Brands We Love
The Heritage of Porada - Porada Pride
Sunday, 10 February 2019
“Wood is universally beautiful to man. It is the most humanly intimate of all materials.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Porada is the epitome of contemporary wooden furniture and last year it celebrated its 70th Anniversary. Its trademark is that “our products do all the talking” – solid wood accessories that over time have found new expressions and new combinations, with different materials, new functional purposes, coupled with upholstered elements giving them a distinguished look with meticulous craftsmanship.
The Porada story began in the Brianza district of Italy in 1948, with a talented furniture maker – Luigi Allievi, and a piece of wood. With this, he made a beautiful, handcrafted chair from his small artisan workshop. Luigi continued to make chairs until he had an established chair-making business. And in 1968, helped by his four sons, he expanded the production of chairs into other branches of home furnishings and thus the company Porada was born. Combining technological processes with the artisan tradition of the area, working with architects Alberio & Cerbaro, then with Martino Perego.
As pictured above: Porada began in 1948 with talented furniture maker Luigi Allievi taking the reins and The Infinity Table is a prime example of Porada's talented craftsmanship with wood
Porada’s collection is wide and varied, made up of a multitude of occasional furniture developed in cooperation with designers such as Tarcisio Colzani, Patrick Joiun, Carlo Ballabio, Marconato e Zappa, Opera Design, Studio Buratti, David Dolcini, Stefano Bigi, Gino Carollo and Emmanuel Gallina, among others.
The main strength of Porada has nothing to do with the quality of the materials or cutting-edge machinery. It’s the human factor. They’re people who for years have become part of the Porada family, who treat products as they would do with something of their own, putting all their care and passion into their daily work.
As well as showrooms in Cabiette and London, in 2018, Porada opened its new showroom in Milan. With two sections: one showing hotel rooms, halls, dining and breakfast areas. And the other ‘house’ section: showing the ‘cult’ pieces from past collections.
To celebrate this important anniversary, Porada developed a room fragrance with packaging incorporating lines and colours that fully reflect the company's philosophy. It is a perfume designed by perfumery experts Paolo Fadelli and Arturetto Landi, specifically to make the Porada style differently perceived – discreet, but always current and enveloping.
So, what makes Porada so special?
Is it the Garbo chair with its characteristic classic armrest, or the sinuous and feminine Anxie with its unmistakable contoured and tapered legs? Could it be the Ubiqua bookcase system and TV stand with metal uprights – a cornerstone of current Porada style, but linked to the Fifties vintage style. Perhaps it’s the Infinity table, so elegant, with its crystal top and sculptural wooden base?
The answer is simple – it is all of these and more, as “Everything’s born from the love of the wood.” Long may it continue.
The Heritage of Bontempi - Making the Most of Metal and The Heritage of Calligaris - The Italian Dream
The Heritage of Cattelan Italia
Friday, 4 January 2019
"Home is the symbol of precious things,” Giorgio Cattelan
Giorgio Cattelan, was the youngest of a family of seven children, the son of a well-known carpenter of Thiene, a small town in the province of Vicenza. Giorgio loved the aroma of wood in his father’s workshop and cultivated the art of creating furniture – a tradition that continues to this day with five of the seven brothers.
Cattelan Italia was founded in 1979 from an idea by Giorgio and Silvia Cattelan, who started their marble-based furniture company, making products such as dining and coffee tables for the export market.
In 1989, to meet the growing market demand, the collection expanded with the addition of stools, chaise longues, sideboards, TV units, bookcases, mirrors and lamps. Using a variety of contrasting materials, from wood to glass and leather to metal, each stunning product is created with taste, style and comfort in mind.
As pictured above: The Diapason Table by Cattelan Italia was designed in 1980 and remains one of its bestsellers
The minimal Diapason table, designed by Studio Diapason in 1980 and Italian creative Emanuele Zanere’s iconic Valentino table are two of the noteworthy products from the company that remain bestsellers.
Paolo Cattelan, together with his brother Lorenzo entered into the family business in 1995, assisting their father in the management of different activities. Paolo says, “Our goal was to immediately grow with quality, both through the value of products, and promoting a ‘Made in Italy’ aesthetic that is an absolute icon of elegance and know-how. These were decisive years, not only from the commercial point of view, but also for the unfaltering values that our family business model has always wanted to preserve.”
Lorenzo followed the brand image, drawing on its strong creative spirit. In 2002 he moved to Tuscany, in the Chianti DOCG region, to manage a winery with premium wine and a farmhouse with a 100-year-old farm.
With its acquisition in January 2011 of ARKETIPO, the world-renowned Florentine company, known for its prestigious refinement of its products, Cattelan Italy entered the world of upholstery design, driven by Lorenzo.
Paolo Cattelan CEO, is now a key figure in the evolution of trade and production of the Company, having a thorough knowledge of the market. He travels most of the year, both to sustain relationships with top clients, and to experience new countries in economic expansion. He is the protagonist in making stylistic choices, design and distribution.
Today, Cattelan Italia is present in 150 countries around the world, with over 350 stores, the Company continues to open new markets and consolidate strategic ones. Cattelan Italia has expanded its presence in major international fairs, such as Milan, Cologne, Paris, Valencia, Moscow, Kortrijk and more.
Cattelan’s versatility and expertise in developing and combining different materials into its designs has allowed the business to stay ahead of the luxury furniture sector’s evolution.
“Keramik has been a hot, ongoing trend,” says Cattelan. In 2015, the company developed a new technique that allows for ceramic surfaces that look like marble to come with “harder, heatproof, waterproof, scratchproof features.” As a result, the “demand for marble tops has come back to life.”
The design of the furniture from Cattelan Italia stands out because of the amount of time and attention paid to the smallest of detail. Every single curve or twist you see on a Cattelan Italia product has been carefully thought through. Besides their beautiful designs, Cattelan Italia is famous for its innovative use of unorthodox materials in the production of pieces. The subtle choice of materials for specific pieces makes them stand out.
While most designers prefer to use hand-drawn sketches in their work, Cattelan Italia has proven that using technology to design and render pieces gives them an edge on competitors. They are able to create stunning designs and place them in a fully rendered mock-up room so you can see how the finished piece will look in any space
Catellan Italia continues to impress more than 40 years after their founding. Many of its designs can be found at Lime Modern Living.
The Heritage of Bontempi - Making the Most of Metal and The Heritage of Calligaris - The Italian Dream
The Heritage of Bontempi – Making the Most of Metal
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
“Good enough is never good enough if your target is pursuing excellence” Samuel Johnson
The Bontempi business started in 1963 with a production capacity of less than 20,000 packages and 200 accounts. After gaining experience and expertise in metal handcrafting techniques, Alessandro and Giancarlo Bontempi established Mobilfer – a manufacturer of metal structures and equipment for warehousing. This sparked the beginning of their entrepreneurial career. Owing to their obsessive pursuit of quality and daily passion for their work, they employed a company of people determined to turn dreams into products. And in 1980, the Bontempi Casa brand was born, and a new collection of tables, chairs, stools and coffee tables were launched.
As pictured above from left to right: The Bontempi business began in 1963 and In 1987 Bontempi received an Oscar of Design Compasso d’oro in 1987, for its chair – Delfina
It was in 1985, with the continuous improvement of quality standards for products and manufacturing processes, that Bontempi Casa was able to establish a plant for galvanic treatment, in order to provide its clients with a special lifetime guarantee on chromed and gold-plated iron beds.
They received an Oscar of Design Compasso d’oro in 1987, for its Dining Chair – Delfina. The Jury of XIV edition awarded the Oscar: for the wise use of different technologies in a harmonious summary, also fit for purpose both structurally and ergonomically. In the continuing years, a further increase of production facilities was carried out, and manufacturing techniques improved, enabling the production of quality furniture on an industrial scale.
1989 saw their passion for design continuing, using the latest cutting-edge technologies and ergonomic solutions. Throughout the following decade, Bontempi developed internationally and in 2002 they launched their new collection of Design Beds, thoroughly researched for design and comfort.
It was in 2004 that Bontempi wanted to promote a young design and meet the modern furnishing needs. So, they introduced the new collection Ingenia Casa – using the best processes, offering a brand of wide-ranging quality products with good value for money.
Encouraged by the excellent results of the beds’ collection, in 2004 they focused on perfecting technologies and manufacturing procedures, introducing Bontempi Sofa – a range consisting of high-quality products, with advanced technological and aesthetic standards.
In the subsequent years, the second generation took charge of managing the company and today the sons are following in the footsteps of their parents in developing the business. The sons’ passion is equally as strong, and they are forward-looking, open to new ideas and research and always committed to achieving excellence. Their goal is to preserve Bontempi’s family business identity for the future.
Bontempi Casa has always been committed to the safeguard of natural resources. All the Bontempi Casa production is conceived and manufactured with extreme care, regarding the eco-sustainability of materials used.
Manufacturing processes and finishes are carried out, avoiding treatments with harmful substance emissions that can be noxious to human beings and the environment. Bontempi Casa uses non-polluting, solvent-free and plastic-free paints, recyclable glass, wood selected in forests managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.
Thanks to their 50 years of experience, Bontempi’s passion is to turn raw materials into bespoke design pieces. They thrive on enthusiasm, managing their work with a positive attitude and promoting innovation at every point. Every single day in their factories, they work on new techniques, new design concepts, new products to develop the best solutions for any kind of environment.
The Bontempi Casa dream is to furnish spaces where you can experience the unforgettable daily emotions and looking back through their history, they have certainly achieved it.
The Heritage of Calligaris - The Italian Dream and Bonaldo: Happy Days
The Heritage of Calligaris – The Italian Dream
Sunday, 4 November 2018
“Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there!” Mehmet Murat ildan
There was once a man named Antonio Calligaris, who in 1923, had a small artisan workshop in Manzano, Italy. This man created a chair – the Marocca chair, which features a wooden frame and caned seat. It was this simple chair that started the Calligaris business. Antonio employed men to cut and assemble the wooden parts, while the women would work on caning the chairs, in customers’ homes.
Throughout the following decades, the chairs went into production. Antonio used wood from the surrounding mountains and straw from the Friulan lagoon. The apprentices would dye the cane with natural pigments and because machines were few, the women would often finish the chairs manually.
As pictured above from left to right: The Calligaris stores are located in strategic, highly trafficked areas of big cities and traditional handmade methods were practised when the company started in 1923
It was in the 1950s, that Antonio’s son, Romeo, inherited his father’s business. In the 1960s, it was passed on to the third Calligaris generation – to Alessandro and Walter, who put their faith in an automatic caning machine that could cane a seat in one minute and twenty seconds, compared to the two hours it took by hand. They also began using synthetic fibres that had similarities to straw.
In subsequent years, production capacity continued to grow and the business gradually transformed into a well-structured industrial company – leader in a geographical area, known worldwide as ‘the chair district’. The brothers created their first catalogue and started exporting abroad. From then on, Calligaris used dealers located across Italy and Europe, to distribute its products to the customer.
Alessandro Calligaris took over as President of the company in 1986. Calligaris expanded its range with chairs, tables, furniture, beds, sofas, furnishing and decorative accessories. Wood was no longer the only material they were using. Innovation meant that the company now began to work in metal, plastic, leather and glass.
In 1998, Calligaris opened its first American subsidiary in High Point, North Carolina, and in 2008 its first flagship store in Milan was born, which was followed in 2012 by a second one in Paris, becoming a truly international company.
For its 90th anniversary, Calligaris began exploring and reworking the trends of contemporary living and gave itself a new website, a new system of communication to end users and a retail network made up of 400 partners around the world, including over 70 mono-brand stores.
It was in 2014 that Calligaris became even more Italian with foreign investors buying in a season that highlighted the Italian brands of fashion, design and luxury. This marked a re-launch with a new phase of expansion, consistent with the history of a company that, since its founding in 1923, believed in the future and in Italy.
Today, with its three Flagship Stores, Calligaris celebrates its 95th anniversary in true global style, and 2018 has been rich in news with many exciting projects presented during the year.
With a catalogue of more than 800 products sold in 100 countries around the world, Calligaris is a modern enterprise with outstanding teamwork by expert designers, architects, trendsetters, artisans and specialised employees, that enables them to transform the most interesting and fruitful ideas into furniture and accessories. A harmony between technique and aesthetics, reason and emotion. A mix of contemporary design and functionality. That's why today Calligaris has become an international brand in terms of quality, creativity and technicality. It offers a wide range of functional furniture with an incomparable style, satisfying each taste and mingling with other forms, colours and materials with infinite possibilities. Elegant spaces, modern, beautiful products made to be functional, ergonomic and designed to simplify everyday life.
And to think, it all started with a basic chair.
Calligaris Sofas and Calligaris CODE: The World at Your Feet