Judy Fayard -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
In Italy, everything seems to come down to gastronomy, and the Milan showroom for Poltrona Frau is no exception. "It is a bit like Italian food. Simple. But the best quality, assembled in just the right way," says Studio Massaud principal partner Jean-Marie Massaud, who redesigned the interior as part of a global image overhaul for the leather-centric furniture company, founded 94 years ago.
His recipe for the two-level 7,500-square-foot space includes a generous helping of moss. On the lower level, the preserved greenery covers an entire wall—a vertical lawn of sorts. "There are no windows down there. The green opens up the space, lets it breathe," Massaud explains. On the main floor, where windows face the street, a large moss sphere is suspended from the ceiling like an oversize ball of mistletoe.
Below it, furniture and accessories appear against a backdrop of the Poltrona logo, stenciled across an entire wall. Pieces are grouped as they might be in a private home. "But not an exact replica of a living or dining room. Something more abstract, perhaps more like a drawing of an interior scene," Massaud theorizes. "The trick was to avoid falling into nostalgia—but not ignore the company's roots."
Having refreshed Poltrona showrooms in Naples and Rome as well as in Milan, Massaud will move on to satellites in New York and Paris. Or wherever else the company's appetites may take it.