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.
Storage as something bold and buildable is also present in Lissoni’s Boutique Mast System.
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.
DISCOVER MADE IN ITALY BRAND PORRO ONLINE OR IN STORE AT CHAPLINS
Glide Sliding DoorsGlide is an elegant new design from Piero Lissoni. Designed with the lightest of touches, it promises to reimagine how you experience your home. Fully retractable, the Glide doors can be installed anywhere that privacy or discretion is required, dividing up space without losing out on any of the light and conviviality that comes with open-plan living.
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Storage Dressing Room WardrobesStorage Dressing room is an elegant fixture that gives shape and expression to bedroom interiors. Crafted in a variety of finishes, this flexible modern storage solution is designed to be built around individual preference. In order to allow open and enclosed spaces, Dressing room has been composed of three structures that enable the contemporary unit to be interchangeable and perfectly integrated into any space.
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Modern Cabinet Day SystemThe Modern cabinet day system encourages the idea of having entire fully functioning walls. The combination of open and closed storage space allows for secret niches to be hidden away. An architectural solution with a strong scenic appeal that offers maximum capacity and utmost customisation.
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Gentle Dining ChairGentle is where Italian flair meets Nordic minimalism. Created by all-female design studio, Front, it pares down the archetype of the seat to its essential elements, each line an eloquent study in ergonomics. Beautiful and practical, it is surprisingly comfortable, and promises to add poetry to every dining setting.
Collector DeskCollector seeks to bring the warmth and truthfulness of the natural world, home. Hewn entirely from precious applewood, it's statement, criss-crossing grains promise to invite a curious caress from all who pass, while providing a generous workspace on which to get down to business. Compact yet beautiful, it's an object that asks us to leave the world behind and let the mind lead the way.
Kite SofaThe Kite sofa is an atemporal piece that adds timeless elegance to any interior space. Fruit of Porro's ongoing collaboration with Scandinavian design studios, it's a beautiful example of what we're coining Italian minimalism — soft, self-assured design that infuses contemporary homes with poetry and panache.
Byron BedThe art of contrast in revealed in this elegant new bed by Porro. Designed by legendary Italian designer, Piero Lissoni, it features a striking wraparound screen, its tactile straw upholstery elegantly offset by the possibility of a black-stained ash frame. The bed itself is gently rounded, all soft lines and plush finishes — a counterpoint to the geometric screen.
Balancing Boxes Bedside TableBalancing Boxes is an icon of contemporary design which promises to add drama to contemporary sleeping chambers. Created by Swedish design studio, Front, each box is perfectly poised to keep track of all the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary life, from boxes to glasses to phones.
Modern SideboardWith its visually light legs and plush wood and marble finishes, Modern plays with contrast to create a deeply luxurious storage solution. Hidden within its tactile cabinets are a variety of elegantly carved shelves and drawers, destined to keep all your favourite tableware, safe.