This Ital­ian pow­er­house is famed for its clas­sic yet ver­sa­tile so­fas, el­e­gant neu­tral colour pal­ette and use of re­fined ma­te­ri­als

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

We in­ves­ti­gate the baf­fling rise of celebrity home­ware ranges and the his­tory of the hum­ble cof­fee pot. Plus, the story be­hind Ital­ian su­per­brand Minotti and Cé­cile Roed­erer’s favourite things

When Al­berto Minotti founded his mod­est fur­ni­ture work­shop in Meda, Italy, in 1948, he was in the right place at the right time. Post­war Italy was in the throes of wide­spread re­con­struc­tion, and along with an ur­gent de­mand for new hous­ing came an equally press­ing need for new fur­ni­ture. The hard graft of in­dus­tri­ous en­trepreneurs such as Al­berto was soon re­warded with suc­cess.

Ini­tially pro­duc­ing hand­crafted tra­di­tional fur­ni­ture, by the 1960s Al­berto had be­gun to es­pouse mass pro­duc­tion and his firm’s pop­u­lar­ity mush­roomed. In the late 1970s, he handed over the reins to his sons Re­nato and Roberto, now the com­pany’s joint CEOS. In 1997 they as­tutely hired ar­chi­tect and de­signer Rodolfo Dor­doni ( be­low) to raise Minotti’s pro­file: he was later ap­pointed artis­tic di­rec­tor and re­mains so to­day. The fruit­ful part­ner­ship has seen him de­sign many a Minotti icon and over­see the cre­ation of other de­sign­ers’ prod­ucts, such as Gor­don Guil­lau­mier’s 2006 can­tilevered ‘Cortina’ chair (right). He scored an early hit with his ‘Braque’ sofa (1998): sharply rec­ti­lin­ear yet com­fort­able, with plump up­hol­stery and enor­mous cush­ions, it es­tab­lished a tem­plate for Minotti so­fas. The ecru fab­ric that it was of­ten cov­ered in set the tone for the brand’s trade­mark neu­tral pal­ette, too. Cus­tomers to­day can per­son­alise any de­sign by us­ing the com­pany’s ‘Ma­te­ri­als Box’ – a tool­kit kept in each show­room of­fer­ing myr­iad op­tions for fin­ishes and colours.

Grown-up and el­e­gant, Minotti fur­ni­ture is also playful. It’s this win­ning mix of ver­sa­til­ity, de­tail and pol­ish that marks it out as unique (

Minotti’s part­ner­ship with Rodolfo Dor­doni has seen him de­sign many an icon for the brand

Main im­age, from left ‘Clyf­ford’ cof­fee ta­ble; ‘Portofino’ arm­chair; ‘Clyf­ford’ con­sole; ‘An­der­sen’ sofa; ‘Ki­taj’ ta­ble, all de­signed by Rodolfo Dor­doni for Minotti

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