Furniture and interior design hasn´t always been owned by France but also Italian Furniture and interior designers in history have played remarkable role throw historical development of design. While history would suggest that the furniture and decorative arts worlds have been completely owned by France from the Louises of the 17th and 18th centuries to the Art Nouveau and Art Deco of the 1910s-30s, the late 20th century decades brought an exciting newcomer to the design realm: Italy. The contribution of contemporary Italian designers and furniture brands has left an indelible mark and has established the country as a major exporter of modern-day classics.
Consider the Castiglioni brothers, Vico Magistretti, Ettore Sottsass, Gio Ponti, Gae Aulenti, Marco Zanuso, Fornasetti, Harry Bertoia, Joe Colombo, Carlo Scarpa and Gabriella Crespi – all names which have become ingrained in the design world’s vocabulary for their nonchalant Modernist style. These lodestars of Italian design were proof of the country’s creative vision in the second half of the 20th century and, these days, the same fervor for innovative interior design solutions remains.
Paola explains, “To this day, Italian design companies have been able to maintain their status and their experimental verve and, in a time short of great indigenous designers, are attracting the best talents from all over the world. They keep the flag of Italian Design flying sky high.”
These Italian furniture brands represent 10 of the best of those design-minded flag bearers
Known for: Contemporary finishes and informed, slightly dramatic silhouettes
The modern offshoot of Angelo Cappenlini, purveyor of French-inspired furniture (think Louis and Regency styles), Opera Contemporary enjoys all the history of its predecessor’s Brianza heritage, which extends to the year 1880, but with a renewed aesthetic for the modern age.
Its collection exchanges intricate rococo lines for clean, angular ones and rich damasks for luxurious plain velvets – interpreting historical design in a unique way. A button-back sofa, for example, features a dramatic undulating back and a roll-back bed is updated with sabot-ended tapered legs and a simple split quilted headboard. Each design harks back to a time of tradition but with the modern luxuries of exotic high-gloss veneers, modern engineering and simple metal trims.