Category Archives: Design

A London bespoke interiors project by Ermesponti in Nightingale Lane – Part 3: the bookshelves and… the client’s feedback

Welcome to the third and last post of the series dedicated to the Nightingale Lane home in London.London bespoke interiors

After introducing you to the bespoke interior project we designed and realised for the kitchen and the living room, we will now tell you all about what we thought (and made) for the dining room and the sitting room.

And, as a final note, you’ll find the feedback the client generously shared with us. Enjoy!


The bookshelves were definitely the main requirement of the project.

They are located between the new extension dining room and the old-style sitting room.  In fact they were supposed to divide and link the two parts of the house and at the same time to display many pieces of art, vases and books the owners collected over the years.

bespoke interiors in london

The inspirational idea was a pile of traveling trunks.

Each one was made of a different kind of oak -thermo-treated in three different tones – to remind the couple of their many travels.  

We conceived the bookshelves using thin, hand-lacquered sides and oak shelves randomly  positioned and overlooking the two rooms.

london bespoke interiors

The impression given is of a shifting cloud.

Each shelf acts as a tray and has its own back panel which serves as a backdrop.

FOTO NIGHTINGALE_LQ-12You can see between the  “L” shaped shelves in different directions through the empty spaces between them. This gives a dynamic effect with the hand -lacquered vertical risers.  

As requested, we designed a wider space so that from the dining table it is possible to see the original fireplace in the sitting room with a walk-in-passage on the  opposite side.

As an additional, we are glad to share a note we received from the client after completing the works: 

“We feel Ermes Ponti have provided vision, craftsmanship and quality far exceeding our expectation and for which we are very satisfied. For this reason, we will be more than pleased to recommend thi firm to our clients and others looking for similar quality.”

We thank our client for such a positive feedback, and we look forward to work for them again in the future, evolving the bespoke interior vision of their beautiful London home!

bespoke interiors in london

London Design Week – The Ermesponti report.

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Last week the London Design Week 2016 was on so we went to the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour in different occasions.

The Design Centre in Chelsea always tries to offer the latest directions in interior design and displays a good example of global names of the luxury interiors.

During this week, the place has been buzzing with people especially interior designers and – actually – if you are an interior designer or decorator, this is the place to come.

There are more than one hundred of shops offering materials and products (fabrics, carpets, wallpapers, trimmings, furniture and lightining) ready to be screened. Some products we saw were really inspiring and we found really close to what we think is beauty, unicity and luxury.

Among them, the trimmings by the Sevinch Passamanterie were beautiful pieces of art, handmade by artisans who master a very antique technique in making tassels and trimmings. This artefacts are so precious and unique, they are mainly produced for royal palaces and historycal houses (like The Wallace Collection Museum where we took pictures of few tassels weeks ago, without knowing where they came from!).

This year, the London Design Week also offered some brief insight from the hospitality world with two events.

We found very interesting the experience of Pasrichan Sharan, who took care of developing the Hoxton, well known place where-to-go in Shoreditch, especially among young professionals. The task of his team was to find the potential right location, to understand the right target and how to attract them.

The same task, although with a more ‘mature / high-end’ target, was undertook by another guest, Brian Clivaz in developing and managing an exclusive men’s club in Soho, the Arts Club.

The room they concentrated on was the main lounge area, the social space, where people come and gathered together. In both experiences (young professionals the first one, royalties and high society, the second) design plays a very important role. In order to create a smooth atmosphere, bespoke interiors with a few design pieces are used, some are vintage, in order to give a distinctive but recognizable character, a lifestyle, they are trying to sell to the customer.

Very interesting was also the meeting with Bernie Gallagher, chairman of the Doyle Collection, a family company, owner of eight boutique-hotels located in Ireland, England and US.

As they move to redesign and transform their hotels, the main thread for all of them was to deliver something “to be desirable and forever”.

For this long project, Bernie has been working with the architect Denis Looby from Sheehan & Barry Architects, met long time ago. Amazingly, every Doyle Collection Hotel is bespoke-designed, each with “a wholly individual look and feel”, combining fine architecture with elegant, modern interiors. I felt the views  this lady shared with us were really sensible and condivisible: a good manager spends with care, invests in the long run, has to aim high to be sure to deliver the best. We think they spotted it.


1 – Ermesponti bespoke interiors has a London-based Export manager: to contact her is as easy as sending an email.

2 – Feel like checking out Ermesponti’s international references? Here you are!

3 – Ermesponti bespoke interiors has just completed a bespoke interior project in the heart of London.

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London Calling… Italian Bespoke Design at the London Design Week 2016.

There’s a lot of talk, these day, in London about design, for the London Design Week taking place in Chelsea.

In particular, it seems like the home-extension market is having quite a development, due to an increase of taste for quality interiors among Londoners.

Well, being in London right now, developing several projects, we can witness that… yes, it’s true!

And it’s also absolutely true that the taste for exquisite Italian quality for bespoke interiors – and by that expression we mean “interior architecture projects uniquely and purposely designed for that specific use of that specific person” – has increased a lot.

As in every great city of the world – we feel at home in London, but we have worked quite a lot in other world capitals – we feel a growing demand for what is perceived as the ultimate luxury:

NOT the super-rich material or the overrated and hyperexpensive design piece, BUT the interior made just for oneself, in a single, custom realized piece noone else in the world will ever have.

We are used to say that our interiors are like portraits of the people that are designed and realized for…

A home, in our opinion, must speak the one and only language of the personality of its inhabitants, and our precise role as architects and interior designers is to understand, interpret and give back in terms of architecture and interiors such personality.

Noting more, nothing less… in London and anywhere else!

Download the Programme of the LondonDesignWeek 2016


ermesponti interior design: the story in pictures of a small but significant piece of contemporary architecture in a Milan historic building.

Cornelian cylindrical tailor-room by ermesponti interiors


Directly from the architect’s notebook, the first idea of a circular  volume around a structural column. From a limit to an opportunity. From a structural column a pivot space around which revolves the design section of the entire store. Seeing is believing. ermes-ponti-interior-sketch


After talking to the architects, here’s the carpenter sketch (crumpled copy of the original) Mr. Alberto has done in order to build a small piece of contemporary architecture in a Milan historic building.


We are well under way; worksite is ready. The structural work is finished, including the cutting of a supporting beam and the seismic upgrading of the entire building. The time is right: our master carpenter Alberto goes to Milan for the last check on measurements. ermes-ponti-interior-3


With the sheet hand-drawn by the architects we’ve seen earlier, plus a 3D simulation that gives the idea of the the construction’s complexity, Alberto gets to work and in the ermesponti laboratory. Here we can see the pre-assembly stage. Building time: about 20 days. ermes-ponti-interior-2


Alberto is now putting his work in place. With just one assistant. With care, intelligence, passion and taste for a well done job. This job is his job; he cares for it because he’s been taking care of it since the very first conception.ermes-ponti-interior-4


After a few days, the store is completed. A VIP circular lounge serves as a hub between the 4 levels of the store. Do you realize how complex was this circular volume around a pillar to create? The absolute consistency between the first sketch and the fina realisation, throughout the whole process is a result of our method, the ermesponti, lean,  end-to-end process :-)Dettaglio interiors Corneliani Montenapoleone store by ermesponti


But the ideas don’t stop here… you can find them in the details as well. Do appreciate the rediscovery of an old hand-crafted leather with a drawstring, usually sewn in the corners. Here is renewed, making it a three-dimensional pattern of contemporary taste. This way of working it gives a “border” to the skin surface; the little cords draw strips of different thickness on the curved panels, according to the product niches positions, made in shiny Macassar ebony with polished stainless steel profiles.

What’s a carpenter, for us at ermesponti

It’s easy to say “carpenter”.

In ermesponti we grow this ancient craft with care and respect.

Falegname presso ermespontiMany of our “falegnami” (the Italian wording our international customers don’t know) are actually master carpenters, who learned to work with wood, over the years, project after project, within our company.

In ermesponti, from the owner – who, despite fifty years of entrepreneurial history has always wanted the word “carpenter” on his ID – to be a carpenter means to be at the heart of the company, Signor ermes ponti,titolare dell'azienda omonima, al lavoro con un falegname where “thought” becomes “act” through the work of hands, and then returns then to thinking phase in a constant and smooth process, with no separation between “those who think” and “those who make”.

In ermesponti “thinking” and “making” are two perspectives of the same glance, two phases of the same project, two moments of the same day. There is no separation between the work of the mind and the work of the hand, regardless of the business roles.

Un falegname di ermesponti (Mantova, Italy) al lavoroThis constant “dialogue” between thought and action is a continuum that leads, in our opinion, to excellence in the production of a piece of interiors, whether residential, retail or yacht.

On a practical plan, here’s how the work is organized.

Every carpenter is responsible for its own work and its own micro-project (the part of the job covered in the specific work phase).
After talking with the architect on drawings, an ermesponti carpenter draws by himself the computer tabs needed for production, then cuts the panels with the CNC machine, so to achieve pinpoint accuracy even in the most challenging process; finally he completes the most important parts manually and assembles the furniture in the lab before the painting step, to verify its perfection.

This approach, simple yet not trivial, allows us to increase widespread creativity, while the natural problem solving of the artisan works together with the architect.

That is how we create value for our customers.
“If you want to be an architect, learn to be a carpenter”

We definitely agree, Mr. Shu!

Falegname al lavoro presso ermesponti Mantova

From a humble balcony in Verona to the luxury of Puli Shanghai. What’s behind a decorative pattern.

To travel is to learn.

We travel a lot – luckily our work leads us to realize bespoke interior a bit everywhere – and sometimes the mind makes unexpected and surprising connections. An example?

Motivo grafico su balcone di VeronaTrue story: imagine finding the same decorative pattern on a balcony in Verona and – an intercontinental journey later – at the Puli Hotel and Spa in Shanghai, as a partition of an extremely luxurious environment.Puli Hotel and Spa Shanghai

Maybe you’ll think that we take too many planes, and that jetlags have strange effects on us!

But, no: just look at the pictures and see for yourself these unusual coincidences… 

Venetian bricklayers share the same visual language with Asian luxury resorts?

Well, why not? :-)

Puli Shanghai

“I’d like a nice table, for my kids to do their homework.” Story of a table… almost perfect.

ermes ponti: tavolo wenge su misuraThis is one of those stories we really like, in which we can find what we love more about our work:

  • direct relationship with the customer
  • possibility to create made-to-measure  furniture
  • a feeling for beauty and functionality (utilitas-venustas, from Vitruvius and so on…)
  • intelligent use of resources, ecologically and environmentally speaking
  • attention to the choice of the essence, in relationship with the specific home

Remember the song we used to sing as children?

To make a table, you need wood, to make wood, you need a tree…

This time we couldn’t sing it, because the table we’re about to tell you about was made without cutting any tree.

The story starts with a lady, a customer of ours – whose home we know well, having furnished it with tailored solutions.

She turned to us asking for a simple object, but with a specific functionality:

“I’d like a nice table by the fireplace, for my kids, to do their homework.” 

A special challenge  for us: something to work on both in terms of design and as a realization project… just like we always do, as a matter of fact!

First of all, knowing that our customer cares for the environment, we took the opportunity to propose a “zero impact” solution:

The table will be made exclusively with spared wood, in small pieces. No extra fees for the material.

“Interesting”, said the customer. Tavolo su misura eremes ponti

Indeed, it was the opportunity we were waiting for to use scraps of fine true Wengè wood.

Beautiful bits we were keeping aside, awaiting for a chance like this.

The re-use idea, if you think of it, does belong to our architectural culture, from the Roman walls to the Byzantine mosaics, and the Venetian terraces… nothing new under the sun!

The challenge was accepted – not without doubts – by our most meticulous carpenter, Alberto.

He saw from the beginning the opportunity to create an extraordinary piece, but also the difficultiesto get the work done: long time, difficult processes, uncertain result… ermes-ponti-tavolo-wenge-bespoke-4

We decided for a 43×43″ plan, polished surface, untreated or perhaps with a film of oil citrus sprayed hot. Then 2″ thick edge.

A quick sketch to explain the idea and then we were all set.

Alberto is happier now:

The effect of the combined veins of the different types of Wengè, ranging from black to various browns to white, creates a mosaic in which each tree tells a different story. Without doubt, a very special table.

ermes-ponti-tavolo-wenge-bespoke-2The thicknesses of the table has been decided with our brass expert.

The top, very heavy, needed triangular supporting elements to make it more stable… they too have been coated in Wengè, while the burnished brass edge is left exposed.

The work of Alberto is now an amazing piece, something to be proud of.

Finished, then?

No: we realised by looking at it that a round table may not be the best to do schoolwork on, especially to draw.

So we cut a slice of it… should we call it the beauty of Japanese imperfection wabi-sabi?

However – even if the customer says she is very happy – we have a feeling we’ll need to wait until the schoolyear is over, to know if the table served its purpose as expected!

Tavolo ermesponti fatto a mano con scarti di wenge

New interiors for your home or your retail business? In case you have doubts, here are our solutions.

We’ve been in business a long time, and our professional experience has taught us the questions that come to our customers’ minds when approaching an interiors project.

The following are some of the most common questions we have encountered in all these years.

Customers wander about some crucial questions and sometimes they are not very sure about where they can find the right answers. Or even if any answer is actually available at all on the global market of interior design, today.
Well, given the questions, we’d like to try to give the ermesponti answers…
Consider them the ermesponti manual to your interiors needs!

“How can I get a project for a special, cosy home, conceived and designed just for myself?”

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Ermesponti is a special place where architects and craftsmen work together for you.

We can really make your home reflect your personality. We made your own home as your best portrait: unique like you.

“Where are the highly skilled craftsmen I need to take care of my interiors project?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.32.22Your specific needs are, indeed, the only project you need.

Let the Project Masters interpret them (beware of designers uncapable of listening).

“Where are the highly skilled craftsmen I need to take care of my interiors project?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.34.40We can fit the bill.

And we do it by constantly working together – Architects, designers and artisans – as in a Renaissance Shop, in a continuous exchange of knowledge, experience, practice…

From the vision to the crafting: this is how ermesponti approaches projects.

“I need an architect and an artisan for my furniture… how can I spot such a team and have them working together for me?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.43.21We are both.  And work together for you.

Ermesponti provides a complete and full service: from the very first sketch to the final setup.

No multiple figures to talk to, stop the contractors crazy, long and overpriced game.

One shop + one person in charge + one job = result.

“I wonder how can I get a complete and full service for my bespoke interior.”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.46.19We work from the very first idea to the final installation.

For ermesponti the essential conditions to start a custom project are clients’ requirements and building’s restrictions.

That’s all we need to deliver a very personal project and a 100% bespoke solution.

“Time and cost are essential to my interiors project: how can I make sure they’re taken into the right consideration?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.45.41Tight deadlines and well-defined budgets?

They are our priority, too.

They are the starting point for a real custom project; both custom-time and custom-cost.

“I love the high quality interiors of some yatchs .. I would like to have the same custom details in own home too…how can I get it?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.45.58We can manage all of these: yachts, houses, shops.

We love cross fertilization. At top levels.

Let’s do up your spaces! We love to do it together with you; we promise it will be one of the most significant experiences of you life. Creating from a white sheet of paper the new shapes and materials for your new customized interior!

“My interiors should reflect my life… that’s why I want to change it, now, I’m in for something new! Who can interpret my mood?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.50.07You’ll be amazed at how radical and powerful a change of interiors can be!

Change your world… your interior world, and make it absolutely, unmistakably yours.

Forget the “design-by” approach  and try the “designed-for” approach to life!

“I’ve had enough of overpriced luxuries of Brands design. Where can I turn to in order to have proper quality at proper price?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.51.31We design and produce excellent quality at a fair price, and we do it just for you.

No one else in the world will have your solution.

“I dream of a high-end (but normally priced) renovation, with handmade 
work and exquisite Italian taste and touch … where are the specialists for such a interior?”

Schermata 11-2456968 alle 21.51.02We are the one-stop shop for you.

We work directly from our Mantua premises for the whole world and all kind of brand and personal projects.

In short?

If you want to change the whole world, well, that’s hard stuff.

But if you want to change your own world- the space where you live and work – with ermesponti you can. And, believe us, the standard of your own life will change with it. Nothing compares to dwell in a bespoke interior where everything is according to your style and expresses you own personality.

Contact us: we’re sure you won’t settle for anything less than your bespoke, handmade, Italian interiors!


How would you design the interior of a house? Materials? Furniture? Design? No, sir: talking to who’s supposed to live there.

New York Interiors by Ermes Ponti

Whoever works in the interior designer industry, like us, can choose different approached to a new project.

She can choose to go the famous-design-object way.

She can choose to design and manufacture bespoke furniture.

Or else, all this can be left aside, to sit down and talk.

Talk and understand. Not only the residents’ needs, but also their taste.

Look around. Try to get the feeling.

Find the aesthetic and functional solutions for that specific person.

It may seem trivial, but almost everythng we see around is designed and manufactured with different criteria, often standard.

Something taking no account of the people who actually will leave in that space.

Take for example the house of an American writer, on 5th Avenue in New York, a project carried out thanks to the network Design-Apart of which we are partner (the project of “living showroom” head office of D-A on the 23rd is our work too – case history here).

It’s a flat with significantly particular tastes – far from our own, to be honest – but by no means despicable, of course.

Bright colours, ethnic flavor, different materials: many objects from all over the world, mixed together, for an environment with a defined personality, expression of the eclectic tastes of the hostess.

The project was born spontaneously as a reinterpretation of her own tastes, of pre-existing structures and its contenitive and functional requirements.

We have selected for her just a few samples, the ones you see in the picture:

Sample 1: a rare sycamore frisè shellac lacquered (natural gloss finish) with an hot orange-red colour, with an almost exotic flavor, suited to her ethnic taste

Sample 2: a very light – almost iridescent- sycamore grooved (flute), reminiscence of the Parisian decorations of the thirties of our colleague J-E. Rulhmann.

Sample 3: stone gray Sahara (on the top) suggested by the colour of the kitchen’s floor

New York Interiors by Ermes Ponti

The writer was thrilled to recognize herself in the choice of her designers, who came from Italy to propose her a kitchen retrieving the design of her beloved column.

She appreciated the selection of mixed colours and materials so consistent with her tastes and with the essences, materials and objects of art of her apartment.

Now she can say to have an apartment unique in the world; her best portrait! Finally!

NY Residential interiors by ermes ponti

Sounds easy enough, right?

Not so, appearently.

Each time is a surprise for us to find that very, very few work truly consider the real needs and tastes of customers.

A method that – if applied by the principle, from the beginning of the project – combines the advantage of a “tailored” job to the pleasure of a unique solution in the world, even for a house of two rooms.

New York Interiors by Ermes Ponti

[Photo gallery + video] The new Corneliani’s extension in via Montenapoleone, Milan

How did you spent your summer holidays? Seaside or mountains? We chose Milan, Via Montenapoleone. We only had month to do all the site works – furnishings included – for the opening of the new additional wing of the Corneliani’s boutique in Milan fashion high street (btw, the PoddaPontiArchitetti Studio mentioned on Corneliani’s website is… us: an architect firm within a handicraft workshop). 1-foto iniziale During the last week of July we gradually removed the fittings and demolished the wall to open and enlarge the ground floor space on the right side of the entrance. We did a thorough survey and started the furniture production. In the meanwhile, we organized the works on site from floor to ceilings, from lighting to plants. On August 22nd everything was ready to start the installation of our furnishing.

You’d never guess how difficult it can be to work together – bricklayers, plumbers, electricians and carpenters – in such a small room… But as we accepted the project, we knew perfectly how things should have been done.

panoramica alberto scala Despite all the problems of the site – including the problematic height of the stairs – we  were finally able to fit everything in a perfect way. All the cables behind the wall panelings, the air conditioning diffusers perfectly aligned with the ceilings and the furniture, impressive handmade wooden details on the new brand wall… dettaglio

Have you seen the brand wall, do you recognize it ? We designed this pattern for the first time for the facade of the Corneliani flagship in Shanghai reinventing it from the famous Mantegna‘s fresco of the “Camera degli Sposi” at Palazzo Ducale in Mantua.

After that, Corneliani decided to use it in his next winter collection and soon it became the new Corneliani brand pattern, also for the strong bond with the cultural heritage of Mantua, where the company is located. In Milan, you can find the brand wall in front of the entrance doors. It is built by backlit ebony circles and iron bracelets fixed on a chessboard of leather panels decorated by special drawstrings sewed on its backside (produced by our friend Berto Salotti in record time for us!). Please take a look at the impressive details of the ebony frame junction: we must thank our master carpenter Alberto for making them with such a loving care! brand wall The opening day was scheduled for the first week of September, but we were ready almost a week ahead! The Corneliani Creative Director – Mr. Sergio Corneliani in person – opened the doors of his renovated Montenapoleone store on Monday September 1st and, while doing so, was perfectly aware about the key figure to credit for such a perfect job: his trustworthy architect Paolo Ponti! foto finale