To celebrate the first dedicated Calligaris store in Washington, company president Alessandro Calligaris flew in from Italy for the grand opening of the new Friendship Heights showroom (5252 Wisconsin Avenue, NW; washingtondc.calligaris.us). Home & Design caught up with the third-generation Calligaris to lead the family-run brand to discuss the latest trends in furniture design. Launched by his grandfather in 1923, the company designs and produces a wide range of modern home furnishings and accessories distributed in 90 countries worldwide.
What is the Calligaris design philosophy?
Good design means making a product that is interesting to the consumer. It has to be sophisticated and adaptable. It’s a combination of material, finish, quality and, of course, cost. We’re not at the bottom fighting with price and we’re not at the top. It’s a democratic product because we’re in the middle of the market.
What are some of the most innovative pieces in the latest Calligaris collection?
The Traslo dining table is one of our hallmarks. It expands and contracts and comes in matte glass or ceramic.
Is it possible to blend modern and traditional furniture?
People like to try their own combinations. They move furniture around and mix different styles. This is why our company is so broad with its products, because people like to play with their houses. We try to let them do that.
What is your own favorite piece of furniture?
The piece I love most in my house is not by Calligaris. It’s a long chest designed by a Danish architect and for its age it is extremely modern.