By Kelly Bai
Translation by Emily Tan
Steen Skaaning, a former carpenter from Denmark, employs a critical eye when it comes to furniture making. Whether it’s in the design, the choice of material or quality of craftmanship, everything must be done with care. “I know what good furniture is!”
As owner of Inspiration Furniture on W 6th Ave, Skaaning personally selects the different brands of furniture displayed in the 40,000 square-foot showroom. Of that, 7,000 square feet are devoted to a shop within a shop featuring the Italian brand Natuzzi Italia.
Founded in Taranto, Italy in 1959 by designer Pasquale Natuzzi, Natuzzi Italia is currently the largest furniture manufacturer in Italy, as well as a world leader in leather sofas, marketing its products in 123 countries on five continents. This brand is dedicated to the concept of a harmonious home, its understanding and love of beauty and art and the pursuit of quality living. Natuzzi strives for excellence in its design and production. This is well reflected in the quality of all its furniture: from its original sofas, armchairs and other living room furniture and accessories, to its restaurant series and latest bedroom series.
Quality and value are the principles to which Inspiration Furniture has adhered for the past 17 years. This is what led the company on to the road to success.
For decades, over 100 professional designers, colour experts, architects, engineers and interior decorators have worked together on a daily basis at the Natuzzi Fashion Design Center in Milan and Santeramo in Colle, Italy. On average, more than 6,000 designs are launched each year. However, only one of every 50 ideas passes Pasquale Natuzzi’s strict selection process and moves on to the production phase. Each Natuzzi sofa is made in Italy (undergoing 135 steps of production!) and is quality-controlled with the use of automatic, dust-free, sound-proof and environmentally friendly equipment.
Another of Inspirations’s brands, Formitalia has been a leader in the luxury furniture industry since it debuted its first design, the Boutique Collection, in 1991. Inspiration Furniture was the first distributor to introduce the brand in North America. With its high-quality material, outstanding design and excellent craftsmanship by way of Florentine craftsmen, Formitalia became a fabulous spokesperson for all that is “Made in Italy.”
“Their products are not made by large-scale assembly lines, but hand-crafted one by one.” Skaaning explained. All Formitalia products are produced in Tuscany and handcrafted in Florence, Prato, Pistoia and Pisa.
This top-tier furniture manufacturer was favoured by luxury car brands such as Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz and Lamborghini and a collaboration ensued. Together, they created ultra-luxury furniture with features characteristic of their brands.