Metro Society

Furniture and Design

Casanuova is a space expressly created to provoke and simulate your own design journey in putting a home together


The world of Casanuova is truly one of exceptiona­l luxury. Carrying brands such as Albed, Bonaldo, Bosa, Edra, Meridiani, Vibieffe, and Nomon Home, Casanuova puts design at the core of its DNA, speaking the universal language of style which transcends time and trend.

CASANUOVA FOUNDER and managing director Venus Ngu has always been drawn to the creative process. Design, more particular­ly, was an interest that she decided to pursue, first at university when she took advertisin­g. She recalls, “I’ve always loved the creative world. I choose advertisin­g so that I could get into that while covering a wide scope.”

The family business later occupied much of Venus’ time, but her love for design continued to inspire her everyday life. “I would always watch shows about building homes and fixing them up. On my free time, I’d find myself browsing through sites and magazines for design inspiratio­n.”

A house for entertaini­ng

Ngu confesses that she never thought she would one day find herself immersed in the design world. “It was when my family and I began building our own house that I started to look for unique statement pieces to suit our lifestyle.” Both Ngu and husband Maynard had the vision for building a cozy, contempora­ry abode where they could entertain family and friends. “As a couple, we’ve always enjoyed entertaini­ng so when we were designing our home, that was the main considerat­ion.” The couple had a preference for statement pieces that could easily be moved around. This idea informed their choices for their private space. Ngu explains, “I couldn’t find something that was to my liking here. I was looking for design concepts that I have not seen yet. I had my eyes open for that ‘it’ factor.”

From Italy to their home

Trips to their favorite destinatio­n, Italy, presented the couple with opportunit­ies to find pieces for their home. “Whenever we go on trips, Italy is always top of mind. We make sure to spend a few days in Italy every time we travel. We simply love everything about this country—the food, culture, design.” In

Italy, Ngu began connecting with furniture and design houses. She was immediatel­y drawn by the rich heritage embodied in every piece. “There is always history in every piece they make,” observes Ngu. “I also liked how everything could easily go with any space while making a strong statement.”

Soon, the first few pieces of furniture from Italy were being moved into their home. “The dining room and kitchen immediatel­y became the centerpiec­e,” says Ngu. Guests took a liking to the contempora­ry design collection at the Ngu residence. “Our friends would ask us about the pieces

we have and would seek our help in sourcing pieces for them,” she narrates.

Doing as the Italians

Ngu has always felt an affinity for the Italian way of doing thing. “When I began to connect with the Italian furniture companies and makers, I immediatel­y related to them. They are very family-oriented even in business. They also like to keep things personal and intimate,” shares Ngu. She also noted that luxury furniture brands were taking on a new approach for showcasing their pieces. The design enthusiast describes, “They would welcome clients to their private villas in Lake Como to view their pieces. It’s so much more exclusive and private. The experience also awakened all the five senses and made guests feel right at home.” Ngu related to this new concept and began to open discussion­s with Italian makers and designers. She told them about a private space she had in mind where their pieces would be showcased. The idea was showcase exceptiona­l design pieces within the context of a real home. “One of the first few labels I spoke with was Meridiani. They liked the concept of a private space or villa and signed on with us.” Before she knew it, plans for launching a design house were well on its way.

Curating for Casanuova

Casanuova was built on the intention of creating a space for an on-going design conversati­on. “I wanted to create a place where everyone is welcome to discuss and collaborat­e—the client, designer, the brands, and our team.” Within a span of four months the Casanuova portfolio expanded to include other brands such as Albed, Edra, Nomon Home, Vibieffe, Studio Italia, and Bosa. “At Casanuova, we want clients to enjoy an unlimited number of possibilit­ies in their homes,” shares Ngu. “If it’s not in the showroom, then we can configure or customize pieces to their liking.” In selecting pieces for Casanuova, Ngu was keen on highlighti­ng key pieces from each of the brands they carry. “I like to focus on the strengths of our brands and emphasize elements that make them unique.” She adds that when curating, an open mind and deep understand­ing for brand heritage are key. “I want my collection­s to be as open as possible. I can appreciate any design genre—classical, midcentury, traditiona­l, or contempora­ry. What I hope to do is to be able to highlight the strengths and DNA of the brands we have in Casanuova.”

Sound advice from the new kid on the block

Ngu admits that she has her work cut out for her. “Being the new player has its challenges and it can be tricky,” she opines. This is where creativity and intuition come into play. Although relatively new in the design business, Ngu has a pulse for what her market seeks. “I can’t just pick out pieces that I personally like. They also have to resonate with my market—what interests them, what makes them tick, what excites them,” she affirms. Ngu also emphasizes that an open mind for collaborat­ions will set Casanuova apart from the rest. “Having myself gone through the process of building my own space, I realized that you have to be involved in the design process. It’s not just the architect or designer on their own. Or the owner by herself. It’s a journey shared among several people,” she intimates. At Casanuova, she hopes to create a special space where anyone embarking on a design journey can come together. “We offer clients choices. We can configure according to their needs. We can even help source very specific pieces. Our aim is not to take the place of a stylist or designer but to be their partners. We also hope to be that space for many collaborat­ions.”

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