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Gilda De Vito

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We love to reinvent the classic pieces by mixing styles, colors and inspirations, but sometimes an ancient romantic vein prevails and leads us to the pure classic style, the sober and elegant authentic French taste …

In these moments our choices colors fall on colors rich in history and meaning like the French Blue, one of the most refined nuances in history. French Blue has been used in the heraldry of the French monarchy since the 12th century, with the golden fleurs-de-lis of the kings always set on a blue heraldic azure background, thus the other name “Royal Blue”.

French blue is a shade of azure, but often mistakenly used for greyish-blue colors. A delicate and sophisticated nuance, perfect to decorate a contemporary style private retreat, a restful bedroom in which shades of grey, precious Louis XVI style handmade carvings and golden accents create an atmosphere of quiet and noble beauty.

When we rummage through our archives, we always discover something new about the history of furniture and the tastes of different eras. This time, thanks to the original sketch of an elegant sideboard produced in the early 1900s, we made a leap in the 20s and rediscovered techniques, materials and workmanship typical of those years.

To reproduce this model faithfully it was necessary to do a great deal of research on materials. In order to get the most out of it, we needed slices of different veins of ebony and maple, European marble and sheets of pure white mother of pearl, materials frequently used in the gay yet sophisticated drawing-rooms of the haute bourgeoisie around the end of the First World War as a symbol of rediscovered affluence and modern elegance.

Behind the decoration of this piece, lies all the manual dexterity of our craftsmen. Slices of makassar-wood with different grain patterns were combined and fitted together by hand to create vertical streaking on the side doors and edges and a herring-bone motif on the central doors, inlaid with dots of purest mother-of-pearl.

The characteristic cigar shape of legs have demanded the skills of a number of different craftsmen: the turner, who taked the unshaped billet and gived it the basic cylindrical shape, the shaper who chiselled out the grooves, and the wood-carver who smoothed and hand-finishes the shapes left by chisel and router.

After more than a month’s work the result was amazing. A supreme example of cabinet-making in the Modern style with interior of maple wood and decorations in makassar and mother of pearl inspired by simple geometric shapes. A model which is a reflection of its times, and in particular of a society returning to life, longing for opulence and concerned with modernity.

Whenever there is a new model to “dress” for the first time, in our style department there is a lot of excitement … especially for the choice of color beacuse with the color you do not mess around! When our designers showed us for the first time the sketch of a new armchair inspired by the 40s, with sober lines, rounded back and base in precious slices of different veins of ebony makassar, a great work of chromatic and stylistic research began. In order to interpret a piece inspired by the most sophisticated decade of the last century, a particular nuance was needed, capable of emphasizing a design with not very elaborate shapes, but very, very chic!

To avoid mistakes we chose an intense and warm coral nuance, not quite pink, neither orange. A precious color used since ancient times and back in fashion in luxury furnishings for its metamorphic particularity that makes it very bold or delicate and feminine depending on the combinations.

And seeing the success of our armchair at the Salone del Mobile, we can say that coral was the right color!

Sage green is a fascinating hue. It’s not grey or green. It’s sage green, a muted gray green color that acts neutral but is way more interesting.  We love it as a new alternative for neutrals because of its versatility: it works excellent with a wide range of decorating styles, accent colors, wood tones and metal finishes. Generally we combine it with French classic lines but recently we used it on more modern pieces inspired by the early xx century and the result was amazing! To warme its cool tones we used gilded carvings and little metal accents in brass.

We love use sage green to furnishing living rooms, because it lends the look a wonderfully warm, welcoming feel.

Despite the specific name “sage,” the hues that are contained within this category are many. Sage greens varies in lightness and saturation, but we think that with the right combination all sage green hues are stylish and stunning. A deeper sage green looks wonderfully rich when combined with furnishings and accents on the darker end of the color spectrum: burnt orange, black, and deep gold. Here’s an example!

 

When a new trend that mixes elements so different from each other arrives, we cannot resist the temptation and start experimenting! This is also the case for the Afrochic style, the new trend of interior design that unites tribal cultures and European traditions, reversing the codes of the traditional ethnic style that from eccentric and excessive becomes sober and elegant. How? Mixing refinement and European craftsmanship to objects, colors and patterns from distant lands, just like we did! In our Afrochic experiment coexist precious hand-carved decorations and extravagant animal prints, African statues and bowls in rough wood and antique gilded finishings, an elegant and refined way to bring into modern settings the authentic and mysterious charm of distant lands.

 

It’s time to say goodbye to Millennial Pink and let a new color reign supreme. We’re talking about Gen Z Yellow, the range of bright, lively and energetic yellow tones that have begun to invade fashion, design and home decor.

We love the mustard yellow hue and we often use it to enliven pieces with very classic lines.

Sometimes we combine this shade with dark colors like blue or black to warm the cool tones of space and create elegant contrasts and unexpected chic atmospheres.

Some time ago, wandering through the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts we came across an eighteenth-century original piece of absolute and timeless beauty. We decided to reinterpret it adapting its size and proportions to life in modern apartments in order to bring to contemporary living all the elegance and costly refinement that lived in the royal dwellings of long ago.

To decorate this piece, we worked with rosewood strips of different vining fitted and joined by hand by our marquetry artists. A craft work that demands immense dexterity and great visualising ability to compose regular geometrical designs to suit the sinuous lines of the piece as a whole.

All this piece’s brass components were craftsmanmade using the sand-casting technique and then dipped in baths of liquid 24-carat gold and oven-cured. The brasses were shaped under the blowtorch to follow the lines of the individual components where they were to be fitted and its were drilled and then mounted by hand onto the various parts of the wooden frame.

After more than a month’s work the result was amazing. A masterwork of craftsmanship and refinement with sinuous curves in Louis XV style, marble top, chiselled fittings of gold-plated brass, frame and drawers enhanced by geometric motifs of rosewood’s marquetry.

Ultra violet is the color that, according to Pantone Color Institute experts, will better interpret the character of this year. It is a “complex and contemplative” color that, like our times, pushes on individualism, spurring people “to imagine their unique mark in the world”.

Ultra violet is a “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” that “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”. It is a bright and luxurious color that we adore because matched with gold, wood and patinated brass creates a perfect balance between the royalty and stateliness of the past and the eccentricity and unconventionality of the present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars -bright, shiny, precious- are an extremely refined decorative element, especially when mixed with the classic style. We used them to give a new light to an old French-style medallion armchair and to decorate the glass top and the central drawer of a console table of the early 20th century.

 

 

Some time ago, in the family archive, we found a scale model prototype of an elegant table dating from 1950. We decided to reinterpret it in a luxurious and modern way using Makassar wood, one of the world’s most rare and prized materials and the abilities of 7 different craftsmen: cabinet-maker, joiner, inlay artist, blacksmith, polisher, lacquer-worker and varnisher.

To create the central body of this piece, our craftsmen have assembled and glued a number of solid wooden blocks to make a cuboid which is then planed into shape.

The top and base of this table have been veneered with strips of Makassar wood showing a variety of veinings, hand-fitted and jointed together to create a highly refined geometrical pattern which plays on the wood’s different colours to create lighter and darker rays like those of a star.

After more than a month’s work the result was amazing. A jewel of cabinet-making that mixes the oval shapes of the 1950s with today’s metallic colours and geometrical motifs emphasized by the natural light and dark veining of Makassar wood.