Trivia Thursday: Fornasetti

Piero Fornasetti was in Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator, and engraver. He may be best known for his pieces that include the image of a woman’s face in black and white. The face is that of operatic soprano Lina Cavalieri. In addition to this face, many of his pieces include images of the sun, time, and architectural elements. Now, his son Barnaba Fornasetti continues to design in his father’s name.

Piero Fornasetti

Occio side table

Bocca chair

Architettura cabinet

Teste Antiche umbrella stand


Fornasetti’s plates are quite popular in the world of interior design. These and other Fornasetti pieces add whimsy and interest to many spaces as you can see in the images below.

Colette May, via Elements of Style

Colette May, via Elements of Style

House & Garden

 via Archimir

via Est Magazine


If you have some time to spare, I encourage you to watch some of these behind-the-scenes videos of the Fornasetti Atelier. I enjoyed watching a bit of the design and manufacturing processes of Fornasetti’s pottery, textiles, and metal work.

Design: Alessi Gets Dressed

By now, you may know that I am a collector of Alessi. This Italian company works with designers around the world to produce collections that are classic, useful, whimsical, and statement pieces.

The Juicy Salif citrus squeezer designed by Philippe Starck is still one of my most favourite Alessi pieces. It’s such an unusual design and noone else has attempted to recreate anything quite like it. The trays and bowls are functional and friendly, and I have a few pieces hanging around on my sideboard (you can see one tray in this photo). I dare you to come to my home and resist touching my mini Anna G. corkscrew. It’s so cute! I remember buying each piece of Alessi that I own, which makes each purchase quite special.

So what’s going on with Alessi these days? Well, when I saw the newest collection by Marcel Wanders called Dressed, I was pretty excited.dressed-sugar-bowl-Alessi

Dressed sugar bowl, $121


Dressed butter dish, $99


Dressed egg cup, $66


Dressed table set, $121


Dressed spoon with soft boiled egg opener, $44


Dressed biscuit box, $198 (there’s a bell on the lid!)

These are just some of the pieces in the Dressed collection that I think would pair well with my existing pieces. I mean, that biscuit box with bell, how great is that?

Deep Design

Post by Johanne

Deep Design hard at work. The Bluebell prototype floor lamp takes its name from the plant it so perfectly embodies.

In case you missed it when you were traveling in Milan last year, lucky for you, we have images of the deepdesign exhibit at the Triennale Design Museum in Italy.

The fascinating exposition is about “l’anima sensibile delle cose” (“the sensible soul of things”) and showcases six objects and an assortment of photos featuring the innovative creations by Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti of the Milanese design agency Deep Design.

The show’s press release explains the design duo’s philosophy and approach to commercial and industrial design: “Taking as their model the dynamics of the natural world, deepdesign’s research aims to harmonize functional complexity and formal organicism to achieve a pure one economy of the shape.”

Here’s a sampler of the Milanese exhibit:


Deep Design duo Matteo Bazzicalupo and Raffaella Mangiarotti with the Dandelion lamp: a thin stalk topped with dandelion-like seed puffs, light as air.


The Flexica is designed to be able to slide under low-lying furniture in the home- unlike many electric vacuum appliances that simply don't fit. The reality of our furnishings is that there isn't a lot of space underneath our chairs, recliners, and love-seats and somehow, other vacuums on the market fail to address this challenge.

Deep Design's Flexica


The Pulse washing vessel is Deep Design's washing machine prototype based on the concept of centripetal force. The vessel is designed to keep air and water in continuous flow, and with the help of various membranes and pressure changes, the laundry gets done. When the device is in use, a light icon is activated via electroluminescence.

Flat Piano

The Flat Piano addresses that interior design question of where to keep the space-greedy but beautiful grand piano in today's smaller homes. Deep Design suggests an alternative to the dining room or work table: an electronic keyboard that runs under a large glossy white top with an electronic device that acts as its sound board. When not being played it becomes a work or dining table. With built-in amplifiers meticulously designed to evenly deliver 3D sound across the surface of the table, it's practical without compromising sound quality.


Deep Design's prototype hair dryer is designed to address the hairdresser's uncomfortable posture from using typical hair dryers. Its double airflow, L-shape and redesigned internal components are also intended to direct the airflow directly at the hair for better styling while also reducing the strain on the hairdresser's arm from twisting the typical hair dryer into a 90 degree position.

Images and more information about the Deep Design exhibit prototypes can be found at Plus Mood. For more information about the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, we suggest visiting the Museum website.