Bang for your buck
The region of Brianza, midway between Milan and Lake Como, is to Italian furniture making what the Vallee de Joux is to watchmaking or Bordeaux is to ﬁne wines. “When it comes to high-end quality furniture, no other area can compare to Brianza," says Fabio Masolo, general manager of Giorgio Collection.
Established in the 18th century by farmers taking on carpentry during winter, furniture making in Brianza came into its own during the 20th century when Milan’s architects and designers sought to have their creations realized nearby. By the 1950s, nearly a third of all furniture made in Italy was produced in the region and while globalisation and the rise of foreign competition took its toll in the 1980s and 1990s, it also encouraged Brianza’s artisans to oﬀer custom-made solutions.
Located in Seregno, a small town 20km north of Milan, Giorgio Collection offers a contemporary take on art deco furniture characterised by exotic veneers and luscious fabrics. For example, the latest collection marries Tiger African sycamore with gunshot grey chrome and black mother-of-pearl detailing that enhances the handles and inlays of the pieces. “Our strength is not only in oﬀering a wide range of products, but also in our ability to deliver quickly," Masolo says. While most of the furniture production is done in Brianza, the company also reaches out to Italian specialists for its extensive line of accessories, from Murano glass to Florentine crystal.
Founded in 1916, the family-firm has become internationally renowned for its handmade furniture with flamboyant finishes that reinterpret classical pieces. “We offer pieces that everyone likes, though we know it’s not for everyone," admits art director Gianluca Asnaghi.
In its 3,000sqm showroom, Asnaghi Interiors presents complete furnishing solutions. “Our goal is to create the whole environment for a room, and we can offer wallpaper, wood panelling, carpets," Asnaghi says proudly. Meanwhile in the nearby town of Cabiate, Angelo Cappellini is a fifth-generation family firm that has become a specialist in the faithful reproduction of classic European period furniture.
The carefully selected pieces of wood are now precision-cut by machines, but all finishing details are completed by hand using traditional tools. “It takes several years of intense practice and great passion to become a wood carving master," notes Silvio Cappellini, the firm’s president. “Brianza is the historical heart of Italian art furniture and from this land of industrious and creative people, we have inherited the attention to detail, the love for the highest quality, the inclination to innovate and internationalise."