Poliform: Italian timeless elegance
A family business, Poliform’s furniture collection is contributed to by some of the world’s best designers, yet its look is utterly coherent, representing as it does a considered philosophy of designer quality for people with taste, rather than chasing ev
Poliform’s designs exude subtle glamour. You won’t find any look-atme designs or unduly tricksy shapes in its collection, which majors on statement sofas, sexy coffee tables and some seriously aspirational wardrobe systems. Instead, expect a palette of rich neutrals – cream and grey upholstery, dark woods, black marble – with accent colours like olive green, oxblood red, chocolate brown and mustard. Of course if a customer wanted something a bit different, well then there’s 30 leathers, 23 lacquers and 300 other different textiles to choose from too; something to suit every style, age and budget. And Poliform is nothing if not all about its service. The brand prides itself on the high level of customer care it provides, guiding clients every step of the way, whether they’re looking for a single stylish sofa or full space-planning for a major commercial development.
Based in Brianza, north of Milan, where all its furniture is still made, Poliform was established in 1970, but its roots go back to 1942, when brothers Pietro and Giuseppe Spinelli and their cousin Luigi Anzani established an artisan cabinetmaking firm. Fast forward to the 1980s and the focus had shifted to wardrobe design, which remains a key speciality. In the 1990s, the brand commissioned architects like Carlo Colombo and Paolo Piva to design bedroom furniture and storage systems; in 1996, it acquired the kitchen brand Varenna, to which Colombo
and Piva also contribute. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 2006 that Poliform unveiled its first collection of seating, but modular sofa systems are now a big strength. New this year are two designs by Frenchman JeanMarie Massaud: ‘Mondrian’, based on the linear artworks of the Dutch painter, and ‘Sydney’, a more angular system with graphic stitch details and pebble-shaped cushions.
Poliform’s output is intended to address the idea and needs of a complete ‘Poliform house’, with versatile modular systems that work for all kinds of spaces. Among its hero pieces are the ‘ Wall System’, created in 2006 by its in-house design studio, which can morph from a small- scale bookcase to a complete library solution; and the striking Corian ‘ Web’ bookcase by architect Daniel Libeskind, who joined the fold in 2015. And since the launch of the upholstery collection a decade ago, more big names, such as Marcel Wanders and Rodolfo Dordoni, have come on board, too, with Wanders’ ‘Mad’ collection of chairs and coffee tables, initiated in 2013, adding a wonderfully curvaceous silhouette and a more playful element to Poliform’s signature clean-lined look.
Although it projects a slick, international image, Poliform remains a family- run business, with three cousins, the sons of the original founders, in charge: Giovanni Anzani, who heads marketing and communications; Alberto Spinelli, who runs the commercial and project divisions; and Aldo Spinelli, who leads production and finance. And as the trio near retirement, their children have joined the ranks – notably Simona Spinelli, Aldo’s daughter, who oversees visual identity. But, the line- up would not be complete without one more key player, the only non-family member, George Khachfe, CEO of Poliform UK, and the man responsible for the brand’s incredible success in this country. poliformuk.com
Poliform prides itself on the level of service it can give, guiding clients every step of the way
Products from left ‘Stanford’ chairs and ‘Mondrian’ sofa by Jean-marie Massaud; ‘ Ubik’ walk-in closet with ‘Home Hotel Collection’ bench and ‘Mad Chair’ armchair; ‘Kelly’ bed by Emmanuel Gallina; ‘Mad’ side tables by Marcel Wanders; ‘Mad Joker’ armchair by Marcel Wanders