I have been asked often where my passion for Scandinavian design comes from and why the atmosphere and interiors of our home are so Nordic. Undoubtedly, both my personal preference for essential, meaningful living and the research I carried out at the Architecture Faculty in Venice shaped my way of understanding design and space. But, it was the possibility to discover Nordic design and share this growing affection with very passionate people that planted the real "seed" in my heart.
So, here I am, sharing with you one of the "great roots" that made me fell in love with Scandinavian design, many years ago.
Everything happened in this store, not far from my parent's home in Italy, where I used to spend lot of time observing the objects of classic brands like Marimekko, Iittala and Normann Copenhagen almost 15 years ago.
In a way, Tonolo Selezioni was my personal Scandinavian Design museum, with private talks about the meanings and concepts behind the design of the selected pieces. The conversations with the small gang that used to come around the store shaped my understanding of design, sometimes more than the lectures at the faculty. Nobody wanted to teach me anything, so there was no preconceived route to take and my imagination could wonder freely discovering concepts, functions, shapes and materials.
Still today, Federica - the owner - carefully selects the objects that she presents in the shop and creates some of the most refined still life and stylings I have seen. The selection has enlarged during the years and includes new design brands, like Hay, Vipp, AndTradition. It also embraces design in clothing, being one of the few stores in the area having Marimekko dresses. Italian brands are also present with labels like Album di Famiglia - outstanding children clothing - Some Beautiful Items or 10notforsale, a curated collection of hand-blown glasses that challenge our idea of nature.
Most of the times, inspirations and possibilities come from the most unexpected places. But I have always found that where there is a great passion and this is shared freely, something special always grow. At least, this has happened to me.
All pictures © facing north with gracia