Calligaris has recently opened a location in Toronto. Found on King East, it's a bright but tight showroom stocked with their signature chic Italian furniture and design. Most items are quite attractive to look at and when complimented by a strong emphasis on functionality, they are elegant, usable and fashion-forward enough to suit most tastes and aesthetics.
Billed as user-friendly Modernism, Calligaris tries very hard to illustrate how to incorporate elegant and imaginative designs into any home and space. Pretty much everything in the showroom goes together, which makes shopping and my own amateur designing much easier. Almost any of their dining chairs could go with any of their dining tables, and the selection is varied enough that a dining set could become really personalized.
For example, the hard plastic "Wien," a black, coffee and white mid-back chair ($483), designed by Lucidi Pevere Design studio would be a great fit with the dark "Omnia" dining table for $3,378 that is big enough to sit ten comfortably. Or, the chairs could add a sense of sophistication to the cherry "Baron" dining table with brushed metal legs for $1,851. Many of the tables also come in a variety of extendable options depending on space or how many people typically come over for dinner.
Each piece is 100% Italian design and handpicked for the Canadian market. Similar single-brand Calligaris stores exist in Rome, Miami and Lyon, France. Clearly many of the items on display have been chosen with an eye towards the condo dweller, so I was pleased that I didn't see a single oversized couch or any heavy bedroom furniture. Of course, Italian design has long moved far beyond the more traditional and antique styles and Calligaris has embraced this drive towards sleek and contemporary with gusto.
I was really drawn to their collection of console and hall tables as I have a certain neglected spot in my own apartment that is just dying to be filled. I wasn't disappointed either as I had a multitude of options and styles to chose from. In the end I narrowed it down between the "New Romance" storage unit that was deep chocolate colour for $2,616, the white lacquer "Option" console table with metal base for $1,314 or the "Zenith" console with heavily frosted glass top and white legs for $813. Now I just need to save my pennies.
Based out of Manzano, Italy, Calligaris has been around since 1923 and it's clear they know their stuff. Still owned and operated by the Calligaris family, they have over 7,000 products and sell in over 90 countries and work hard to demonstrate their passion for design and manufacturing.
While the showroom on King Street is housed in a heritage building originally built by the Sovereign Bank of Canada in 1907, it has been stripped down to its rawest elements to allow the furniture to really pop. It's a beautiful space, but I actually wish it was larger - much larger. The difficulty is that at 5,000 sq. ft, it still isn't really enough space to showcase that everything Calligaris has to offer.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak