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Sunday March 23, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday March 23, 2014 MYT 9:10:03 AM
by tan lee kuen
MHC Milano Home Concept offers more value to the tasteful crowd with original Italian designs from its Milan studio team.
Italian furniture brand offers original designs with good quality and workmanship.
THREE years ago, Giacinto Muto came up with an innovative worldwide concept for furniture. He started with the simple but important concept, and that is Italy is a land of beauty. Inspired by his home country, Muto founded MHC Milano Home Concept to tap into Italy’s vast treasure trove of history, culture and heritage for its furniture designs.
“Italy is one the most ancient places in the world, and it is the biggest factory of beauty. Eighty per cent of the world’s art and culture is found in Italy. Ever since we were born, we have had beauty in our eyes, whether it is in the architecture or the arts and culture, and it is this inspiration that we are using for our designs,” says founder Giacinto Muto at an interview in the MHC showroom in Petaling Jaya, Selangor last week.
With over 20 years experience in the furniture business, part of it as general director of Natuzzi chain stores, Muto spotted a gap in the Italian furniture market that he hopes to fill. He set up MHC with the mission of creating an independent furniture company that can create totally new concepts in the industry. Its key selling points are that it offers original designs with good quality and workmanship at affordable prices.
“A lot of people are looking for Italian furniture but the price point is far beyond most people’s means. What MHC does is give more value to the customer with original Italian design from our Milan studio team at the right price,” says Melissa Tan, MHC Malaysia’s executive director.
There are two main collections at MHC – the Contemporary Classic and the Contemporary Chic.
“We started the two collection to be harmonious but independent. You can feel the two different moods, but you can also feel the harmony between the two,” says Muto.
The Contemporary Classic reinterprets classic Italian themes by updating them with contemporary lines. The furniture in this collection is defined by the modular geometric motifs that often extend into the texture. Each line within the collection was inspired by a Milanese landmark, such as La Scala, the historic opera house in the centre of Milan.
“The design of the Scala collection represents the classical life and mood of the theatre,” says Marco Fumagalli, MHC’s chief designer.
La Scala’s neoclassical architecture was also the starting point for the Classic collection’s signature pattern, which is repeated throughout, whether woven into textures or laser cut into metal. It can be seen in the icon piece of the collection, a round dining table with its pattern laser cut into pink chrome for legs.
In turn, the Brera, which takes its name and inspiration from the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, has a broad leg design with a pink chrome tip.
As for the 20th century design-inspired Contemporary Chic collection, its most distinctive feature is the unique “clock” mechanism screw head. Applied in the world of luxury watches, and certain woodworking circles, at MHC, it appears as a detail on shelves, a feature on cupboards or as a tabletop. The collection’s low screw head table won an award at the Shanghai International Furniture Exhibition in China last year.
“In the furniture world, we are always hiding the screw, but we choose to highlight it in our collection and give it the right importance. The screw head is a necessary mechanism in luxury watches, and by this, we also want to impart a rich impression of the furniture to our customers. The screw helps us to deliver this message,” says Fumagalli.
When it comes to product design, MHC has a unique process. Using Fumagalli’s sketches as a starting point, the team in Milan would match the drawings with the best materials and furnishings before rendering them into highly realistic 3D visualisations. It gives the design team a head start in visualising the end product, and giving MHC an edge in the business.
With its roots in the Italian tradition for quality goods, MHC counts on the finest materials for its furniture, whether it is American walnut wood or smoke oak, with emperador marble from Turkey for tabletops.
“People want to spend but they want value in what they are spending on. So we give them the value, whether it is as simple as the thickness of our materials. When the customer touches the furniture, they can feel the quality of the materials that we use,” says Fumagalli, who also designed MHC’s chic showroom on Jalan Gasing.
Another value-added service that MHC offers is customisation for its furniture, giving customers the option of choosing different colours, materials and textures. Every season, they would create a colour palette following the trends from the city’s Fashion Week to help inspire choices.
Part of the Getha group, MHC Malaysia is an exciting addition to the furniture market, addressing a need for quality furniture at the right prices. The 557.4sq m showroom in Petaling Jaya is its first flagship store in Asia, with new stores in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang in the pipeline.
Milano Home Concept showroom is at 60, Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya in Selangor. Visit www.milanohome.it or call +603-7931 0660 for more information.
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Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Milano Home Concepts, Furniture
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