William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Indisputably both is the latest range of furniture and homewares from Barnaba Fornasetti, son of Piero. Named the Don Giovanni collection, it is inspired by Barnaba’s great love of opera (and specifically by the set for his recent production of Il Dissoluto Punito Ossia il Don Giovanni at Milan’s Teatro dell’Arte), and will be on display exclusively at Harrods from Thursday August 31, before officially launching in Milan in November.
Motifs from the opera – jugglers, masks and surreal forests – appear across a number of limited edition furniture items, as well as accessories and chinaware. Among the standouts are the cylindrical Cilindro (£17,700) and Vetrina (£23,625) storage cabinets, decorated in rich reds and jet blacks (recalling Don Giovanni’s provocative and seductive side) and both featuring a prowling leopard.
Continuing the 360-degree décor is the Tamburo table (£9,850), edged with monochrome hands and featuring a discreet drawer, and a screen (£14,750) that seeks to “transform the visual temperature of the surrounding space”, referencing a theatre wing on one side and featuring a balustrade and a bust on the other.
A sinuously shaped chair (£2,625) includes the silhouette of Don Giovanni, while a selection of home accessories includes a tray (£575) and magazine rack (£1,300) bearing the same design as the Tamburo, as well as a teapot (£360), wastepaper basket (£780), plates (from £140) and vases (from £580).
“Try to imagine a world without music,” says Barnaba. “It’s the same thing you would experience in a world without decoration.” For those who don’t want to experience either, the soundtrack from Fornasetti's production of Il Dissoluto Punito Ossia il Don Giovanni is being released this autumn.