I remember the first time I was introduced to B&B Italia. I was driving down the street and saw the stunning furnishings in a showroom window. It was a black and white dresser [offered by Cappellini] in the window. I made a hard U-turn and went into this store that was new to me.
Well the dresser turned out to be almost $20,000 and it wasn’t really reasonable as it was made up of about 20 drawers each only about 3″ tall. Great for jewelry but that’s about it. The piece was more of a novelty. I’m pretty sure it’s no longer in production, but I can see why. Everything else in the store was modern, sleek, and clearly Italian made. Sofa’s started at $20,000, glass and chrome dining tables started at $7000 and dining chairs were $1000.00 each. I couldn’t afford anything in the store at the time, but the Italian furnishing were permanently etched in my brain for later in life. I also made note that the primary designer was named Antonio Citterio, who I later learned also designed for Minotti, another fantastic Italian designer.
In my opinion, B&B Italia, Minotti, and Poliform offer the most beautiful, high quality furniture in the world. All similar in their sensibility, low sleek lines, with extreme quality. Thick wools, bulky chenilles, chrome legs, and never ever a printed fabric in sight, with the ONE exception when B&B offered Pucci fabric on their Cappellini swivel chair.
B&B typically uses oak for their choice of wood, which I know creates an image of horrible kitchen cabinets, but not when the Italians are in charge. Their oak headboards, coffee tables, and shelving are a special specimen of oak that when stained or painted is modern, luxurious, and consistent. I don’t even like wood, but this is the only wood I will allow in my home. Lucky for me, Minotti, B&B Italia, and Poliform all use this type of oak for their furnishings.
Our Austin estate sale clients have such superior taste it’s no surprise we are finding B&B Italia furnishings in their primary homes, vacation homes, and alternate residences.
Probably the most popular B&B Italia item is the Charles Sofa. It is easy to recognize with it’s upside down brushed chrome legs (which unfortunately have been knocked off by everyone now). However the Charles sofa has a profile that is easy to spot. From the front, you cannot miss the angled arm rest. This sofa has been in product for at least 25 years that I personally know of. Charles comes in a variety of configurations, right and left arm, one arm as a chaise, sectional, or whatever you need for your particular space. If you want a Charles sofa, you will likely be able to find one at a resale level. If you have one to sell, we can help you find its new home.
I was able to find a picture of the dresser that started it all…my obsession with interior design and specifically modern Italian furnishings. If it were not for this odd Black and White dresser that caught my eye as I drove down the street, I wonder what I would be spending all my money on? Emeralds probably.
If you are thinking of redecorating, selling your designer furnishings are a great way to recoup some of your investment and apply to your new decor. The ultimate in recycling. Plus it’s hard to find a place in your home for a extra sofa or chairs. Most people I know can barely find space in their closet for a new pair of pants.