The artist’s hands

A focus on the new proposals present at the 2019 Salone del Mobile sheds light on a company, Roberto Giovannini, determined to pass on the artisan skill of classic Florentine furniture, which sees its founder still ‘getting his hands dirty’ in the laboratory and with a catalogue of over 1,200 products

Bedroom “Ramage” by Roberto Giovannini
Bedroom “Ramage” by Roberto Giovannini

Needless to say, in the company they care about the ‘artist’s’ name being used. And rightly so. For over 60 years Roberto Giovannini has designed and created all the products with logic and stylistic consistency that join them together under a single hand. A single true artist, precisely, who never tires of repeating gestures and processes that have become ritual over time: the purchase and seasoning of wood, the roughing phase through the use of semi-artisan machinery, to then continue exclusively with manual workmanship, including decoration, thanks to which a unique and exclusive product can be obtained.

Living Fil Rouge by Roberto Giovannini
Living Fil Rouge by Roberto Giovannini

“Roberto Giovannini can be considered to all intents and purposes an atypical company – stresses Claudio Riceputi, General Manager – because it is faithfully anchored to principles that are increasingly difficult to be found in the current era and well aware of what this choice entails.” Values that are clearly visible even in the collection at this year’s Salone del Mobile, Fil Rouge. A bond unites all the new products, although they can be traced back to various styles and aesthetic standards, and this bond is made of elegance, taste, refinement and colour. Red characterises every room: it dominates the living room, where it stands out on the upholstered furniture and the walls, it is discreet and refined in the dining area, barely outlined in the bedroom. The same common thread in the settings, where the decoration chosen for the furnishings, the type of materials and fabrics, the shades of marble and accessories are perfectly harmonised in the various rooms. Among the most important pieces are the Ramage headboard with a semi-precious stone passe-partout, the chest of drawers – bedside table and bedside unit – always in the sleeping area, the 8-leg dining table with Chevron parquet top in black pickled colour, the oval sofa that characterises the living area, where the 3-door neoclassical showcase and the baroque bookcase also stand out. The carving is always present, made exclusively from solid wood for a three-dimensional, deep and harmonious effect.

Dining room Fil Rouge by Roberto Giovannini
Dining room Fil Rouge by Roberto Giovannini

To design the furniture, Roberto Giovannini in person, and his faithful collaborators, make life-size prototypes exactly as they did over 60 years ago in the workshops of San Frediano, in the centre of Florence. A manual approach supported by commercial technological tools necessary to sell classic objects in a world in continuous evolution, allowing architects and interior designers to work easily and quickly with the company. In step with the times. But how can we maintain such a craftsmanlike connotation by working on the large scale of contract projects? “This is the most difficult aspect of how our product is conceived – confirms Riceputi – but we have grown so much also in this sector, thanks to the skill of our artisans, who realise customisations of every kind, and to the evolution of our products that are created taking into account the new needs of the market.”