The Italian furniture brand Calligaris has come a long way since it started making chairs in 1923. At the time, it was one of several makers of the Marocca chair, identifiable by its wooden frame, handwoven rush seat and slightly curved legs.
Over 90 years later, Calligaris is now a full-fledged furniture brand offering tables, sofas, beds, shelves and even lighting fixtures. At its first standalone store in BGC (Clipp Center, 11th Ave. corner 39th Street), potential customers can see some of their signature pieces.
Prior to the recent launch of the store, third-generation president Alessandro Calligaris talked to Inquirer Lifestyle about the company’s philosophy, and demonstrated how some of the pieces work.
“We work with architects and designers to come up with furniture for the modern home. We pay a lot of attention to them because they are able to communicate with our younger consumers,” Calligaris said.
He then demonstrated how a glass dining table for six could be manipulated with just one hand, transforming it into one that can accommodate eight, or, in a pinch, 10 people. The Orbital has a rigid lacquered polyurethane base for stability, and two extension leaves that open simultaneously with a fluid circular movement.
It is obviously a space-saver, one that condo dwellers or those who live in smaller homes will appreciate. Once the dinner party guests have departed, a simple mechanism changes the table back into a six-seater.
Dining or writing
The company also makes a low coffee table called the Magic-J that can be raised to dining table or writing desk height. It’s light enough to push against the wall if you need more space, but it can also be the central piece of furniture when you need it to be.
The Dakota is another coffee table that can turn into a dining table for 10. You simply press the side button and, using just one hand, you can adjust the height to seven different positions.
While the Calligaris tables are truly remarkable, their beds and couches are also noteworthy. The sectional sofas offer hidden storage, while one couch can be transformed into a bed in seconds with no need to remove the cushions.
“Our goal is to come up with furniture for the entire home that appeals to younger consumers,” Calligaris said.
This openness to change has served the company in good stead as it continues to remain relevant in the new millennium; in fact, its slogan is “Italian smart design since 1923.”
“Smart is harmony between technique and aesthetic, between reason and emotion, because each Calligaris piece encloses the know-how of our experienced designers, and our creativity applied to contemporary living,” reads the company’s philosophy.
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