Skip to main content
Object No. 118, a set of white ceramic bowls, in the New York City home of Kate Berry, chief creative officer of Domino magazine.
Object No. 118, a set of white ceramic bowls, in the New York City home of Kate Berry, chief creative officer of Domino magazine.

Paola Navone’s “Take It or Leave It” Objects, as Seen in Their New Homes

Participants from our Milan Design Week lottery share pictures of the items they won in their residences around the world.
May 12, 2023
5 minute read
  • Share:

Three weeks have passed since our Milan Design Week exhibition “Take It or Leave It,” in collaboration with the Italian architect and designer Paola Navone, during which she gave away hundreds of items she had collected or designed over the years, from Indian metal spoons and indigo textiles to German porcelain and ceramic pitchers from Puglia, through a free lottery. The 600-some lottery participants have since returned to their respective homes—in locales ranging from Stockholm to Singapore, from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong—and along with them so too have their newfound treasures. It turned out to be quite a remarkable concept when viewed in macro terms: Items that were once sourced around the world by Navone, or in certain cases that were designed by her, were then redispersed by their new owners to new destinations around the world.

The project’s mission was to give the objects a new life—as was stated in the final line of the exhibition’s manifesto—and in execution, that’s exactly what happened. One piece now resides in an eclectic Vienna home. Others are nestled in cozy New York City apartments. Another is in the south of France, now living by the sea.

We recently put out a call to all “Take It or Leave It” participants for submissions of photos of their objects in their new homes. Below, a selection of our favorites.

Object No. 509, a turquoise ceramic pitcher, in the Paris home of designer Amandine Gerbe. “I live with my boyfriend. We’re both designers, so we have a special affection for objects,” Gerbe says. “We have a shelf in our home where we display all of the objects we love, including souvenirs, gifts, and objects we made ourselves. We placed the pitcher on it, and now I sometimes use it as a vase or to water the plants.”


Object No. 701, a blue egg pan, on the dining table of Judy Dobias, a communications consultant who lives in London. “My cobalt blue egg pan is not for eggs,” Dobias says. “It sits alongside my Japanese wooden spoons and Seiger teapot from Germany. It puts a smile on my face.”


Object No. 653, a large, cast aluminum metal spoon, on the New York City dining table of Dung Ngo, editor-in-chief of August journal, among other spoons from his vast collection. Asked why he likes the spoon, Ngo says, “Archeologists theorized that the spoon evolved from found natural items, such as a dry leaf of a half coconut shell. This spoon was made with one of the most low-tech methods: sand cast aluminum, and brings us back to the earliest days of tool-making.”


Object No. 525, a pair of porcelain cat figurines, in the home of interior designer Lauren Rottet in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood. “The cats reside on an acre in the heart of Houston under the live oaks in a 1927 home full of contemporary art and my furniture prototypes,” Rottet says. “I placed them on a chinoiserie cabinet that holds other porcelain objects from my collector grandmother, who had a home full of Tiffany lamps. I have this odd vignette where old-fashioned porcelain figurines look down at this oversize (for them) fabric sculpture of a pomegranate (made by my artist daughter) as if it had appeared in the fields in front of them. I added the two porcelain cats to the vignette, and they feel right at home!”


Object No. 524, a papier-mâché Chinese New Year mask, on the bookshelf of Daniela Cerrato, the marketing director at Mondadori Media, who lives in Milan.


Object No. 685, a spiral egg cup, in the Courmayeur, Italy, home of architect Henriet Moira.


Object No. 892, a hand-painted vase, on a bookshelf in the New York City home of Joan MacKeith, the chief marketing and communications officer of the design firm Rockwell Group.


Object No. 402, a Chinese porcelain policewoman figurine, on the bookshelf of Alessandro Giontella, an architecture student living in Vienna.


Object No. 118, a set of white ceramic bowls, used for hors d’oeuvre plating by Kate Berry, chief creative officer of Domino magazine, in her New York City home. Asked how the bowls fit into her life, Berry says, “These bowls are all about creating beauty and love—from Paola sharing her collection, to the cumquats grown by my mother, to the honey I cooked them in from my friend, to the flowers and thyme from my own garden.”


Object No. 789, a metal tea set, on the kitchen shelf of business development manager Edward Ho, who lives in Singapore.


Object No. 167, a metal candle holder, on the dining table of Rosa Bertoli, the design editor of Wallpaper magazine.

Keep Reading

Clockwise from bottom left: Gohar World Egg Chandelier, Mini; Salvatori Ellipse Mortar and Pestle; Sohn Foot Pillow; Theory11 x Eleven Madison Park Limited-Edition Playing Cards; “Not Too Late”; “Philip Glass Piano Etudes”; Molteni & C Porta Volta Chair; Tom Dixon Tank Wine Set; Haws x Gardenheir watering cans.
Nine Timeless Gifts for the 2023 Holiday Season
6 minute read
The 7 Best Books of the Year
6 minute read
Lara Gilmore. (Photo: Paolo Terzi. Courtesy Phaidon)
Lara Gilmore on the Media That Brings Out Her Inner Child
13 minute read
Cover of “To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul” by Tracy K. Smith. (Courtesy Knopf)
A Liberating, Time-Traveling Journey Through Family, History, and Memory
7 minute read
Katy Bowman. (Photo: Mahina Hawley)
Katy Bowman on Why “Movement Nutrition” Matters
14 minute read
Emilia Terragni. (Courtesy Phaidon)
Phaidon’s Emilia Terragni on the Media That Satiates Her Roving Curiosity
11 minute read
Cover of “Open Questions: Thirty Years of Writing About Art” by Helen Molesworth. (Courtesy Phaidon)
With “Open Questions,” Helen Molesworth Opens Up New Ways of Seeing Art
5 minute read
Stefan Sagmeister. (Photo: Victor G. Jeffreys II)
Stefan Sagmeister Finds Optimism in the Long View
24 minute read
William B. Irvine. (Photo: Lyndon French)
How Stoicism Can Cultivate Joy
12 minute read
Spike Lee. (Courtesy Jamel Shabazz)
Spike Lee’s Prolific Career Gets the Spotlight, Naturally, in Brooklyn
5 minute read
Roxane Gay. (Photo: Reginald Cunningham)
Roxane Gay Balances Her Content Intake Between the Real and the Imagined
9 minute read
Cover of “Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. (Courtesy Knopf)
The Gossamer Glow of Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Roman Stories”
7 minute read
Installation view of Edmund de Waal’s solo exhibition “this must be the place” (2023) at Gagosian in New York. (© Edmund de Waal. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian)
5 Exhibitions You Can’t Miss This Fall
9 minute read
Lindsey Bro. (Photo: Laura Austin)
Lindsey Bro on the Cathartic, Humanizing Effect of Bathing Rituals
14 minute read
Dr. Gary Cooper, founder of the re-commerce company Rheaply, speaking at the fair. (Courtesy Emerson Collective)
At New York’s Climate Week, a “Climate Science Fair” Cultivates Optimism and Future-Forward Thinking
7 minute read
David W. Orr. (Photo: John Seyfried)
David W. Orr on the Inextricable Links Between Climate and Democracy
30 minute read
William Hanley. (Photo: Brian W. Ferry. Courtesy Dwell)
William Hanley on Media That Adds a Bit of Whimsy to the Everyday
16 minute read
Aerial view of Tom Lee Park. (Photo: Connor Ryan. Courtesy Memphis River Parks Partnership)
A Dynamic, City-Defining Riverfront Park Grows in Memphis
8 minute read
Christopher John Rogers. (Photo: Robin Kitchin. Courtesy Farrow & Ball)
The Vibrant, Kaleidoscopic Color Theory of Christopher John Rogers
26 minute read
Cover of “The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Essays on Desire and Consumption” by Katy Kelleher. (Courtesy Simon and Schuster)
Desiring Beauty, Even If It Kills Us
8 minute read
Courtesy Eddie Stern
Eddie Stern on the Physiological and Spiritual Power of Pranayama
29 minute read
vanessa german. (Photo: AJ Mitchell Photography. Courtesy Kasmin, New York)
vanessa german on Art as a Way of Life and Love as a “Human Technology”
43 minute read
Courtesy Daphne Javitch
The Go-To Routines and Rituals of Daphne Javitch
11 minute read
Beverly Nguyen. (Photo: Sean Davidson)
Beverly Nguyen’s Highly Tactile Taste in Media
19 minute read
Cover of “Look: How to Pay Attention in a Distracted World” by Christian Madsbjerg. (Courtesy Riverhead Books)
In “Look,” Christian Madsbjerg Celebrates the Slow, Patient Act of Observation
8 minute read
Courtesy Sara Auster
Sara Auster on Fine-Tuning Your Life Through Sound Therapy
19 minute read
Installation view of the Herzog & de Meuron exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (14 July – 15 October 2023). Photo © Royal Academy of Arts, London / David Parry. © Herzog & de Meuron
A Herzog & de Meuron Exhibition Emphasizes Architecture as Collective, Not Egocentric
5 minute read
Priya Khanchandani. (Photo: Prarthna Singh)
Priya Khanchandani on the Media That Inspires Her Curatorial Work
10 minute read
Vivian Rosenthal. (Courtesy Frequency Breathwork)
Vivian Rosenthal on the Profound Power of Holotropic Breathwork
12 minute read
Pedro Gadanho. (Courtesy Actar Publishers)
Pedro Gadanho on How Architecture Must Adapt to Our Ecological Emergency
24 minute read
Courtesy Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In “Ordinary Notes,” Christina Sharpe Weaves a Profound Portrait of Black Life
7 minute read
David Adjaye (Photo: Anoush Abrar. Courtesy Adjaye Associates)
The Alchemy of David Adjaye’s Architecture
32 minute read
(Courtesy Millana Snow)
Millana Snow’s New Well-Being Plan
12 minute read
Installation view of “Thaddeus Mosley: Forest” at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. (Photo: Kevin Todora. Courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center)
5 Exhibitions You Must See This Summer
8 minute read
Jaé Joseph.
Jaé Joseph on Broadening Notions of Luxury and Well-Being
11 minute read
Lina Ghotmeh. (Photo: Harry Richards. Courtesy Serpentine Galleries)
The Poetic, Humanistic Architecture of Lina Ghotmeh
29 minute read
Cover of “Worlds Without End” (2023) by Chris Impey. (Courtesy MIT Press)
Chris Impey on the New Space Race and Exoplanet Habitation
17 minute read
Norman Teague. (Photo: Ross Floyd. Courtesy Norman Teague Studios)
Norman Teague on How He Keeps His Finger on the Pulse
16 minute read
View of Thomas J Price’s “Beyond Measure” exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown Los Angeles gallery. (Photo: Keith Lubow. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth)
With His Monumental Bronze Sculptures, Thomas J Price Honors the Everyday Features of Black Life
6 minute read
The cover of “Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility” (2023). (Courtesy Haymarket Books)
In “Not Too Late,” a Vital, Kaleidoscopic View on the Climate Crisis
6 minute read