This post could also be called the incomparable value of niche designs!

We all know that globalization is leading to standardized outdoor spaces as it has indoors. Fortunately pockets of resistance are still going strong (including Design Milk!) A few days ago, I spent a reassuring and amusing afternoon chatting the French über-chic garden designer Xavier Loup. He trained in the US and is as passionate about plants as he is about outdoor decor. Underlying everything, he says, one senses a true passion for craftsmen and certainly a complete lack of interest for cheap or shoddy designs.

He just opened a superb show room in Belgium. There one can find cherry-picked designs with high production value. He was kind enough to share some of his finds and I fell in love with these fiberglass designs. Not only are they superb but they also double up as occasional seats. Brilliant unexpected outdoor additions, they are also stunning indoor features.

They are made by an Italian company with an even more charming name: il laboratorio dell’imperfetto, or literally the “laboratory of the imperfect”! Actually, imperfetto can also mean unique or one-of-a-kind, like the fiberglass objects that the firm (headed by Verter Turroni and Emanuela Ravelli) creates. On their site, they describe the process and materials:

Fiberglass is the material they have chosen for the creation of various designs because it is light, it can be translucent, dark or white, colored by clays or fire painted, it suits indoors but also outdoors as it is resistant rain and sunlight. Each piece is made from a mold, then sanded, painted and polished by hand. This meticulous and precise attention makes every single work unique and peculiar.

The names and shapes recall nature: Bulbi, Gusci, Ciottoli, but their unusual dimensions disclose Verter and Emanuela’s talent for sculpture and painting. It was the year 2002 when Verter and Emanuela, along with their activity of set designers for architects, ateliers and events, set up the works of these objects to fulfill their creative desire to actually give shape and substance to emotions and ideas, continuing their research they set forth at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Exploring beyond the standard brands is so rewarding! Happy hunting!