Monday, May 13, 2019

May Marge Carson Sale!

For my local Bay Area clients, I am happy to announce the Fiorito Interior Design May Marge Carson Furniture Sale*!

For the month of May, you can save an extra 15% off of my already low, to-the-trade discounted pricing! Now is the time to save on the best of exquisite furniture including chairs, sofas, sectionals, beds, dining sets, stools, consoles, displays cabinets, desks, and tables of all kinds. Save 47% off retail prices from one of the world's largest and oldest privately-owned fine furniture companies.

This sale is for a limited time only!
Orders must be placed before 5PM, Friday May 31st, 2019.

Go to Marge Carson to make your furniture choices and either email or phone me (visit my website for contact information) to order and take advantage of this exceptional savings!

Happy designing!

*Additional sale discounts do not apply to Carson, Proximity and other already specially priced furniture collections.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The UP5 and 6 Chair Becomes A Work of Art

Italian designer Gaetano Pesce created a special gigantic version of his iconic UP5 and 6 Chair, also known as the "Donna" Chair (previously here) for this month's Milan Design Week.

Gaetano Pesce originally created his chair for B&B Italia (then known as C&B Italia) in 1969 out of polyurethane foam and a jersey stretch fabric. Primarily an architect, Pesce is also an industrial designer working on creating chairs with organic forms. His UP5 and 6 Chair--5 is the chair and 6 is the attached ottoman--is also known as the "La Mama Chair" or the "Donna Chair" (donna being the Italian word for woman) because the form is unmistakably female. The chair is still in production through B&B Italia who describe the chair this way:

"The chair is a metaphor of a large comfortable womb and recalls ancient statues of fertility goddesses. However, it has something extra: a spherical ottoman tied to the armchair. Therefore, the image of comfort and convenience is combined with a more figurative image of a woman with a ball and chain on her foot. Gaetano Pesce explains the project as follows: 'At that time, I was telling a personal story about my concept of women: I believe that women have always been unwilling prisoners of themselves. This is why I decided to give this armchair the shape of a woman with a ball and chain, a traditional image of a prisoner.'"

Perhaps what Pesce more accurately means is that women, by being themselves, have always been prisoners of men.

So to mark the 50th anniversary of the chair, and to highlight the ongoing struggles that women around the world face on a daily basis, Pesce revisited his Donna Chair, creating a 26-foot high version pierced with arrows to bring attention to violence against women. Titled "Maestà Soffrente," or "Suffering Majesty," the piece was shown from April 7 to 14, 2019 in the Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Milan Cathedral.

Photos of "Maestà Soffrente" by Matteo Piazza

Happy designing!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Spring Has Sprung 2019

Happy Easter and happy spring renewal to all!

Easter developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre, derived from the Anglo-Saxon Pagan month of Eostur-monath (which roughly corresponds to our month of April). This month was named after the goddess Ēostre or Ostara who symbolized the dawn, spring, renewal, and rebirth of the earth after the long winter.

Now we celebrate by decorating eggs, a symbol of birth and fertility and new growth, and with chocolate rabbits, since bunnies are also a symbol of spring.

When I was a young boy, I always loved Easter time because my grandmother displayed vases of daffodils and lilies, and panoramic sugar eggs around the house. And my aunt hollowed out eggs, cut a window in the side of the shell, and painstakingly assembled pastoral scenes inside using miniature trees and flowers, and tiny ceramic rabbits to make literal panoramic eggs. But the best part was the Easter Bunny who came to deliver beautifully dyed and decorated eggs in a basket full of chocolate and treats; my mom and dad would guide me through the house with clues as to where the Easter Bunny hid my basket (thanks Mom and Dad--I miss you)!

If you're planning a celebration of the season, let the following tablescape images of flowers, eggs, and spring colors inspire you.

Happy designing!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Know Your Chairs: The Balloon Back Chair

In our continuing series Know Your Chairs, we are taking a step back in time to examine a type of chair popular in the Victorian era.

The Balloon Back Chair first appeared around 1830 - 1835 and evolved from the rectilinear yoke back chair of the time. In time, the top rail became curved and integrated into the side stiles. Characterized by a rounded back that is nipped at the waist, the chair eventually featured cabriole legs in a nod to Louis XV and encouraged by the Great Exhibition of 1851 at which Rococo-detailed furniture featured prominently.

The chair back indeed looks like a hot air balloon which was in vogue during this period. It also features a stretcher or rail at the narrow, nipped part of the back. And the finishing touch was the addition of curved lines and swooping elements to the seat and seat deck.

Happy designing!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Modern Fans By Modern Forms

Clients with a modern design aesthetic often want to remove an existing fan from a room because it is unattractive...they are willing to sacrifice a way to cool the air to be rid of something ugly. But they are usually surprised when I tell them they can have a ceiling fan that will cool them and look good at the same time.

Fan manufacturers have finally caught on that people do not want a paddle fan that looks like it came from the Wild West, and have begun making fans that are interesting, sculptural, and contemporary.

Modern Forms makes down-rod and ceiling hugging fans that are sleek and urbane. My favorite is the Vortex fan that looks as though it is a faceted gem...or made from stealth technology. The "cuts" on the body and blades are unexpected and fascinating.

I also like the Morpheus for its uncommon double blade shape.

The Aviator in a natural wood is both modern and organic.

And the Axis comes in a ceiling hugging version which, in white on a white ceiling plane, will slip out of view.

I have literally thousands of products at my fingertips--if you are craving a modern space but don't how to go about it, give me a call!
Happy designing!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Famous Homes: Villa Necchi Campiglio

If you saw director Luca Guadagnino's 2009 film "Io Sono Amore" ("I Am Love") starring Tilda Swinton (Guadagnino also directed the phenomenal "Call Me By Your Name" in 2017), you have seen our next home in our continuing Famous Homes series (previously here).

The Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan was designed by Piero Portaluppi and built between 1932 and 1935 for sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi (heiresses to a sewing machine empire), and Gigina’s husband, Angelo Campiglio. The design of the house represented the world's expanding interest in Modernism. Keep in mind that the Modernist Bauhaus school closed in 1933 because of Nazi opposition, but on the other side of the coin, the Villa Necchi Campiglio was designed and built during the height of Italy's rising Fascism which of course greatly influenced architecture. The dedication to clean lines and severity led to unadorned monuments, like the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana on the outskirts of Rome, and the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. In fact, in 1943, the Villa became a headquarters for the Fascist Republican Party, while the family repaired to the countryside.

After the war, the family decided to refurbish the house and employed Tomaso Buzzi to bring in furniture and furnishings that reflected a resurgent interest in antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, this developed a schism in the spirit of the house. One of my design mottoes, seen to the right, is "Contrast brings interest," but contrast used judiciously and not haphazard. The Villa Necchi Campiglio does not feel like fertile ground for the kind of overwrought lighting fixtures and large, ornate fireplace surrounds that still burden the house. But one can still see the bones of the house in the marvelous steel doors, the geometric panels on the staircase, and the restrained use of inlaid rosewood. And a few pieces of original furniture by modernist designer Guglielmo Ulrich are peppered about.

Villa Necchi Campiglio has been open to the public as a museum since 2008. Gigina, who lived longer than her sister and husband and never had any children, died in 2001 at age 99 and bequeathed the house to Italy’s national trust for restoring and preserving historical buildings. The house is open for tours...if you are going to be in Milan, click here for information about the house and how to visit it!

And as I mentioned above, the film "I Am Love" was set at the Villa.

Happy designing!