Martina Mondadori Sartogo grew up in Milan surrounded by art and design pieces acquired by her late father, Leonardo, a passionate collector. Now an international tastemaker in her own right, she runs Cabana, a stunning coffee-table-book–style magazine that celebrates interiors. The latest Indagare Insider, Martina will be leading two Indagare Journeys to Milan next year, which will celebrate the legendary architect and interior designer Renzo Mongiardino and allow guests behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most romantic interiors. Read on to learn more about Martina's inspiration for Cabana, her favorite design-minded cities and where she can’t wait to go next.
What led you to launch Cabana, and how has it evolved? I started Cabana in 2014 to provide an innovative yet timeless way to look at interiors. I wanted the magazine to explore the emotional intimacy that people have with design and homes, be it a cosmopolitan dwelling or a rural abode. The magazine is about patterns, layering and, ultimately, sophistication on many levels, from the smallest object to the rarest collectible. This philosophy prompted me to think beyond the magazine and transform it into a brand and a lifestyle experience, with homeware collections, bespoke trips and curated events.
You have a unique aesthetic and a beautiful home in London. What are your top design tips? I believe good homes need to have good “bones.” I always start with a color palette or a collection of objects, such as ceramics or vintage fabrics. These items give air to a new home. And last but not least, houses need time to be lived in and to be loved. Layering and charm take time.
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would not have started and could not exist without constant inspiration from faraway places and their distinct styles. I am mostly influenced by the colors and textures of the Middle East and North Africa. Lately, I have developed a passion for everything Central American. I love how vibrant and rich the products from this region are.
What are some of your favorite museums and cities for experiencing art and design? My two hometowns, Milan and London, because they both feature a mix of old and new. Milan is a real style capital and was home to such lauded designers as Lorenzo Mongiardino and Piero Portaluppi. London is a capital for modern design, but it also has great museums like the V&A, Tate Modern and Sir John Soane’s Museum.
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What is your preferred destination for a long-weekend getaway? The southern part of Tuscany, where we are building a house. The landscape is gorgeous and the food and sightseeing are wonderful.
What are some of your favorite items to buy abroad? Wicker in Morocco and embroidery in Eastern Europe.
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Traveling in Indonesia with my father in 1999. We stayed in Ubud and then in Java. It wasn’t just about the beaches or iconic temples. Every morning, we visited local craftsmen who, most of the time, did not speak a word of English. My father made an entire collection of straw placemats and wicker furniture for his boat during the trip. I think the Cabana brand started there!
Contact Indagare to learn more about next spring's Indagare Journeys or to plan a vacation to Milan. Our specialists can book you at the hotel that is right for you, plan great meals and activities and arrange behind-the-scenes tours.
Indagare Journeys: Milan Design Next spring, Martina Mondadori Sartogo will be leading two Indagare Journeys that will celebrate Lorenzo Mongiardino, one of the 20th century’s most revered architects and designers. Martina, who recently released the book The Interiors and Architecture of Renzo Mongiardino: A Painterly Vision, will lead tours of private homes for behind-closed-doors looks at some of the best remaining examples of Mongiardino’s romantic interiors. Highlights will include visits to Leonardo da Vinci’s former residence, dinner in Martina’s home (which was designed by Mongiardino) and a trip to Lake Como. Dates: April 12-16 and 19-23, 2018; contact Indagare to book.
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