Royal Treatment : Italian Mid Century Dining Chairs

From our Italian Mid Century Furniture collection department a new set of fantastic chairs are ready to be shipped and fulfill the home of one passionate collector of 20th Century Design.  Osvaldo Borsani Varedo Dining Chairs reupholstered  with brand new 100% cotton velvet in a vibrant red with a luxurious oak structure and brass ornaments at front base with brass inlay into the front legs. These 20th Century designed Dining Chairs have been restored  maintaining their original wood color, authenticity and charm; more information can be found on our dedicated pattern side for Italian Mid Century Furniture at  where you will discover a wide collection of Mid Century chairs and sofas, lounge chairs, storage cabinets and decor pieces.  

True historic pieces of art, 20th Century Design & Italian Mid Century furniture. 

We carefully select unique pieces, from the Art Deco and Post-War Italian Period, restore them through the hard work of a third generation Italian restorer and one skilled Italian upholsterer, and bring them back to life, to be relived again by you. Original 20th Century Design furniture with a particular attention to Italy and the amazing creations of that particular period of our history.

Through our dedicated website  you will find a selection of Italian Art Deco furniture and Mid Century design pieces as well as selected antique products and home decor  accessories.  We do not sell reproductions but original and authentic collector pieces ! 


When needed, we restore each piece to its natural beauty with the help of an experienced Italian restorer from third generation. We are very passionate in our efforts to maintain the same standards of craftsmanship of the original manufacturers when restoring these little works of art. 

In our restoration projects we use no industrial machinery, almost all our tools are the very same ones used at the original time of manufacture and throughout the process we follow the original furniture makers' methodology- down to the final layer of varnishing and lacquering. Our paramount concern is to maintain the original integrity of the piece as dictated by the designer and manufacturer.  With the exception of  parts that are beyond repair and may impede every day use - locks, handles and padding- we substitute no parts. And, because we believe every piece has a history and a life story to tell, we leave the smallest imperfections to remind you.

Gio Ponti at the Georgia Museum of Art: a new exhibition

Giò Ponti in his studio, Via Dezza, Milan, 1950s. Courtesy: Giò Ponti Archives. 

Giò Ponti in his studio, Via Dezza, Milan, 1950s. Courtesy: Giò Ponti Archives

The Georgia Museum of Art has just announced a new exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest designers of the 20th century – Gio Ponti.  The show, “Modern Living: Giò Ponti and the 20th-Century Aesthetics of Design”, will present more than 50 objects borrowed from American museums and private collections, representing some of Ponti’s most outstanding pieces of furniture and decorative objects starting from the beginning of his career in the 1920s through the 1950s. The museum will also publish a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, the first major work in English on Ponti's career. 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) Scrolled chair from the Contini Bonacossi residence, Florence, 1931 Made by Mario Quarti Italian walnut and leather Private collection 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979)
Scrolled chair from the Contini Bonacossi residence, Florence, 1931
Made by Mario Quarti
Italian walnut and leather
Private collection 

Gio Ponti was much more than a designer of objects although he did begin his storied career collaborating with Richard Ginori, creating designs and motifs of classical inspiration through porcelain decorative art.   He became a designer and architect present on every continent, taught for 25 years at at the Faculty of Architecture in Milan, was the director of Design Domus magazine, creator of the famous Compasso D'Oro award, curator of the Triennale of Milan, and a painter. Essentially he was always ahead of his time and calling him a designer, when this word was not yet in vogue in his times, would seem too reductive.

 Ponti was an early proponent of industrial design when this concept was still in its infancy. His works are immediately recognizable by their‘weightless’ design and extreme functionality and yet imbued with a fundamental aesthetic and craftsmanship that he had refined in collaboration with the 20th century Italian master artisans – the aforementioned Richard Ginori and Fornasetti.   . And no work captures that ethos better than his quintessential masterpiece- the Pirelli skyscraper, the first skyscraper in Italy and an ode to simplicity distributed over 32 floors (1956).

Above all, for Italy, he was the first true cultural promoter of Italian aesthetic throughout the world. Architecture, design and art are the foundations of this great artist, inspired by the great movements of the twentieth and nineteenth century, Futurism, Impressionism and , as Gio Ponti himself said, classical music.

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) Display cabinet, model 2140, 1951 Made by Singer & Sons Italian walnut, lacquered wood and brass 79 x 81 x 18 inches Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase funded by the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation, 2016.145.A-B 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979)
Display cabinet, model 2140, 1951
Made by Singer & Sons
Italian walnut, lacquered wood and brass 79 x 81 x 18 inches
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase funded by the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation, 2016.145.A-B 

Observing historical images of Ponti at 85 years old, coming down from his apartment in Milan to work at his architecture studio means witnessing the enthusiasm of a man who looked to the future and who conceived modern architecture as a form of functional art whose purpose was to service the community, a man who believed that perfect architecture has yet to be designed. His was a continuous search for the ultimate concept of the ‘Italian abode’, which in his view would have to be a ‘living’ and versatile environment, adaptable to the constant changes of a modern person’s life but, above all, exempt from any functional space constraint and non essential form. As a matter of fact his home in Milan was the perfect representation of his ideas : a series of spaces divided into different interchangeable rooms where there should have been no set bedroom, living room or dining room area but a modular ever-changing simple space. He said that one should boast of the simplicity of one’s own home because that is where you find your peace. He also created the "Finestra Arredata" where glass windows were equipped with shelves and modular elements so they could be functioning as windows as well as usable room walls. 

Among the furnishing objects he designed, we cannot help but recall the "Leggera Chair" and later the Superleggera manufactured by Cassina and still in production today, or the "La sedia di Poco Sedile" a chair with a shallow seat and a wide, comfortable, backrest. And of course, the Pavoni coffee machine, the Venini lamps, Ginori pottery and Fornasetti furniture and all his amazing buildings around the world. 



Modern Living: Giò Ponti and the 20th-Century Aesthetics of Design

JUNE 10, 2017 - SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) Desk, 1938 Fruitwood, reverse-painted glass, and brass 31 x 53 x 26 1/2 inches Private collection 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979)
Desk, 1938
Fruitwood, reverse-painted glass, and brass 31 x 53 x 26 1/2 inches
Private collection 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) Desk from the Societa Vetrocoke Building, Milan, ca. 1939 Vitrex glass, laminate, Italian walnut, enameled steel and brass  

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979)
Desk from the Societa Vetrocoke Building, Milan, ca. 1939
Vitrex glass, laminate, Italian walnut, enameled steel and brass

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) and Paolo De Poli (Italian, 1905–1996) Horse, ca. 1956 Enameled copper and silver - Courtesy of Casati Gallery 

Giò Ponti (Italian, 1891–1979) and Paolo De Poli (Italian, 1905–1996)
Horse, ca. 1956
Enameled copper and silver - Courtesy of Casati Gallery 

Mid-Century Modern Lighting: new collection of Mid Modern Floor and Table Lamps


Mid-Century Modern Lighting Design: an Italian passion. There is a whole new world behind the history of lighting and Italian lighting design. Italy produced some of the most acclaimed Italian lighting designs. Now you can enjoy some of these interesting designs through our website.

Designitalia Italian Modern is offering a  curated and refined collection of Mid Century lighting who has just arrived in our studio gallery. Rare and early editions of mid modern lighting mostly floor and table lamps, works by famous architects such as Ettore Sottsass, Gio Ponti, Gavina, Achille e Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti, Gal Aulenti, Paolo Rizzato, Max Ingrand and Gino Sarfatti, lamps produced by iconic mid modern light companies such as Stilnovo, Fontana Arte, Venini, Arredoluce and more. A truly unmatched selection, rare and untouched collector pieces. 



These a true pieces of art are resistant to the passing of time, they are able to modify the space around them through their geometry and light sources. Gino Sarfatti one of the biggest lighting designer of all times, designed more than 600 lamps. He retired before the lighting design boom of the 80s, but his retirement did not prevent him to become one of the most revered lighting designer of all times. He was the first one to bend the light, to flex the lamps toward the people so they can meet halfway through, an excellent example was the   Mod 607 lamp.


Our 20th Century lighting collection mostly focuses on unique floor lamps and table lamps in their original conditions often sold at auction houses worldwide as true Mid Century modern lighting collector pieces. It’s not anymore about the light, its about its history and its social and cultural value. It is awareness of the importance of each piece, whether this be space age, post modern, or prewar. 


Let’s shed some light upon.

Celebrities love the 70s: Italian 20th Century Design celebrities homes

The 70s were colorful, rock and roll and big, the years of exploration and awareness as well as the fights for equality and peace. In Italy, it was the best moment for Italian Design which was started to be celebrated worldwide; think about New York, where in 1972 the Museum of Modern Art put up a full exhibition of Italian Design home products calling it the “New domestic landscape”, furniture was becoming fashionable. 

Many design pieces have better represented the spirit of that particular period and are still recognized today not only by renowned architects and designers but also by celebrities. Among such pieces, we might remember the Proust Armchair by Alessandro Mendini or Le Bambole armchairs by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia and other designs by Achille Castiglioni, Marco Zanuso, Cini Boeri and Afra & Tobia Scarpa. All of the pieces created by these Italian architects are not only telling us a story today, but they are transferring us that emotional contents which became part of our history. 


A beautiful design piece from the 1970s was featured in celebrity designer's Malibu home Kelly Wearstler. The Soriana sofa and armchairs by Cassina, designed in 1969 by Tobia Scarpa were graciously erecting from the huge living room area of this magnificent California mansion.  

Afra & Tobia Scarpa -  Working together since 1957 these architects' range of field spaces from buildings to interior design, from restoration of ancient palaces to industrial design projects. They designed furniture and lighting pieces for Gavina, B&B Italia, Cassina, Flos and Knoll International, and have designed factories and offices for Benetton. In 2015 Flos the Italian leading modern lighting manufacturer dedicated a full exhibition of Scarpa designs in their Milan Showroom in Corso Monforte, showcasing furniture pieces, lighting, sketches, watercolor works and much more. Immediately after graduation at the University of Venice in 1969 Tobia Scarpa won the prestigious price “Compasso d’Oro” for his Soriana armchair designed for Cassina. Since then he has been awarded many other design prices and his works can also be found in museums worldwide 


The Sofa -  The Soriana is an iconic Italian Design Piece, great example of Italian Modernism, won the Compasso D'Oro in 1969 one of the most important design award of that time. The Soriana was manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s and the idea is that to express beauty and comfort by using  a whole bundle of fabric or leather hold by single steel clamp. The Soriana Collection is a collector piece and part of the history of Italian Design.


This lovely piece have found its place in one of the most acclaimed fashion and interior designer Kelly Wearstler who chose it for its Malibu Home as featured on Architectural Digest and In Style and Elle Decor Her selection of natural colors for the Soriana sofa and armchairs beautifully blends with the rest of her home design and we absolutely love the outcome. You can find the full article here 


Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina 

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina 

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina



Mid Century Modern Italian Design: restoring a 20th Century Design Furniture piece


Restoring a 20th Century furniture piece is an act of love. Respecting the history behind every piece we find and bringing each piece to a new life without dramatically change its appearance is loving and cherish our Italian culture and traditions. Our team of Italian restorers contributes to the preservation of Italian Mid Century Modern Design; since generations they have passed on their knowledge and care so that we could remember and partially live back a particular period from our recent history. 

But how do we bring back the deep luster and shine of a piece made over 70 years ago? 

Restoration is not only a buffing and polishing...but a long and thorough professional job performed by skilled artisans; there are several steps to take to make sure each Italian Mid Century piece will thrive for many more years ahead. We have just completed a brand new project for a historical home in Venice, Italy, with the addition of two amazing Mid Century dining room set, a Mid Century dining room table and a matching Mid Century sideboard, of Italian Production dated circa 1950s which have been completely restored and brought back to a new beginning.

After restoration Italian Mid Century Modern Sideboard

After restoration Italian Mid Century Modern Sideboard

After restoration Italian Mid Century Sideboard

After restoration Italian Mid Century Sideboard

This gorgeous credenza was dismantled in all its possible components (doors, drawers, handles, back, red glass top). All surfaces were then disinfected and treated, as a precaution against termites although there was no sign of termites.

We then restored the proper functioning of the drawers, the doors and the locks. Also, the cabinet had scratches and imperfections in the rosewood and feather inlay that were consolidated and grouted and following that we sanded the credenza with fine paper to prepare for polishing.

Mid Century modern Italian Design sideboard 3

In the next step, we coated the credenza with a natural shellac and hand buffered it. The inside mahogany skin was polished, although light blemishes remain in the wood due to use and not removable except with strong sanding which is not advisable on a veneer.  

In the final step we polished and reassembled all the ancillary decorations and bronze handles 

Before restoration missing inlay decorations 

Before restoration missing inlay decorations 

post restoration all inlay decorations have been repaired

post restoration all inlay decorations have been repaired


The matching Mid Century Italian table has undergone a similar process: As a first step we removed the red crystal top, all surfaces were then disinfected and treated as a precaution against termites although there was no sign of their presence.  The table had scratches and imperfections in the rosewood and feather inlay that we consolidated and grouted. We then sanded the table with fine sandpaper to prepare it for polishing.  In the next step, we hand-wicked/buffered the table with a natural shellac while the bottom was dark-colored stained and varnished.  Finally we polished and reassembled the bronze tips at the end of the feet. 

Mid Century Modern Italian Design Table
Italian 20th Century Design Table

Designitalia Mid Century Modern imports high end Italian Mid Century furniture from Italy. Our team of Italian purchasing agents outsource one of a kind Italian Mid Century furniture. The furniture is restored by keeping its original appearance and altering its original design. Our Mid Century modern sofas and armchairs are completely restored inside and outside while our case pieces are restoring without altering their original structure too much. Some signs of age will eventually be visible and this is completely normal and contribute to the beauty and value of each piece. 

20th Century Design dining table by Paolo Buffa, luxury details

Details are important; they contribute in defining the elegance and quality of our 20th Century Design Italian furniture. Like this featured extraordinary dining table with a unique shape and so many different luxurious features. Attributed to Paolo Buffa this 20th Century Italian Dining Table has a rectangular shape while the corners are rounded and smooth to enhance the sleek geometrical legs. The table top faces have contrasting wood inlays attributed to Giovanni Gariboldi and contrasting  profiling. The legs have brass details and brass feet. This 20th Century design table attributed to Paolo Buffa is made of palisander wood.

You can match this 20th Century table with different styles chairs from the same period for the ultimate 20th Century design set ! 

Milan based architect Paolo Buffa  (1903-1970) started drawing furniture at the beginning of 1930s in the studio of Gio Ponti, his furniture designs were realized by renowned artisans with prestigious materials and woods as they were destined to fulfill the houses of Milan bourgeoisie. 

This Paolo Buffa dining table shows an elaborately inlaid frieze on gilt profiles


A detail of the leg from this 20th Century Paolo Buffa dining table, brass and contrasting wood profiling. Note the lovely angled position of the legs 

Beautiful decorations on table top faces, foliage decor in contrasting maple wood and all the visible natural veneering of the wood top contribute to make this dining table a luxury collector design piece. 

Designitalia Mid Century modern imports high end luxury 20th Century Design pieces, outsourced in Italy and restored maintaining their original beauty and features. Our collection of Mid Century Modern Italian design includes pieces from Gio Ponti, Paolo Buffa, Pierluigi Colli, Osvaldo Borsani, Marco Zanuso and many more great masters of the 20th Century Italian period. Browse our collection of storage cabinets, sofas, dining furniture and accessories. 

New 20th Century Italian Design coming soon: Paolo Buffa High Back Lounge Chairs

Our staff of Italian purchasing agents dedicates a big length of time in researching for the most wonderful 20th Century Italian Design. As you might have seen from our website we offer a selected and curated collection of Mid Century Modern Design from the 20th Century Italian period. Each product is unique and one of a kind and can be used as your Art Piece in your modern or contemporary home. 


Each product is carefully restored by keeping its original features intact to respect the piece. After all you would not want an "antique" piece which feels completely redone and its lovely signs of time completely covered up otherwise what would be the point of buying an "antique" piece if we might not call it as that? They are carefully checked , re polished or re upholstered  made available to the use and their 20th Century soul still keeps intact. 

These gorgeous Paolo Buffa High Back Lounge Chairs are the exact interpretation of beauty, they have been reupholstered with a lovely blue velvet fabric. These Lounge Chairs by Paolo Buffa are a classic design piece from the 20th Century Italian Design Period, the sculptural details such as rounded and smooth wooden base and refined armrests represent the testimony to this great heritage. Italian Mid Century Modern Design is very popular and very successful at art auctions worldwide.

These Lounge Chairs are comfortable and of a moderate size with a  100 cm height - width of 70 cm - depth 80 cm, use them with your contemporary furniture or modern pieces or add up to your Mid Century Italian collection.

Designitalia imports authentic Italian 20th Century design furniture and modern Italian furniture from Italy and if you are looking for a particular piece which is in your heart just contact our office and we will be putting our best effort to find it for you.

These Italian Lounge Chairs Paolo Buffa will be available soon . Contact our office if you are interested in purchasing them .  If blue is not the color you were looking for, we have another exact pair which will be freshly upholstered with brand new luxurious Italian white leather and dark wood the perfect color combination, book them before they are gone!  

Trade discount applies - please contact us for trade pricing

20th Century Italian Design part 1: history defines a new movement

We are not surprised that Italian design has reached the highest level of popularity worldwide. We all looking to embellish our homes with wonderful Italian furniture which we stare at, standing fiercely in those beautiful showroom or printed over some of the most popular magazines. It is not anymore perceived as a trend, but more likely as a movement.  And 20th Century Design has made a sharp and impressive come back, with Italian 20th Century Furniture leading the market. As of today, a Beautiful Carlo Mollino wardrobe desktitled “ Psiche Armadio “  is for sale at a famous New York Auction house starting at 250,000$. 

Carlo Mollino "Psiche Armadio" from the Ada and Cesare Minola House, Turin, Circa 1944-46

But how far back Italian design dates? We could historically place the beginning of Italian Design somewhat immediately after a long and dark period, which saw Italy bending on its knees in the middle of the 20th Century: World Wars. It all started because of the Wars. Italy had lost almost everything, but not it’s citizens’ pride, citizens could not wait to start over and fuel back that fire which always had defined them, impatiently looking at a more profitable second half of the 20th Century. Italians needed to get back to work, to open their stores once again, to lead a normal life and to hope for a brighter future. 

The first sign of Design becoming an active part of society had something to do with mobility. In 1945 we were gifted with the first project of a motor scooter, the evergreen Vespa, designed by Corradino D’Ascanio, still an icon in our modern days. But the Vespa was not an isolated great project, because two years later a new exciting product was conceived, this time designed by two aeronautical engineers: the Lambretta scooter by Innocenti. Transportation and mobility also saw the creation of the beautiful and iconic Fiat 500 reflecting how Italian Design may become timeless, and not many remember another interesting project which we can call a predecessor of the Smart, the captivating Isetta compact car by Ermenegildo Preti.  Among other projects we must mention the Berlinetta Cisitalia which will be then permanently exhibited at the Moma Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1958 Olivetti who created some of the most technologically engineered aesthetically appealing typewriters such as Letters 22 and Lexicon 80 started a collaboration with Ettore Sottsass. So we have a clear picture on how industry, engineering, architecture were all united into the process of creating new ideas. 

Vespa Motor Scooter 

This need of a new start brought Italy years of economic wealth and the Design set its root into the field of Industrial Design with the creation of mass production affordable and reusable every day objects, made of plastic and other low cost materials. Architects and Engineers were again involved in creating every day objects, from cutlery to furniture for the mass.


But when does Italian Design became recognized internationally? We could see its peak in 1972 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York dedicated a whole exhibition named “Italy: the new domestic landscape” . The preface of the catalog started with this sentence: It has been a long -standing assumption of the modern movement that if all man’s products were well designed, harmony and joy would emerge eternally triumphant". Can we still affirm such idea 43 years later?

to be continued on chapter two...stay tuned!

A new different way to purchase our Italian Mid Century furniture collection

Explore a new concept of purchasing high end quality furniture, shop our Italian Mid Century modern design products on 1stdibs.


We have partnered with luxury online marketplace 1stdibs to bring our products to collectors and design professionals and general consumers worldwide. The site offers a curated selection of high end and hard to get around products, from antiques to vintage furniture and fashion to fine art. Our Italian Mid Century collection of furniture ranges from sofas and armchairs to dining tables, case pieces, and decor items. 


We import authentic and original Italian 20th Century modern design, artworks by Paolo Buffa, Osvaldo Borsani, Marco Zanuso, Gio Ponti, Massimo Vignelli and many more. You can browse our collection of 20th Century design sofas, chairs, storage and case pieces and accessories through our website or by looking for Designitalia Mid Century Modern on 1stdibs.  


New collection featured on InCollect website!

Our Italian Mid Century modern design furniture is being featured on InCollect, one of the leading website for worldwide collectors interested in purchasing exciting and unique furniture, art, jewelry and accessories. You can browse our selection of Mid Century modern Design by clicking on this link , sign up for free and enjoy our Mid Century modern design collection! You can sign up for free and browse all of the products from the website, including Fine Art, Jewelry, antique and mid century furniture. You will also find our mid century products and some interesting home decor pieces. 

To own a piece of furniture from the Mid Century period is to own a little piece of history. Combine one or more of these collector items to your modern home furniture pieces to create a sophisticated and stylish luxury home. Our Mid Century modern Italian design collection ranges from storage pieces like buffets, sideboards and credenzas, to beautiful armchairs, and collector pieces created by famous Italian architects an designers.