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Inside the Art-Filled Apartment of Fendi's No. 1 Empress

Photos by Oberto Gili/Architectural Digest

This month's Architectural Digest peeks behind the heavy doors of Carla Fendi's palace apartment in Rome. The Fendi president's home, one of a few comely fashion residences published this month in shelter books, is an abrupt departure from the building's exaggerated Baroque feel, with airy, gallery-like rooms punctuated by some incredibly fabulous 20th-century treasures. Standouts include a bar originally made for French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, a French Art Deco bed, and a 1942 still life by painter Giorgio Morandi. Oh, and let's not forget the Matisse drawing and—a couple of inches away and many philosophical worlds apart—a funky 1968 conceptual piece by Italian modern artist Enrico Castellani, plus a collage by abstract artist Alberto Burri.

It's a collection pieced together atop a fresh, light, white-washed space, an aesthetic that's far from the opulent and dark—or "Gloomy!" as Fendi says—style of the building, which has housed Roman nobility since the 16th century. The diverse cultivation is conceived and threaded together simply by the whims of what Arch Digest calls Fendi's "free-sprited eclecticism." "As soon as something extraordinary—be it a painting, a work of ceramic, or glass—catches my eye," she says, "there is no escape: The object must be mine."

· Carla Fendi's Eclectic Roman Apartment [Architectural Digest]
· Behold Fashion's Loveliest Homes, as Seen in Shelter Books [Curbed National]
· All The Printed Page coverage [Curbed National]