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Dsquared2 Designers Dean and Dan Caten Invite Us Into Their Milan Guest House

Dean and Dan Caten.

Dsquared2 designers Dean and Dan Caten open a private guest house in the heart of Milan filled with eclectic, bespoke design. Originally printed in the 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Located in Milan’s former national energy building, the Dsquared2 headquarters, helmed by founding twin brothers and designers Dean and Dan Caten, is a 1930s brick building from the fascist era. It’s a stone’s throw from 10 Corso Como, one of the most stylish hotspots in Milan, featuring an art gallery, bookshop, garden cafe, and design and fashion store. It’s also home to Ceresio 7, a boutique lifestyle complex with a spa, restaurant, two swimming pools, and a terrace with views of the skyline. “The guest house completes and intensifies our Dsquared2 lifestyle project,” the Catens say.

The grand staircase.

The Canadian brothers moved to Italy in 1992 and were quickly seduced by the Italian way of life. The country is in their blood, after all – their father was born in Casalvieri, and the Catens were recently offered the keys to the city. The guest house offers a modest exterior that gives no hint as to what it harbors. “From the outside, it is rigorous,” concur the designers. “But inside you will find so much that characterizes our style.”

Three floors offer a 500 sqm space, while a 180 sqm terrace presents an intimate outdoor area in the center of the city. The architectural focal point of the front entry room (and more broadly of the whole house), is a grand, sinuous staircase in sage green silk velvet with black wood and a brass banister. It is set against walls featuring floor-to ceiling pivoting mirrors. Welcoming guests is a Rönisch piano. Overhead, a chandelier that previously hung in the hall of the Milano Centrale Train Station floods the room with light, creating contrasts in the otherwise opaque space.

The library.

On the spacious ground level, black slate floors are decorated with silk rugs, establishing the mood of a luxurious gentlemen’s club. To ensure privacy, all the windows in the house are fitted with double screening and dressed with dark curtains. Treated with hot Microtopping – a concrete coating with a modern aesthetic – the walls are textured and accented with two black Marquina marble fireplaces. Adorned with handpainted and embroidered silk wallpaper, a charming alcove is furnished with a large sofa in ivory velvet and satin. “The furniture is all bespoke,” explain the designers. “It reflects and enhances a nostalgic sartorial spirit from the inspiration period, but with contemporary colorways and details, resulting in an eclectic yet modern style.”

The lounge area.

The first floor opens up to an oval room lined with black wood canes. In the middle of the space is a brass and wood dining table, which can accommodate up to 20 guests. Two Italianate chandeliers from the 1950s complement the look. A second sitting area consists of a cozy library where artworks, vintage pieces, fashion books, and objects such as a small cabinet of curiosities collected over time by the pair shape a sophisticated, yet personal aura. “We want all our guests to walk in and feel as if they were right at home,” the Catens say. “We had this thought very clear in our minds when we first decided to start the Ceresio 7 guest house.” To the right, a standalone central kitchen in Calacatta marble and steel and paved in teal tiles leads to a small nook where guests can sit on a leather horseshoe shaped bench, or in one of the two fuchsia velvet chairs for a private breakfast. Meanwhile, a large bay window connects the dining area to the terrace, which is surrounded by vegetation.

The dining room.

A gentle push through hidden doors in the wood paneling and guests reach two private rooms; each one featuring a staircase that leads to a large dressing room organized with black slats. “If you take a look at the pieces of art and furniture, they all blend perfectly,” the designers explain. “And this feeling is even more accentuated by a play of mirrors, lights, and reflections. Every detail in this house has been carefully considered. We are perfectionists in everything we do. It applies to both our professional and personal life. It is a state of mind.”

One of the three guest rooms.

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