Sophisticated design is alive and well right here in the Midwest, as these furniture artisans prove.
Local designers create stunning furniture that will add panache to any room.
Mario and Cathy Costantini, La Lune, Milwaukee
FORTY YEARS AGO, MARIO AND CATHY Costantini opened an interior design showroom next to the Pfister Hotel, almost on a whim. “We thought it would be fun,” says Mario.
In addition to their decorating services, Mario soon started crafting furniture. “My father was an upholsterer and I helped him after school, so I had a little knowledge of furniture construction,” he says. That’s how La Lune Collection was born.
Their big break came when Ralph Lauren’s interior designer spotted their rustic pieces in a New York City showroom and wanted them for Lauren’s home in Montauk, New York. (He’s still a customer today.) “We thought, ‘Hmm, if Ralph Lauren likes us, maybe we’ve got something here,’” says Mario, who still designs every piece. Cathy handles much of the office work.
La Lune sources poplar and willow from northern Wisconsin, and the designs are inspired by carpenters who “took wood in the raw rather than cutting it up in boards,” says Mario. “We’re more about the past than the future.”
The Costantinis in La Lune’s Riverwest showroom, where customers can view the collection by appointment. The furniture is also available online at lalunecollection.com.