Travel Notes - Italian Buying Trip

Italy: land of pasta and passion. Is it any surprise that the Italians have also mastered the art of picture frame moulding? Twice a year we send a team to visit with factories to scout out the best designs to offer our customers. Our recent trip began in Venice where we acclimated ourselves with a nice dish of seafood risotto. Everyone makes better decisions on a full stomach, right?

Favorite risotto spot: Poste Vecie. Hidden behind the Rialto fish market in what was the post office in the 1500’s. Casanova ate here!

Favorite risotto spot: Poste Vecie. Hidden behind the Rialto fish market in what was the post office in the 1500’s. Casanova ate here!

Our Italian suppliers range from fully automated plants using advanced materials and technologies to small family-operated ateliers who lovingly apply gold leaf by hand in the same way it has been done for centuries.

Applying gold leaf by hand.

Applying gold leaf by hand.

A travel highlight was our pilgrimage to the majestic Tuscan hills above Carrara. These are the very mountains where Michelangelo hand-selected the perfect blocks for his masterworks. How could you not be inspired?

The majestic hills in Carrara.

The majestic hills in Carrara.

Design trends we noted on this trip include mixing wood with metallic, rich warm autumnal tones and playful juxtapositions of classical style combined with ultra-modern art or materials. 

The fruits of our adventures can now be found on our showroom walls. Look for amazing texture inspired by nautilus shells, hand-finished ornate Baroque beauties and a range of new bright colors - complete with a rainbow.   

Colorful Italian marquetry.

Colorful Italian marquetry.

Ready to explore our latest Italian finds? Come see us in at any of our Chicagoland locations.