It’s By Design

by Danilo Brunetti

Everyone knows Milan is the undisputed capital of fashion and all things trendy and new. But Rome, a city that has often been accused of being stuck in the past, holds her own on the design stage. In fact, the Eternal City boasts a number of boutiques of refined contemporary taste where you can shop for original design pieces. Here are a few of our favorite spots to purchase furniture and accessories fit for a modern and unique home.

Just steps from Piazza del Popolo, Mia Home Design Gallery ( picture above) is a constantly evolving show- room of expertly blended contemporary and retro furnishings, one-of-a-kind design objects, and limited editions by established designers as well as emerging talents. Mia sees the home as an original and highly personal space, the expression of the owner’s personality and not necessarily the fashions and trends of the moment.

Via di Ripetta, 224.

In the same neighborhood, not far from the Ara Pacis, Ripetta Design is an elegant gallery of fabrics and accessories in Art Deco and contemporary styles. Rich velvets, silks, embroidered satins, cottons, and linens by the most luxurious names, alongside the nest wallpaper brands—from classic to the most eccentric—and exclusive design objects make this atelier a must-visit for anyone looking to reinvent their space.

Via di Ripetta, 152.

Not far away is Arcon, one of the most interesting shops in the Italian interior design sector. The hyper-specialized sta furnishes the most beautiful houses in Rome with exclusive collections by important national brands such as Cassina, Fontana Arte, Foscarini, Tonelli, and Flexform. Their two showrooms (the other is located near the Spanish Steps) enchant lovers of beauty with the greatest expressions of “Made in Italy” and international design.

Via della Scrofa, 104.

Located near Piazza Venezia, Dispensabile is a studio-showroom featuring pieces with a distinctly Nordic air in a refined and elegant space. Visit the shop to immerse yourself in their furnishings, home accessories, lighting fixtures, and design objects, but also to envision, with the help of the experts on staff , your ideal interior design concept. Brands like Hay, Alessi, Ferm Living, and Louis Poulsen are represented.

Via D’Aracoeli, 37/39.

If you are looking to decorate your home with unique pieces with a vintage touch, be it from the elegant ‘40s to the unmistakable style of the ‘70s, then look no further than Retrò Design. Just a few steps from Piazza Navona, this shop is stocked with furniture, accessories, and design pieces for the vintage-style décor of your dreams. Modernariato is the term Italians use to refer to recent antiques, thin- gs like sofas, post-Depression-era glass, and funky track lighting from the ‘70s. Every item is hand picked by the owners and carries a designation of place and decade of origin.

Piazza del fico, 20. tel 0668192746

Last but not least, Boschettotre is a concept store in the heart of the Monti district, the brainchild of Oriana Tombolesi, a long-time interior designer who wanted to create a space that reflected her taste and unique vision. The selection includes design furniture from Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as essential accessories like carpets, containers, shelving systems, and lanterns. The boutique also sells a number of pieces designed and hand- crafted in its own workshop.
Via del boschetto, 3. tel 0648906922.

Want to think bigger? If you’re not satisfied picking up accessories and design objects, consider having an entire room (or indeed your entire home) redecorated in unmistakable contemporary Italian style. Make a bee-line for Mobilnovo, Rome’s premier furniture and design showroom.

Via Anastasio II, 103.