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What inspires the Italians to pay so much attention to furniture design?

Date Added: March 21, 2012 09:48:22 AM

What inspires and influences the Italians to produce the most stylish furniture in the world? Looking back through history to the late 15th century, the Renaissance period brought major influences from around the world, including Japanese furniture designers. Ancient Roman and Greek art designs began to show up in furniture designers' work. Yet, the Renaissance soon made way for more contemporary furniture designs influenced by local culture.

Today the Italians still lead the world, with brands like Calligaris, Porada and Cattelan Italia. But how did it all begin?

Shortly after the Renaissance, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church grew so much that modern architects brought a new look to modern furniture style centred around the influence of the Church. The Catholic Church led a revitalisation and redesign of Rome that spread a Baroque influence throughout Italy and further into Europe during the 17th century.

As new forms of woodworking flourished in Rome, cabinets, bookshelves and other modern furniture styles were embellished with Baroque accents. Famous Italian furniture makers created gilded frames, Italian chests, Florentine consoles and cabinets as well as lion commodes all with creative and extensive carvings to create a majestic and royal design.

While these were large, dominating pieces, the Baroque period turned to what is known as the Empire and Neo classicism style where shapes and forms began to dominate the work of famous designers. Contemporary furniture style were skilled in their design technique that had been passed down. In the 19th Century, Italian furniture designers returned to their Renaissance roots with Gothic influences. Oriental, in particular, Japanese interior design began to influence Italian design. Italy is known worldwide as a premier hub for fashion, design and creativity.

Gio Ponti is one of the most famous Italian furniture designers of the modern world. While he was primarily an architect, Ponti brought great influence to modern furniture styles. Ponti was best known for his chairs, in particular the Distex armchair, his "Due Foglie" sofa, glass bottles and unique lamps as well as ceramic accessories and a line of home furniture. His Superleggera (SuperLight) chair was also another well-known design created by this furniture designer.

Ponti, however, is only one of many Italian furniture designers that have influenced today’s furniture designers. A strong focus on detail, quality and design bring strength to Italian furniture. Italian furniture, with its Baroque accents, is still popular with Classic, Tuscan, Renaissance and modern contemporary architects the most popular today.