tiles and white Belgian linen curtains.
The moss-green sofa is a copy from a project she worked on with the mentor, interior designer Andrea Graff who is celebrated for her imaginative and wildly creative approach to interiors.
Gaining invaluable experience from her years working under Graff's guidance, Arrighi de Casanova learned to take risks and think outside the box. A fine example of this is the custom wallpaper designed from her blue and white Chinoiserie dinnerware. “I know it's a mad choice but I just love it! It makes me so happy and it's the perfect combination of old and new, which I have always been drawn to”, she swoons.
This masterful mix of vintage and contemporary was born out of necessity. Arrighi de Casanova had to make inherited pieces work within a new build. She also had to consider the multi-functionality of furniture pieces, doubling her vintage Saarinen Tulip table into a workstation and utilizing her outdoor stools as additional surface areas when entertaining indoors.
She did not restrain herself with the scale of things and believes that bigger is better in a small space. The central focus always being coziness and keeping the eye interested.
This sense of comfort and warmth all comes down to the layering of color and texture, creating different lines and individual vignettes.
“No corner is left empty, no wall space is disregarded”
“There are no bounds for me”, she laughs, “more is never enough! I love to tell a story with my interiors and breathe visual life into the personality of the people who live in that home with a sense of whimsy and playfulness”.