In a historic early 20th century building, between the greenery of the Tiber’s east bank and the Parioli hills in Rome’s elegant Flaminio District, stands the home of Alfonso Tagliaferri—a diplomat slash professional nomad. His 1,400-square-foot apartment has become the ideal home in which works of art, contemporary design elements, and unique artisan pieces interact with each other. To pull off this impressive balancing act, Alfonso hired the Rome-based emerging architecture and design studio, 02A.

“We tried to play with the concept of time,” says Marco Rulli, who co-founded the studio with Thomas Grossi. “We didn’t want a ‘finished’ house; we wanted to give space to the incomplete, to the imperfections that make the space intriguing.”

Located a few steps away from the MAXXI (the National Museum of Contemporary Art and Architecture) and Italy’s National Gallery of Modern Art, the apartment becomes a journey of discovery, filled with artistic mementoes and handcrafted objects from South Africa, the Philippines, and other faraway countries. This is a space that reflects its new purpose: “No longer the home of a middle-class family, it is now a diplomat’s residence, with completely different rhythms and needs,” Marco explains.

The homeowner, Alfonso Tagliaferri.

Amid a variety of works of art, engraved stone slabs on the walls, natural materials, and bold colors, the bedroom becomes the star of the restoration project. The spacious room was conceived as a suite, with only an artful smoky-mirror room divider separating the bedroom from its ensuite bathroom.

Light is the other undisputed protagonist of the renovation, and as it floods through the main entrance and flows into the living area, a stunning natural effect emerges. Barrel vaulted ceilings create a distinct energy in the lounge and kitchen, with the latter room painted in Tuscan Red by Little Greene, furthering the sense of drama. Solid oak parquet flooring forms the backdrop to the eclectic living room where leather Bretagne sofas by Poltrona Frau and 1940s Art Deco armchairs from France play off of an antique Venetian lantern and the wide range of artwork.