Contraste: Debonademeo’s Luxury Restaurant Redesign in Milan

Debonademeo Studio’s stunning redesign of the Michelin-starred Contraste restaurant in Milan, Italy, has transformed the historic space into a sensory journey. Blending vintage charm and contemporary elegance, the project thoughtfully incorporates the building’s original 19th-century features while catering to the modern dining experience. Across five distinct zones, each inspired by the four elements, the restaurant offers a captivating and immersive ambiance that complements the acclaimed culinary offerings.

Ornate, high-ceilinged interior with wooden paneling, varied lighting fixtures, and vibrant colors.
Ornate ceiling with intricate designs, contrasting with modern, colorful furnishings.
A lavish, ornately decorated room with a coffered ceiling, dramatic curtains, and chic round tables.
Ornate, richly-colored room with intricate architectural details and bold, modern furnishings.
A grand, ornate room with elaborate ceiling moldings, opulent red curtains, and round tables.
Ornate wood-paneled fireplace with decorative columns and patterned tile surround.
Ornate wooden doorway frames a serene moonlit view, accented by warm lighting and furniture.
A vibrant blue room with a wooden cabinet and stylish orange bar stools, showcasing the architectural design.
Elegant entryway with ornate wooden frame, red curtains, and terrazzo flooring.
A colorful hallway with striking architectural elements and modern design details.
The image depicts a modern and minimalist bathroom design featuring warm, earthy tones, terrazzo flooring, and statement lighting.
A modern bathroom with a terrazzo vanity, round mirror, and warm-toned accent walls.

About Contraste

Tucked away in the heart of Milan, Italy, Contraste is a hidden gem that offers a truly immersive dining experience. Entering through a small iron gate on Via Meda 2, guests embark on a transformative journey, leaving the bustling city behind to discover a serene oasis within a historic early 19th-century building.

Unveiling the Theatrical Ambiance

Designed by the renowned Debonademeo Studio, the restaurant’s interior is a masterful blend of old and new. Visitors are greeted by a gleaming champagne-colored metallic entrance, a theatrical “stargate” that leads to the captivating wall sculpture, “il segreto.” Beyond this threshold, the main dining room unfolds, a series of interconnected spaces, each with its own distinct character and color palette.

Embracing the Elements

The design approach pays homage to the four classical elements: air, earth, water, and fire. Each dining area is imbued with a specific hue and character, creating a diverse and immersive dining experience. Draped velvet curtains in vibrant shades seamlessly divide the space, allowing for a sense of intimacy and flexibility within the grand hall.

Preserving Historical Charm

The project’s restoration process was meticulously planned, guided by a technical committee that uncovered the building’s original 19th-century surfaces, stuccos, decorative elements, and frescoes. Debonademeo Studio skillfully integrated these historic features with contemporary design, resulting in a harmonious and captivating environment.

Culinary Encounter and Sensory Delight

The dining experience at Contraste is designed to engage all the senses. Carefully curated acoustics, sound-absorbing textiles, and a thoughtful lighting design create a serene atmosphere, allowing guests to fully savor the innovative culinary offerings. The restaurant’s visual elements, inspired by symbolism and the unexpected, further enhance the overall sensory journey.

Bespoke Design Details

Contraste’s design features a meticulous attention to detail, from the custom-designed wallpapers by Debonademeo Studio for Wall&Decò to the striking champagne-finished metal arc lamps suspended above each table. The restaurant’s furnishings, including the “Liberty” tables by Pedrali and the “Ester” leather chairs, seamlessly blend traditional and contemporary elements.

A Transformative Dining Experience

Ultimately, Contraste transcends the boundaries of a conventional restaurant, offering a truly transformative dining experience. The interplay of contrasting elements – from colors and textures to historic and modern features – creates a captivating atmosphere that invites guests to immerse themselves in a world of culinary and sensory delight.

Photography by Serena Eller Vainicher/ EllerStudio
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- by Matt Watts