Rules of Elegance

If the minimalist, streamlined look – enhanced by sleek, comfortable and functional furniture – is what you are looking for in your home, the creations of award-winning Italian designer Carlo Colombo will be your cup of tea. Colombo’s designs are endowed in what he described as five ideas of beauty, simplicity, maximum expression of materials, pleasure, and function.


Born in Carimate, Italy, the designer is an architect by training, having graduated from the Politechnico di Milano, Italy in 1993. At the beginning of his professional career, Colombo worked in the design field as an industry consultant. He also participated in the restructuring of social buildings and private housing, and taught Industrial Packaging at his alma mater as an assistant lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture.


Over the years, Colombo ventured into design and he drew inspiration from his knowledge of the past. “Inspiration comes from your experience and from the world that surrounds you. If you do not know your history of design and architecture well, you cannot make a good design,” Colombo explains, “Sometimes a person can produce something gorgeous without experience or a deep knowledge of the past. But to continue to make something good, you need to study, increase your knowledge and refine your taste.”


In 2001, Colombo established an interior design and art direction company, Kemistry of Style, with Marco Fabrizio Corti. Colombo’s ingenuity is currently sought after by various luxury furniture brands such as Arflex, Emu, Flou, Nube, Poliform, Giorgetti and Zanotta. His designs, which range from sofas and coffee tables to beds and bookshelves, are often characterised by clean lines, an uncluttered aesthetic and the use of natural materials like stone and wood.


Colombo’s talent is evident even during his early days. The “Archimede” bed which he designed for Cappellini in 1995 is displayed at the Im Neuen Museum Weserburg Bremen, Germany. Colombo was also awarded The Designer of the Year Award: Tokyo 2004, and Elle Decor International Design Award for Antonio Lupi’s wash basin “Tender” in 2005, and Flou’s bed “Prins” in 2008.


Not resting on his laurels, Colombo constantly seeks breakthroughs in his designs. The unrelenting passion and pursuit of improving his design skills is to be more open to other people’s ideas and critiquing. Presently, he is working on a new material – an acrylic plastic that can follow any shape and can work in a glass mould – and the results have been positive so far.  “My work is continuously evolving. There are many opportunities for new solutions and new things to allow people to enjoy the beauty of life through design.” says Colombo.


To read more of Carlo Colombo’s creations, get a copy of the Mar-May issue of Home+Living.

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