Fifty years ago, the first Crate and Barrel store opened in Chicago to bring contemporary, affordable European design to American homes. The latest addition: a sophisticated yet playful collection of dinnerware, furniture and accessories by Paola Navone, an Italian designer and architect. The 138 Navone items will be available online starting Sept. 9, and two more collections will be introduced next year. The Tysons Corner store will be one of the first 10 to get the entire collection Sept 9.; the other locations will have all the items Sept. 13.
“We love Paola’s style,” says Marta Calle, president of Crate and Barrel, now a 92-store chain. “We believe in homes that are warm and clean and current. A home should always reflect warmth and a little bit of now. This is how she designs.”
Navone has used a wide range of materials in her collection, such as hand-blown glass, hammered aluminum and sleek bamboo. Designs include the minimalist Riviera metal pendant lamps in red or gray ($129 for small or $199 for large); the ruffled white Mallorca ceramic platter ($29.95); the sculptural Mallorca three-piece flatware place setting ($49.95); and the Como upholstered bench in gray ($1,499). Linen napkins ($8.95 each) are dressed up with beaded napkin rings ($2.95)
“I love so many of the pieces because they are joyful and optimistic, and they reflect Paola’s love of entertaining,” Calle says.
Crate and Barrel recently began labeling more items with the names of the designers who created them, Calle says. “Customers want to feel that what they are buying is special and thoughtful, not just churned out in some back room,” she says. “We think design is really important, and we want to talk about the designers behind our pieces.”
Navone, who lives in Milan, was one of the first women to become a design rock star in the 1980s at the annual Milan Furniture Fair. She lived in Asia for many years and travels extensively, mixing the flavors of many cultures in her vast portfolio of designs and homes. She has collaborated with many noted international design companies including Alessi, Knoll International, Natuzzi, Roche Bobois and Swarovski. She recently produced a small line of bedding for Anthropologie that includes playful red and white polka dot sheets.
There’s a nice video about the inspiration behind her Crate and Barrel collection here.