It all started with a bench. Since the conception of that first piece of furniture for Bottega Veneta in 2006, creative director Tomas Maier has successfully grown the brand’s home collection to include dinnerware, frames, pillows, lighting and an ever-expanding list of categories.
Not one to pander to trends – “we have never been interested in doing anything flashy or of-the-moment” he has said – yet always managing to stay current, Maier’s brand of effortless stealth wealth has kept the Italian label at the forefront of luxury. The launch of its new Home Collection at Salone del Mobile in April this year proved that. To the uninitiated, the Salone del Mobile – first launched in 1961 – is an international furniture and furnishings trade fair held in Milan. Since then, it has become the furniture fair to which leading international manufacturers flock.
At Salone del Mobile, the collection was presented within the opulent interior of Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, an 18th-century palazzo on central Milan’s Via Borgospesso that also houses the Bottega Veneta Home boutique. Stunning frescoes by early-18th century Italian artists Carlo Innocenzo Carlone and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, coffered ceilings and stone walls proved an exquisite counterpoint to the new line, bringing past and present together harmoniously in a single space.
This year, Maier’s astounding ability to conflate the commercial and couture-like design manifested itself once again. The Rudi line, which comprises a club chair, a footrest, a day bed and a three-seater sofa, is luxuriously sleek, and sees an amalgamation of clean, minimalist silhouettes and plush materials (think velvet, suede and leather). Also new to this collection is a bronze round arch table, so-called because of the cut-outs on its base. Available as a five-arch or eight-arch version, this piece sees bronze combined with honey-hued veined travertine or matte oak (available in two luscious shades: Espresso or Adoise).
Needless to say, the brand’s signature intrecciato motif makes a requisite appearance, surfacing on a few new pieces: On the bronze table designed by Osanna Visconti di Modrone for Bottega Veneta, the woven-leather pattern is used across the entire surface of the hand-made piece of furniture. Meanwhile, a new chest of six drawers (in suede or leather), which comes with either a marble or wooden top, features the brand’s iconic bronze handles imprinted subtly with the intrecciato detail.-
“A luxury product is signified by the material that’s used, its design, the know-how of its artisans,” Maier has said. “And obviously, I have an obsession with functionality – a bit of my German background.”
Furniture aside, the new collection also includes a set of porcelain tableware in an alluring shade of Ash and featuring an oxidised silver border; Berber-style carpets in patterns and colour-combinations unique to the brand; new alpaca and wool blankets; and a stellar collection of eight silver sterling boxes with semi-precious stones named after eight of the planets in our solar system.