Think Italian furniture, and a few things come to mind: classic style, durability, elegant design and flawless quality, for instance.
An Italian table, or a chair or bed, all made in Italy, have an undeniable charm: be it a traditional, formal piece created in pine wood, or a über-modern piece in reflective stainless steel, Italian furniture draws in your eye and does not let go.
So what is it that makes an ornate Italian glass cabinet, or a minimalistic kitchen table so irresistible?
Is it functionality? Yes, there is that.
A piece of Italian furniture, like a sleek wall-mounted bookcase, or a meticulously carved side table works to its optimum, is convenient to use, and will serve its ultimate functional purpose to the hilt. But the furniture from a lot of other countries does that equally well.
Is it durability? That, too.
Italians like the idea of building and buying things to last. They have no patience with change, unless it is gadgets or sometimes, clothing. They make friends to last, they like living in the same house or town or city, and they design and make their furniture to be passed down the generations.
But durability is not the only answer.
You may have guessed it: the reason a piece of Italian furniture makes you sit up and take notice is that it has a peculiar trait: personality. Yes, you read that right, Italian furniture distinguishes itself due to its personality.
It could be a unique twist or quirk, a curve that beckons or a straight line that fixes the eye, it could be a marvelous interpretation of the raw material, or a device of artisanship. One thing is certain: it is always something that harmonises function and beauty in a unique, intelligent way.
In this section on Italian Furniture, Life in Italy will bring you articles that discuss each kind of furniture created in Italy, its location in the home and outside, and the factors that make the pieces desirable and extraordinary.