A La Carte
When a 100-year old Italian furniture company merges with a 90 and 70-year old company, the result is dazzling.
Welcome to Poltrona Frau Group Washington in Georgetown. The windows are pretty much the same since you've been to Poltrona Frau. But now the showroom has been totally redesigned to showcase the more contemporary architect-designed pieces of Cassina, and the whimsical work of young international designers at Cappellini. While The Poltrona Frau Group has owned Cassina and Cappellini since 2005, last November, Ezio Mattiace sold his stake in the showroom back to the company and took ArcLinea and Miele with him to open his new design firm, Arte Modus in Canal Square.
"Our brands overlap," says Poltrona Frau Group showroom manager, Ezra Lizio-Katzen, "but having three very distinct lines: traditional, contemporary and very modern means there's something here for every taste." As a regional hub for the Mid-Atlantic states, this Georgetown showroom serves clients in DC, MD, VA, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Delaware and even Tennessee.
With the showroom 'lifestyled' with harmonizing rugs and lighting, you'll still find the same luscious selection of custom leathers from the Frau Color System, offered on every piece of Poltrona Frau furniture. With an emphasis on fabrication and craftsmanship, this company maintains its reputation for unparelleled quality. Designed in 1924 and made since then, the 'Lyra' chair, with a seasoned beechwood frame and hand-tied steel springs positioned on jute belts. The backrest and arms are padded with rubberized horse hair. while the seat cushion is filled exclusively with goose feathers.
If you're looking for classic contemporary Italian, including iconic designs by Le Corbusier, Piero Lissoni and Philippe Starck and you'll find them by Cassina.
Shiny lacquered cabinetry including night stands, media cabinets, bookcases, buffets, and dressers, dubbed 'Container System' is a versatile set of units by Cappellini offered in varying dimensions and an array of colors and finishes to meet storage needs in spaces of all sizes.
Stop by and check out the latest in Italian designer furnishings.
Poltrona Frau Group is located at 1010 Wisconsin Avenue Suite 220. Tel: 202.333.1166
When The Georgetown Dish sat down with the multi-lingual, globe-trotting writer, the topic soon turned to the inspirations for her theme, locale and characters. This Georgetown-based former journalist, drawing from The Red Violin, a film about how an instrument affected lives it touched over the centuries, "wanted to tie this story together around an object.”
“And as an art lover, I’ve always been interested in art crime,” says Tanabe. “It’s about scoundrels and gangsters who don’t want to get their hands dirty. It sounds genteel but it’s not.” Smiling, she adds, “Collateral for drug dealers … and the art can never be shown anywhere.”
Gobbled up in the New York auction world, The Price of Inheritance's main character, Carolyn, following a scandal, is fired from her job, moves to Newport, Rhode Island, buys an innocuous piece of pottery and falls in love with a soldier.
Too much of a thrill ride to give away any more here, but suffice it to say, Tanabe’s stylish, and oh so timely page-turner takes her heroine on more than one journey of discovery.
Ever the scholar and perfectionist, this Vassar alum did her homework. “The most fun I had was finding a Newport Gilded Age mansion. Once the characters and story were sketched out, I went there to fill in the blanks for local flavor. I named the house ‘Morningstar’ after one of my favorite books, Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk."
As for the piece of pottery, she consulted auction dealers and researched the many treasures discovered at Goodwill and flea markets. “The pottery needed to be not overtly available, or recognizable.” For the military piece, Tanabe enlisted the help of a Judge Advocate General friend. As for Carolyn’s love interest, “Yes, I drew inspiration from my husband for Tyler.” she admits.
What gives The Price of Inheritance its nuanced depth is a message of ethical justice set against the authentic tableaux of the antiques market, Gatsby-style Newport, and American military law.
Asked whether she’s thought about which actors she’d like to see play Carolyn and Tyler on screen, she confesses to having found them already, albeit anonymously “by going to a modeling agency sight to pick out people who looked exactly like my characters.”
Karin Tanabe will be at Politics and Prose August 9th for a book-signing. For more information, and to purchase her book, click here.
For Ezio Mattiace, after 11 years, the time was right. Having introduced Poltrona Frau, one of Italy’s premier furniture firms to Washington DC, Mattiace was looking to expand. Representing one company, however exquisite their product line, meant that his discriminating clientele might miss out on some incredible pieces.
“With Arte Modus LLC, the company I founded earlier this year,” says Mattiace, “I’m able to scout incredible pieces, anything from 18th century hand-made desks to contemporary Jake Dyson lighting because of my knowledge of the designers and their companies.”
Before he suggests any product, whether it’s a chrome office chair, a hand carved wooden mirror or a Solid Ray acrylic kitchen, Mattiace first checks out the company and where the product is made.”Designers come from the four corners of the globe, but if you’re making a beautiful product, it better be made in your country,” he says emphatically.
When you visit his new Georgetown showroom in Canal Square, you’ll see his coherent and consistent vision of what a contemporary room could look like.
Representing four Italian leaders of contemporary design who share his philosphy: Arclinea, Tecno SPA, Alivar and Alias, Mattiace also currently sources from a dozen others. Now able to “engage in the whole design process, using all the tools available,” this designer of interiors is able to dazzle his clients here and abroad with four centuries of furniture design.
“It’s all about the client, the place and the time, in that order," explains the smiling Arte Modus designer.
Arte Modus LLC is located at 1054 31st Street, Suite 9. Tel: 202.333.4161. Showroom open by scheduled appointment.