Italian Excellence On Our Doorstep | Boffi | De Padova
Boffi | De Padova is one of Italy’s most prestigious design companies, renowned for its design excellence and Italian craftsmanship.
Stephen Horton owns the New Zealand arm of Boffi, a newly revamped showroom in Grafton — an area synonymous with international design labels. Independently owned by Stephen, it’s one of 60 flagship stores around the world and displays the exquisite sophistication of Boffi | De Padova design to perfection. Verve recently had the pleasure of meeting with Boffi’s owner, Mr Roberto Gavazzi, in Auckland for the launch.
You stand at the helm of Boffi worldwide?
Yes. I started with Boffi in 1989. I knew the Boffi family and Paulo Boffi wanted to find a partner because he didn’t have family who could continue the business. It was a fantastic opportunity. Our creative director, Piero Lissoni, was a very young designer and art director then. The two of us started a new era for Boffi.
How has Boffi changed during those years?
We’ve gone from being a specialised kitchen producer to a diversified company offering high-end kitchen, bathroom, furniture, shelving and storage solutions.
You’ve merged with other companies?
Our vision was to create the Boffi style in every single area of the home. To achieve this, we wanted firstly to add De Padova which was one of the best furniture design companies in Italy. It’s a special brand and we wanted to represent it in the best possible way.
Magdalena De Padova headed De Padova before passing the helm to her children. She was the first to import top Danish furniture and Eames products to Italy. Then she worked with some of the top designers of the world. She’s famous in the architectural world and it took us a few years to convince the company to merge with us.
Then MA/U joined us, a company that offers innovative shelving and wardrobe solutions, and more recently, ADL, which are a range of doors. We don’t call them doors, we call them connectors. They’re designed to complement the architecture.
We’re one of very few companies offering complete, high-end solutions from bathrooms to kitchens, to doors, to tiles, to taps, to furniture, to everything you need for a beautiful home.
Every Boffi collection hides an idea that strikes an emotion and seizes the senses.
Boffi has a focus on eco-sustainability too?
This is an important part of Boffi, plus, our stone and metals are handcrafted. The reality is that there is always something that’s not perfect sustainably. Everything has a little bit of an advantage and a disadvantage. For example, glass is beautiful and ceramic is beautiful. All of these are produced in big ovens – once they’re produced they’re perfectly recyclable, but production is another story.
Are you based at the Boffi head office?
Yes, we are in Lentate sul Seveso in Brianza, which is a design centre north of Milan. It’s an area where 80-90 percent of the top design companies in Italy are located. Many designers are from Milan so it’s a region that has a number of advantages for excellence in design.
We’ve heard you have a training centre for people like architects and interior designers who work with Boffi | De Padova?
We run a training centre where architects and designers can come and learn in-depth about our products because there is a creative part and a technical part to Boffi — it can be quite complex. People need to understand the range of what we have, how it works technically and what it can be aesthetically. We feel it’s important to offer the best know-how and the best service so we can deliver what our customers want.
So people can come to the Boffi Studio here and sit down with Stephen who brings the Boffi headquarters back from the training centre with him. You can’t see all of the Boffi family but we’re all standing right behind him.
If any architects/designers are interested in attending the training centre, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Stephen.