L'impero di Simonetta Fumagalli

Simonetta Fumagalli's Empire

Rome in grand styl

An article from OBJEKT International

original article from OBJEKT International Original Article With her L'Arte nella Casa she continues to set standards in the world of interior furnishings.
Her store in the centre of Rome combines the magnificence of past times with the spirit of the present.
Simonetta Fumagalli has built up a reputation as a connoisseur of the finest fabrics and as the hostess with the mostest.

She was brought up with interior design. Her father had a prestigious business in wall coverings in Via Cola di Rienzo, where he combined the activities of agent and wholesaler. His store had the reputation of grandeur and style. In 1978 the empire passed to Simonetta.

«I inherited a famous wall covering business, but times were changing. That is why I gradually altered it into a showroom specialising in interior furnishings. I envisaged a shop that would be unique in the world. It was to be modelled along the lines of an American textile showroom - a place selling leading products from international fabrics manufacturers to architects and interior designers. Selling the whole range of fabrics, something like the D+D Building in New York, but then here in Rome -something like that, but then in Roman style» as Simonetta put it. «In the early days we employed a chef preparing, as a sideline, extensive lunches which attracted a lot of people. Those days are past, though we do serve one of the best coffees in Rome».

Her enthusiasm and hospitality soon became a constant factor in Rome. She connected up designers and architects with people from the arts world, and famous set designers with leading television producers and directors. Having worked with the principal representatives of that creative community, she has built up a reputation that today extends far beyond the national boundaries.

She has come across people in th emost unlikely places on earth, like the time when, paddling in a boat on the Mediterranean she happened to come across someone doing exactly the same thing. Such encounters have marked her life and greatly influenced her work. Accordingly, she has got to know everyone who's anyone in the interior furnishing universe, and consistently keeps her finger on the pulse concerning new developments. She enjoys working with companies withinnovativedrive, like Zimmer & Rohde, Sahco and Dedar, and favours quality above all.

This approach to her profession is reflected in her showroom. The stately entrance to the premises at Cola di Rienzo is a thing of the past. Nowadays operations are concentrated at the back of the building, at Via Valadier, where an unpretentious canopy marks the entrance.
Once inside, the visitor immediately encounters a cheerful abudance of interior furnishings, arranged in various rooms. People are hard at work in all the showrooms, and staff enthusiastically pluck fabric after fabric from the huge variety of swatches to show off to customers. There is a constant to-ing and fro-ing, and in the basement her nephew, Andrea Fumagalli, applies himself to his artistic creations.

At7 pm, the lights go off. Bythen,withunremittingenergy,Simonetta will invariablyhavephonedaroundtorustleupagroupoffriendstogo out for a meal or join her for dinner in the greene ry of her leafy terrace.

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