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Hidden Rooms: A Showroom Becomes A Luxurious Funhouse

Hidden Rooms is a luxurious and unforgettable interior design project that’s currently nominated for one of the Frame Awards. The Frame Awards celebrate the “crème de la crème” of interiors. Divided into four categories – Spatial Awards, Executional Awards, Societal Awards and Honorary Awards – the Frame Awards is the first and only award show in interior design to have all bases covered.

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The Spatial Awards, in particular, are dedicated to honouring the best interiors curated during yesteryear. The Spatial Awards approach retail, hospitality, work, institutions, residences and shows. Within the retail category, you’ll find the sub-categories single-brand store of the year, multi-brand store of the year, pop-up store of the year and window display of the year, all evaluated on the grounds of function, innovation and creativity.

The single-brand store of the year award, in its turn, gives recognition to the best interior design among retail stores representing only one brand, such as flagships, brand stores, hair salons, nail studios, bakeries, etc.

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(Credit: Matteo Piazza)

Among the nominees for the single-brand store of the year, as you might have guessed, you’ll find the astonishing project by Elisa Ossino for Salvatori titled “Hidden Rooms“. This retail project, concluded in 2019 is, as of this moment, the top-runner for this award according to the public’s votes – and it’s no wonder why.

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Elisa Ossino, the architect and designer behind the staggering Hidden Rooms, was tasked with the total reimagining of the Salvatori flagship store in Milan with the goal of driving foot traffic to the showroom during the 2019 Milan Design Fair. This task was especially challenging due to the fact that the showroom is only accessible through a narrow staircase and long queues were to be expected due to the registration process – Elisa Ossino had to find a way to tempt visitors to stay instead of deciding to walk away.

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The Infinity Room: This 5 square metre room packs a punch within its approached four walls. (Credit: Matteo Piazza)

In order to get a clean canvas to work with, Elissa Ossino removed all existing internal structures and rearranged the 400 square metre space, creating a series of hidden rooms. These rooms result in a showroom that’s an almost dreamlike immersive experience that begins as soon as you step through the door. Hidden Rooms takes its visitors on a fantastic journey through “chambers of optical illusions“, taking advantage of the expressive potential of natural stone.

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(Credit: Matteo Piazza)

“I think [hidden rooms] surprises many people. We played a lot with mirrors and reflections, which people really enjoy, especially on Instagram, though it was quite a technical challenge to align everything perfectly.”

– Elissa Ossino

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The new striking ground-floor entrance. (Credit: Matteo Piazza)

The Salvatori flagship store went from being just a showroom to being an engaging visual experience that manages to have a striking effect on guests while highlighting the displayed products. As for the ground floor entrance, it became an aesthetic amuse-bouche that makes visitors crave seeing what’s waiting for them upstairs.

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(Credit: Matteo Piazza)

As visitors visit the first floor of the showroom, they’re met by a stunning presentation that doesn’t leave visitors any chance of not falling head over heels for the products presented – and it also makes them quite eager to share the experience on social media, which is was an intended plus.

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(Credit: Matteo Piazza)

All in all, with Hidden Rooms, Elisa Ossino created a strong contender for the title of “masterpiece” when it comes to interior design, combining undeniable beauty with innovation and luxury.


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