Amidst all the excitement of Salone del Mobile, we have one very exciting piece of news: The Invisible Collection partners with Martina Mondadori, Founder and Editor in Chief of Cabana, to launch a lovely collection of lighting inspired by Renzo Mongiardino. The collection of three distinct designs is a tribute to the late 20th-century Italian architect who designed Martina Mondadori’s childhood home in Milan. Known for his exquisite, eclectic taste, Mongiardino was also an accomplished set designer, and knew how to inject drama and sophisticated theatricality into the homes of his esteemed clients.
Made from brass and metal, the three-piece offering underscores balance and functionality. Alongside the sleek floor lamp Cilindro, Giacomo and Renzo are arguably two of Mongiardino’s most iconic designs, first displayed at the famous Giacomo Restaurant in Milan. The collection, unveiled during Salone del Mobile, is made to order in Italy; and that’s where we caught up with Martina… it was Gemütlich!
What drew you to interior architecture and design and what do you like the most about it?
Good design influences every part of our lives, how we feel, how we behave, how we entertain, how we emotionally connect with the people we live with, and the spaces we live in. The relationship we have with our rooms and homes has always been important to me, as has helping others to achieve that feeling of comfort, contentment and conviviality in their homes.
Can you describe your work and style in a few words?
I like the German word, ‘gemütlich’, which has no direct translation in English but, applied to interiors, essentially means a space that creates a feeling of warmth and contentment.
The piece of furniture you most like to design?
The whole world of objects fascinates and excites me – from textiles and ceramics, to furniture and lighting. When it comes to design, my only real criteria for expressing my creativity is having the freedom to design objects for life – items that will be appreciated for both their aesthetic beauty and function. We have collaborated with some wonderful designers at Casa Cabana to create furniture recently. I’d love to expand this to design more furniture from scratch, perhaps a kitchen table, the beating heart of most homes.
The most useful piece of design-related advice you’ve received and would like to pass on?
Lighting is everything, but my approach is a little unusual compared to most designers, who plan the electrical layout at the beginning of a project. For me, I grew up understanding color and texture as a consequence of natural light – perhaps learned from Renzo Mongiardino. I was advised not to rush the lighting, so, I like to see where and how the light falls in a room, and this tends to inform my lighting decisions. I then use a lot of table lamps to create a cozy atmosphere, and highlight certain favorite objects or corners.
What do you like about The Invisible Collection?
The choice is extremely selected, and each object is able to evoke a world of its own … there is great variety but at the same time an underlying consistency derived from a solid taste.
Which piece of furniture (your work not included), available on The Invisible Collection, do you like the most?
The Osanna Visconti candles holders, in every shape.