MICHELLE OGUNDEHIN

Delving deeper than decor to explore the power of home as a path to wellbeing #happyinside

September 26, 2018

Calligaris x MO

Calligaris celebrates the launch of its new collection during the London Design Festival. And I curated and restyled its new showroom on London’s Tottenham Court Road. The project involved an edit of the available pieces, and the complete recolouring and decoration of the space itself.

Window decal at the new Calligaris showroom on London's Tottenham Court Road.

Window decal at the new Calligaris showroom on London’s Tottenham Court Road.

But who is Calligaris?

A proudly Italian brand, Calligaris was founded in 1923 in Manzano, Udine, with just one chair. Starting out as a small artisanal operation created by Antonio Calligaris, its production was dedicated to the Marocca chair, a simple affair with a wooden frame and hand-caned seat. It was a typical product for the area that would later become known as the “chair district”.

Today, there are over 800 products in the Calligaris catalogue and stores in over 100 countries all over the world. With a firmly contemporary aesthetic, and a preference for clean, simple lines, the secret of its success is that it’s not afraid to change with the times. It also leaves room for its customers to customise its products as they see fit as many of the pieces come in a wide variety of finishes and fabrics.

It’s also one of the few Italian brands to have a very consumer friendly website enabling you to play around at liberty with product permutations before you buy! As they put it, “We can experiment, change and innovate because we know who we are and what our brand represents for those who choose it — a guarantee of quality and creativity at an accessible price. Design that is contemporary, flexible, and intelligent.”

My showroom Concept

I was inspired primarily by the colours of the Calligaris CODE collection — rich greens, terracotta, gold and pale pinks. This is a brillaint range of accessories including pots, platters, candleholders and clocks. I also loved the exotic flavour of many of its new rugs, as previewed at the Milan International Furniture Fair earlier in the year.

The plan then was to focus the look around a series of strong sculptural ‘Future Classic’ furniture pieces, set against a sophisticated palette of colour, pattern and texture. The upper floor of the showroom was thus divided into a series of four sets — the windows, the entrance sequence, the back and a cosy corner. The overall effect was of taking the consumer on a journey through the range, guided by colour, from the front to the back of the store.

Key pieces from the Calligaris 2018 CODE collection and some of its striking rugs

Key pieces from the Calligaris 2018 CODE collection and some of its striking rugs

the details

In the front windows I introduced the idea of an inviting proscenium through which to view the action inside. Two sets on either side of the main entrance. The palette was deep mustard yellow, terracotta and the rich amber-veined marble of several pieces used in the collection.

Because windows play such an important role for any shop, it was all about kerb appeal. Enough of an indication of the brand to entice passerbys inside, while also telling a complete story in its own right.

the decoration

Inspired by the exotic references of the new collection Calligaris rugs, I specified two wallpapers in grey and green with coordinating borders from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection for Cole & Son. It’s an absolutely stunning set of papers inspired by “the diverse skills and unique craftsmanship of Eastern and Western cultures”. A perfect fit for the mood of 2018 Calligaris.

Then, as you progress through the store, the colour mood gradually changes from mustard to green, on the walls and underfoot. It ends with a semi-symmetrical grand coda at the end of the space, drawing the eye down the full length of the showroom. Here, I used the more muted grey colourway of the tile-wallpaper, but combined with Bullard’s ‘Jali Trellis’ stone effect paper for extra impact. Small wall returns were painted in a contrasting terracotta red to pick up the tones of associated accessories.

Finally, a small side room saw the two previous languages combine to draw the consumer through to explore a previously rather forgotten corner.

An early moodboard for my Calligaris project

An early moodboard showing the various wallpapers chosen alongside the ‘Marroco’ rug, and paint samples.

The Windows…

Mock up of my product selection for the windows of the Calligaris showroom

Mock up of my product selection for the windows of the Calligaris showroom

Details of the window set

Details of the window set

Products specified

Alma armchair in Noor yellow. Medley rugs in yellow. Apotema rugs inspired by Japanese origami. Sextans black floor lamp. Bridge coffee tables in smoked glass with black marble tops. Horizon sideboard with black base and black marble top. Orbital table with black base and black marble top. Fifties chairs with black frame and Tobacco seats. Basil W chairs with black frame and Cognac leather seats.

The Entrance…

My mock up of product selections for the main wall of the new Calligaris showroom

My mock-up of product selections for the main wall of the new Calligaris showroom

The Cole & Son 'Zellige' tile wallpaper in green with coordinating border trim , both from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colours: 'Celestial Blue' and 'Mid Azure Green' both from The Little Greene Paint Company

The Cole & Son ‘Zellige’ tile wallpaper in green with coordinating border trim , both from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colours: ‘Celestial Blue’ and ‘Mid Azure Green’ both from The Little Greene Paint Company

The Cole & Son 'Zellige' tile wallpaper in green from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection

The Cole & Son ‘Zellige’ tile wallpaper in green from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of its new London showroom

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of its new London showroom. Instagram post!

Calligaris

Detail of the Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new London showroom

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new Calligaris London showroom

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new Calligaris London showroom

Products Specified

Danny sofa in Cullinan green. Africa rug. The Persian-inspired, vintage look Arabia rug. Symbol coffee tables in wood. Pom Pom floor and table lamp + other small accessories in copper and grey.

The Back…

My mock up of product selections for the back wall of the new Calligaris showroom

My mock up of product selections for the back wall of the new Calligaris showroom

The Cole & Son 'Zellige' tile wallpaper in grey with coordinating border trim, and the 'Jali Tellis' paper in stonework, all from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colour: ' Dark Lead' used for the skirtings from The Little Greene Paint Company

The Cole & Son ‘Zellige’ tile wallpaper in grey with coordinating border trim, and the ‘Jali Tellis’ paper in stonework, all from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colour: ‘ Dark Lead’ used for the skirtings from The Little Greene Paint Company

The Cole & Son 'Zellige' tile wallpaper in grey from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection

The Cole & Son ‘Zellige’ tile wallpaper in grey from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new Calligaris London showroom

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new London showroom: back wall

Details of the Calligaris back wall set.

Details of the Calligaris back wall set.

Products specified

Square sofa in Kenton blue. Atollo side table in black. Symbol side tables in black with Emperador marble tops. Esagono rug in pink. Medley plain rug in blue. Damasco mirror in grey. Cygnus floor lamp in white plus Cygnus table lamp in white.

The cosy corner…

The 'Cosy Corner' of the Calligaris showroom

The Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new London showroom; the ‘Cosy Corner’

The Cole & Son 'Jali Trellis' stonework wallpaper with coordinating border trim , both from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colours: 'Dark Lead' and 'Drummond' both from The Little Greene Paint Company

The Cole & Son ‘Jali Trellis’ stonework wallpaper with coordinating border trim, from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection. Complementary paint colours: ‘Dark Lead’ and ‘Drummond’ both from The Little Greene Paint Company

Detail of the 'Marocco' rug as seen in the 'Cosy Corner'!

Detail of the ‘Marocco’ rug as seen in the ‘Cosy Corner’!

Detail of the 'Cosy Corner' splendid in 'Drummond' from the Little Greene Paint Company

Detail of the Calligaris x Michelle Ogundehin curation and styling of the new London showroom; the ‘Cosy Corner’ splendid in ‘Drummond’ from the Little Greene Paint Company

 

All wallpapers from The Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection from Cole & Son.
All paint from The Little Greene Paint Company.

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Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.