Category Archives: Design-Apart

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

Ermesponti presentation to IDEO, 28 Mercer street, NYC.

When Diego Paccagnella, the founder of Design-Apart, told us that we were invited to IDEO in Mercer Street (Soho, NYC) we were so excited. To be honest, we were a little bit worried about it. As architects we are more confident with a pencil in our hands than as lecturers. We are not used to public speaking at all!

On the other hand, we felt that we have something in common with those IDEO guys. We have a passion for Design and the same interests in the creative process (we love the last book by David and Tom Kelley “Creative Confidence”) and the design-thinking behind every human activity.

Paolo Ponti da IDEO

We were asked to tell our story; not only the experience with Design-apart, but also our core-business, which is strongly related to our creative process as architects and entrepreneurs. We considered this to be our approach, both artistic and scientific, and our integrated “end-to-end” method (from the first idea to the turnkey Interior) might capture their interest. Continue reading

Ermesponti on The New York Times!

cartaceo del NYT

We are proud to announce that just a few days after the opening our Living Showroom is in The New York Times! It is a great unsuspected achievement for Ermesponti and all the others producers of Design- Apart !

This is only the first step of a great adventure! Design-Apart partners with 20 small-medium but highly specialized Italian companies: Ermesponti Bespoke Interiors, TM Italia, Berto, Exnovo, Elica, Marrone Cutom Cooking, MiIlldue, Zucchetti Kos, Technogel Sleeping, Techlab Italia, MenottiSpecchia, Renata Bonfanti, Bosa, Secondome, B-Stone, Segno Italiano,A.M. Ricami, Servomuto, Giovanni Casellato, Magis.

Homo ad Circulum


I would very much like to talk about a crucial question asked by one of the journalists during the Opening: “What have you at Ermesponti in common with the other companies”? Continue reading

Opening of the First Living Showroom of Design-Apart in NYC.

D-A Team NYCFinally, last friday, we opened!

We totally agree with the first impression of our friend, Filippo Berto about the most relevant characteristic of the new Living Showroom of Design-Apart in 110 W 25th St New York. The atmosphere was amazing. You immediately felt at home. And what a home! The spirit and the essence of a contemporary Italian home in NYC!

We are very proud to be part of this newborn adventure and to have strongly contributed to the achieving of this “Italian dream”, which is supposed to export not only products of Italian design but also our high standard of Bespoke Interiors.

Since we joined Design-Apart we put all our efforts- and maybe more- into launching this project. This was from the very first sketch to the actual drawing, to organizing the works on site and the complete installation. Now we understand we were right. The only way to show this new era of Bespoke Design is to have a real experience of it. This is Diego Paccagnella‘s great idea: no more lifeless showroom filled with cold furniture, but a real loft where people live!

Our mission as Italians is to promote our idea of creativity and our products “designed and made in Italy”. This can really become the new business model of the  Italian Future of the Craftsmen( Futuro Artigiano by Stefano Micelli docet).

Can this team of small, but highly specialized Italian companies change the world of Interior Design? We are confident that we can.

The console table


This is just a console table story. First, the idea on a sketch. I talked about it with our master carpenter, Alberto, and we decided together some details. He selected the solid wood and began to cut and work on it. In a few days it was completed. A parchment top on four solid wood slanted legs and a glass tray supported by a wooden cross below.
In my opinion this is a little piece of “ebanisteria” ( the highest level of cabinet making).
It is so beautiful: each detail is so much cared about that is just perfect. Just a glance at it, before it is packed: it is hard to let it go, I wish it was been made for me. Continue reading

Our “Mondrian” main boiserie or wall paneling

But can we call it just wall paneling? Indeed, it is a paneling because the beautiful whitened oak veneer incredibly continues for all it’s length. But inside you find: an entire closet, the main entrance of the loft, the emergency exit to the building’s stairs, a small laundry, some kitchen cupboards with ovens and appliances and finally a small pantry.

Design Apart-296-Edit

The design of this piece it takes us more time than all the others because it depends from appliances chosen by the customer (see a beautiful sketch).
It almost puzzles us to find a place for the huge washing and dryer machine and every single appliance like oven or coffee machine and whatever…

Design Apart-259-Edit

The final design is not a bad compromise of those different functions: it comes from them and it is like a “Mondrian” abstract outline. The wow effect certainly comes when you open all the doors and see what is inside this huge plane wooden surface! Guess how we managed it…like we do for yachts!

Continue reading

The media cabinet

MC render x web


The media cabinet is a huge piece of our production and hosts all the media devices of the loft and a hidden opening to the freight elevator( Please  see our 3D drawing compared to the picture above). You can find it in front of the entrance door of the loft and it is definitely the most important piece of the loft furniture.  Actually it is not a simply piece of furniture , but it is part of the loft’s interior.  ( it s impossible to move it away from here!) It is designed like a portal of solid Italian walnut stripes with a big niche in the centre.   The portal is aligned with the main beam of the ceiling and the AC duct is covered in the upper part behind it. The niche has a glass backdrop divided in two ( the doors to the freight elevator): the glass sandwich panel is made of two glass layers – transparent the first, opaque the other- with a linen fabric inside.
I personally choose and put together each peace of solid wood (see picture below) that Silvio cut by hand. It is very impressive.

MC selezione stripes x web


29 days to be ready

Exactly: in 29 days the bespoke interiors are ready to be shipped to New York!


Of course Paolo and I supervise all the making process of what we have just designed. There is only a glass door between our office and the workshop. We often go in and out to check everything is done perfectly and take some picture of each manufacturing phase to share with both Diego and the Design-Apart team and Chris, the client. Indeed, the streaming helps us to inform very rapidly everyone involved in the project about the production and let them take part of it even though they are actually very far away.

Chris is amazed: just back from his summer holidays, he finds the photo-streaming and sees his furniture during the making. He simply writes: wow!


Design-Apart NY: ermesponti’s first wood-cut!


After two months dedicated to the design, the survey and the executive project finally we are cutting the first piece of solid wood!

Yesterday, Silvio ( one of ermesponti master-carpenter) has begun to select and cut the old Italian walnut trees that will cover the main entrance wall of the first Flatiron loft signed by Design- Apart!

silvio cut the fist piece

We are proud to share with you this amazing project and each single phase of it!

In the meantime Giuseppina – our seamstress- and Ermes Ponti – in person- are choosing, cutting and stitching together the oak veneers for the paneling between the living room  and the kitchen.

Yes, you understood well: we are not only interior and bespoke furniture designers; we also produce every single piece exclusively for you, around each need or dream you may have.

We design as a stylist and produce as a tailor; but in between, even the fabric we select and weave it  for you. You know, every tree is different like every man it is.

Are you ready to see the very first Italian bespoke loft in NY?

Wait for a few weeks; we are coming soon before Central Park Autumn leaves are fallen!

Follow us also on Design Apart’s website:

Now back in Mantova

At the same time, in Ermesponti, our technician Mattia prepares all the production drawings and easily the making process starts according with them.


Each master carpenter is in charge of a specific item: Silvio of the media cabinet, Giuseppe of the hall- kitchen boiserie, Roberto of the main tv corner cabinet, Marco of the Sintagma’s bookshelves and finally Alberto, the cherry on the cake, taking charge of the small console table that goes in front of the entrance.