Versatile and original, its shapes are always evocative because it is meant to interpret, communicate and, above all, to create magic. Thus, when day-to-day living meets design, the result is a playful, kaleidoscopic, often dreamlike miniature world capable of giving items of furniture an inner light, as if they belonged more to the dream world than to real spaces.
This dreamlike dimension has always belonged to artists and designers: experimentation and stylistic research have always been - and are to this day - the keywords to creating poetic objects that embellish our houses. Despite their inherent functionality, the many furnishings in our homes can't help but conceal a wealth of memories and feelings, creativity and emotion, all of which has left an imprint in the history of design.
Designing light is in itself a fairy-tale and dream-like remit. When the inspiration, both simple and ingenious, comes from nature, the result is sure to reflect the perfect combination of craftsmanship and poetry. With these words Ingo Maurer describes Lucellino, a flying bulb that looks like a cherub, with two large goose feather wings, floating gracefully through the air. Designed in 1992, it has become a cult item of design offering a harmonious blend of the pursuit of beauty, with which the Poet of Light sets out to seduce and move us, and the use of minor materials that symbolically represent a return to basics, to the essence of things. With its clean, understated lines and its irreverent, playful approach, Lucellino is an ethereal, almost magical object that goes straight to the heart of the onlooker and affords a poetic, childlike allure to the space it lights up.
While Lucellino was conceived before the rise of the internet, it is hard not to think of the cute Twitter logo when we observe the Tweetie set of lamps designed by Jake Phipps for Casamania. And we cannot help but wonder whether its designer did not, irreverently and humorously, set out to "cage" the chirping symbol of one of the most popular social networks. Instead, if you are a pre-millennial, the first association that comes to mind is undoubtedly the famous Tweety Bird from the Looney Tunes cartoons. But do not be fooled by appearances! The caged bird is a scholarly tribute to the ancient Egyptian and Roman tradition of keeping a canary in the house, which in the English courts of the Middle Ages became a sign of good breeding. Thus, the icon of a high-ranking British status is transformed into a designer lamp whose intrinsic poetry makes it a unique and dreamy addition to any space.
Who can claim to have never been rapt by the sight of pristine snowflakes as they fall peacefully and quietly on those short winter days? This poetry, enlivened by a touch of humour paired with great sensitivity, may be found in the ethereal Snow Table designed by Nendo in 2005 in which the large snowflakes that gently support the glass top seem to have just touched the ground. The young Japanese designer has created an object with a strong emotional impact that invites us to take a break in the midst of our daily activities, and to remember our childlike awe before a white blanket of snow.
Childhood influences give rise to the original idea by the Laudani and Romanelli duo who, in 2014, designed the Fairy Tales coffee table for Valsecchi 1918. Leveraging the playful, light-hearted spirit of the company, the two designers created a coffee table with slender cylindrical legs and a top consisting of three hard-backed tomes in different sizes, marked by fine lines around three sides to suggest the presence of pages. The inspiration comes from those books that you keep meaning to read but never find the time to do; the ones that make you dream, taking you into a world of elves, fairies and knights. The tables are available in various versions, in different heights, colours and proportions. Innovative yet familiar, these coffee tables offer the ideal surface on which to rest various objects - including the latest best seller you have been reading.
If, instead, you have a green finger and flowers are your thing, then the Alice garden table, designed by Patrizia Pozzi for Serralunga, is the perfect choice for your terrace. With this romantic yet discreet table, the designer has recreated nature with artifice and humour: its natural, almost hyper-realistic shape takes on an abstract dimension, with regard to material and colour, that catches the onlooker unprepared. Available in different heights, the table furnishes any space by reproducing a field of flowers. A real Flower Power Design!
Literature, poetry, dreams, art, and a cool, playful mood: these are the designer traits of one of the most iconic armchairs in the world. The designer Alessandro Mendini drew his inspiration from "In Search of Lost Time" and from the pointillist and divisionist iconography of Seurat and Signac to create a baroque, 18th century style armchair, dedicated to Marcel Proust. The chair plays on the concepts - so dear to the author - of place, time and memory. Produced in 1978 after a two year gestation period, the Proust armchair is a chromatic cloud, an optical illusion: every brush stroke is linked just as the novel's stories are linked, giving rise to a new, true, uplifting object with a distinctive pointillist design. A utopia, as the designer himself defined it, that has attained eternal status through its 15 versions - a dream come true.
Who would not want to sit in it and get caught up in its infinite colours as in a kaleidoscope of emotions?