10 Accessories Every Home Should Have
10 Accessories Every Home Should Have: the Very Best of Italian Design
I don’t know about you, but my idea of souvenir shopping isn’t buying little trinkets like an Eiffel Tower magnet for my fridge or a pocket-sized replica of the statue of David. When I visit a place, I want to bring back a bit of the best which that place has to offer. And when the place in question is Italy, temptation lurks around every corner! As a self-professed (…or is it “self-confessed”?) shopping freak, I refuse to say “arrivederci” to any town I visit without popping into a couple of local stores, be they boutiques of world-famous brands or little-known shops waiting to be discovered. So today, I want to give you a list of 10 accessories every home should have. My personal Top Ten of Italian design includes items that are easily slipped into a suitcase, and others, a bit too big for the overhead compartment, which you may want to order once you get back… 😉
10 Accessories Every Home Should Have: the List
1 – Bookworm Bookcase, Kartell
Don’t let the name fool you: Kartell is a 100% Made in Italy brand, which I discovered by chance strolling through downtown Milan. At first, I was drawn in by its futuristic chair designs, then I was completely bewitched by their bookcases (or are they bookshelves?) unlike any I’d ever seen. Flexible yet sturdy, this sinuous piece of furniture draws inspiration from both the ocean waves and the winding tapeworms that live beneath them, and looks like it’d be a winning fit in any living area, no matter what style.
2 – Milano Lamp, FontanaArte
Even if you’ve never studied art or architecture, chances are you’ve heard of Carrara’s marble. FontanaArte, an interior design boutique specialized in high-end lighting, has embraced this precious variety of marble for an exclusive, limited-edition table lamp which pays homage to its hometown of Milan. You can put it anywhere, but it radiates such a sweet and magical glow, that I find it particularly well-suited for the bedroom. A true must-have among the 10 accessories every home should have!
3 – Moka, Bialetti
This may be the one item on my list that every home does have. In Italy, that is. Italians take their coffee very seriously, and even in the age of affordable espresso machines, the stove-top moka remains the preferred coffee-making instrument in kitchens throughout the country. It may be cliché, but Bialetti remains my favorite brand when it comes to brewing a good cup of (Italian) Joe. Their Moka Color yields fabulous coffee, and it does it with style: in its red coloration, it truly is the Ferrari of coffee-makers.
4 – Vita Juicer, Bugatti
If you don’t think it’s possible to impress your friends by making orange juice, you’ve obviously never tried the Vita juicer by Bugatti. Stylish enough to be a stand-alone ornament, this ergonomic masterpiece of Italian design earned its reputation by being the world’s first juicer that whirls.
5 – Tatlin Sofa, Edra
It’s been rated as one of the ten most beautiful objects of all time, and I can’t help but agree. The Tatlin sofa’s spiraling shape is loosely based on a helicoidal tower, and can comfortably seat up to ten “guests.” Despite being more than 25 years old, we can safely say this iconic design has aged better than most couches.
6 – Corkscrew, Alessandro Mendini
Last April, when I was in Milan, I came across the exhibit of Arduino Cantafora and Alessandro Mendini, two Italian architects/artists/intellectuals, and it was literally like stumbling into a new and exciting dimension. Fascinated by their avant-garde creations, I decided to do some research, and ended up falling in love with Mendini’s collection of corkscrews. Halfway between stick figures and cheerful marionettes, these quirky accessories will have you feeling buzzed even before you pop the bottle…
7 – Spinny Top, Seletti
It’s not often I feel elated when seeing a bathroom scale, but that’s exactly what happened when I got my first look at this colorful, eclectic, toy-looking wonder of Italian design. The Spinny Top scale is made by Seletti, the same irreverent brand responsible for giving us accessories that give us the finger (inspired by Maurizio Cattelan’s statue in front of the Milan Stock Market).
8 – Appendiabiti, Pa Design
Poetic and ironic, Pa Design‘s coat-hangers seem to be fluctuating mid-air, and are sure to put a smile on your face and get your guests talking. They may look flimsy and delicate with their ribbon-shaped design, but they’re in fact built in solid metal and are surprisingly sturdy. They’re available pretty much in every color of the rainbow, and I’m sure you can find the perfect spot for one of them in your home.
9 – Director’s Chair, Ovvio
Now I know why everyone wants to be a film director: they get to sit in the most amazing chairs! At least if all their chairs are really as comfortable as the one I got to try, a while back, at my good friend’s house. Of course I inquired, and she told me it was made by Ovvio, an Italian brand that is utterly unrivaled when it comes to building chairs as comfy as they are gorgeous. This baby definitely deserves as spot on the list of 10 accessories every home should have… including yours!
10 – Aron Table, Bontempi
The base is wood and the top is crystal: the stylish Aron Table by Bontempi truly epitomizes the understated perfection of Italian design. Ok, so maybe it’s not technically an “accessory,” but it’s so breathtaking I just couldn’t leave it off my list. Elegantly essential, this piece should be a part of any home that’s going for a chic and authentic Italian style.