For a long time, design was thought of as the pursuit of the purest idea possible. Practitioners wanted to create the perfect chair. An archetypal table. Or a sofa that held the sitter just so.
Today’s designers have a somewhat different challenge. They understand that if our homes are to keep up with the myriad demands we now make of them, they must become agile. Less of a compartmentalised machine as Le Corbusier once imagined. And more of a eco-system. To do this, we’ll need a new kind of design. Nimble enough to create and connect rooms. And committed to growing and evolving as we do.
“You know, it’s very easy to design something that lasts one or two seasons,” explains Piero Lissoni. “But a system, well, that has to last.”
“At Porro, we started by asking ourselves whether it would be possible to rethink the architectural model, in smaller terms, within a house, throughout the years,” he continues.
In 1996, they arrived at the first iteration of the Modern System. A shapeshifting, pearl of product that could be stacked into sideboards, bookshelves and wall units.
“It has a perfect name because it is from the nineties and yet it has had an incredible evolutionary path over the years,” says Livia Peraldo Matton, editor in chief at Elle Decor Italia.
Today, it fits flush to the wall like a second skin. Tracing out elegant workspaces. And much-needed storage opportunities.
“Asides from the strong scenic appeal, we wanted to create an architectural solution that offered maximum capacity and utmost customisation,” confirms Lissoni.
Bespoke add-ons include vertical sliding cabinets and secret cubby holes — intelligent solutions that allow belongings to appear or disappear as required.
Like any good support system, it’s there when you need it, and discrete when you don’t. A responsive piece of furnitecture, worthy of our hardworking homes.
Boutique Mast | Discover
It’s nautical, vertical struts shoot out from the ground like climbing palms, winding their way up the wall and towards the ceiling. From there, the scene is set for an assortment of shelves, drawers and mirrors, each of which can be incorporated into the structure with ease.
“At first glance, the metal poles seem to borrow from the visual vernacular of a clothes rack,” says Ludovic Aublanc, Creative Director and guarantor of all things chic at Chaplins.
“Then you notice all these plush little details. Canaletta walnut soft close drawers, shoe dividers, rotating mirrors… and you realise that this minimalist little system actually carries all of the luxury of a walk-in wardrobe.”
It’s an idea that can be scaled to any space. Indeed, we recently saw Boutique Mast used in a tiny suite at the Castello Sforzesco Hotel in Milan — a clever addition that helped squeeze out ample storage in what was otherwise a petite room.
Creating space inside existing architecture has become an even more compelling concern post-pandemic. And while some have fled to greener pastures in the countryside, many urbanites will likely be able to resolve their domestic dilemmas with Lissoni’s latest design, Glide.
Designed with the lightest of touches, Glide is a collection of ethereal interlocking doors, each of which slides across open space like a soft summer breeze.
“They are not mere partitions but an element that interacts with the classic architecture of home,” explains Lissoni.
Need some seclusion to hop on a work call? A dedicated desk will help. But there’s something truly marvellous about being able to portion off a part of your space without losing the benefits of light and conviviality that come with open-plan living.
Better still, they haven’t been designed in isolation. Used in combination with other collections like the Storage Boisserie, Glide can help design lovers divide rooms, seal off wardrobes and start living on their own terms.
And that, after all, is what good design does. It opens up our homes and helps us tell our stories. Making room for what matters. And helping us let go of what doesn’t.
If your home could benefit from any of these beautiful Italian systems, why not make an appointment with our fitted furniture department at Chaplins? Our interior design team are experts in squeezing out every square foot of domestic space and will help you plan a solution that’s bespoke and perfect for you. You can also check out our wider Porro collection online, complete with considered storage solutions and many a beautiful loose furnishing.