Luxury Italian Furniture Between Tradition and Modernity: Anthony Davani

Purity Collection - Dining Table. Photo by The Davani Group.

Anthony Davani is the CEO of The Davani Group, which provides custom and standard marble to design industry professionals. They source the most exotic materials on earth and handcraft the ultimate in home furnishings and decor.

Tell us about yourself. Who is Anthony Davani?

I’m a serial entrepreneur. I have started and sold a few businesses, most recently within Dubai for six years, then I moved back to the US back in 2013 with my wife. She has a European background, and I have an international background, and we both have strong relationships with Italian craftsmen. We felt that there was a big gap in the market bringing quality products and European craftsmanship to the US. We wanted to bridge that gap between bringing in and giving designers as well as architects access to European craftsmen, products and design to the North American market.

How did you get the inspiration for all your creations?

So there are two different sides to our business: Davani, the brand, which is our furniture collection, and The Davani Group, which does custom projects. For Davani, where we get our creations, it’s the series of capsule collections that separates us from any other luxury brand. I formed Davani specifically because I saw a lot of well-known brands bringing in the same designers, and then they all start doing the same things. I wanted to create a series of capsule collections that take inspiration from various forms from nature, or art. Every collection is completely different. For our latest collection “Purity”, we’ve gotten the inspiration through organic raw materials, vitality is all about using materials that are bold, alive, and essentially have veins similar to the circulatory system that runs through the body.

What makes Davani Group special?

The fact that we provide access to materials that are very hard to come by and our artists provide complicated architectural solutions for the architects and designers that many companies cannot do.

Which would be more appropriate to say: “Davani Group has a classic style in modern times” or, “Davani Group is a modern interpretation of classic design”?

I would say neither. Because we adapt to the Davani Group, we do the projects and adapt to the style of that particular project or designer. When we’re working on a project with an architect or designer, depending on what project they’re working on, whether it’s traditional or super modern and minimalistic, we adapt in order to execute on their vision. Because the Davani Group is not designing, they are executing on architectural architects or designers’ designs.

Getting into Purity Collection, how was it born?

Purity Collection was born out of frustration when I was searching for a 12-person dining table for my home. When COVID hit, it allowed me to really spend time developing a new collection. I started with Purity because of my love of travertine. I wanted to use travertine because of how raw and organic it is, but also because of the healing properties that were used, then we developed the collection centered around the dining table. It was very important for me as a central point to develop the line because with COVID happening, the world changed overnight. People were traveling less and families were not going out to eat as much because they were home. At home, it’s the dining table where we shed laughter, tears, memories drinks, and food. It’s a table of community, so I wanted to create a table that is beautiful, substantial, and really brings the community together. Also, since it was our first collection, it was all about really pushing the envelope and designing the world’s first marble expandable table that can sit and bring large families together. It was also about distant connectivity; people want to stay connected and incorporating technology like the conference table, concealed pocket charger, and wireless charging for phones helps. It was about how we designed that around the dining table, but also how all the other pieces had different elements of innovative design technology, whether that’s the recessed lighting or concealed pop-up storage.

How is this collection different from the others? what’s so special?

It’s special because of its versatility and what we’ve done engineering-wise. Extendable tables and the incorporating lighting all have concealed storage; I’ve never seen any dining table that has concealed storage within it. Also, the collection is different because the versatility of the materials allows the pieces to be not just specified for indoor use, but can also be specified for outdoor use.

Are all your creations “unique”?

Absolutely. All our all creations are unique. Even if I produce 10 Purity diamond tables, they’re all in the same material, but because of my earlier point on how every stone is different, every one of those tables will be different, as well. Not just in how we’re creating, but also because we’re not using manmade or synthetic material, because it’s immaterial that’s alive.

How would you define your style?

Style depends on the collection, and it’s hard to pigeonhole. We’re debt. We’re a modern contemporary company that also has different elements by bringing them in and reading into ancient and exotic materials.

All your creations are in marble? If so, may we know why have you chosen this material instead of others?

The central and core material used in all our collections is stone, but what separates us from many others is the fact that we are able to combine different materials in our creations. We choose marble as our core material because of how unique it is and how much history it has. Every piece of marble has its own DNA, like a human being, so there’s no piece of marble that is the same. It’s like a fingerprint; every single step is completely different. It’s alive, raw, and has energy. Natural stone has an energy that it gives off and given the history of how it’s been used, from the Romans building coliseums to Jerusalem or the Middle East. These old cultures, whether they’re Asian, Middle Eastern, or European, have all incorporated marble. It’s such a unique material that is so elegant and luxurious.

How has Italy influenced your work?

Italy has influenced our work tremendously. Everything we have made is made in Italy by our Italian craftsmen. Italy is a culture that is all about design. They live and breathe design. Whether that’s fashion, architecture, or furniture, everything is about design and very well thought out. We’re paying attention to all the little details to make things as simple as possible. The more simple it is, the more luxurious it is. Italy also inspires us by the culture. Life is much slower there. People eat slower, spend more time with family and friends, seeing life slow down, really allows us to take our time with the process to create something that is appreciated, like when somebody is walking by a table, they just stop and really appreciate the profile, edge details and the different fabrication techniques that we use to create a masterpiece.

What does design mean to you?

Design, to me, is art. Design is functional art. It’s important to not just be beautiful, but to be functional, lived with, and enjoyed. It’s also about being innovative, pushing boundaries, and doing something that’s not normal. When we’re designing something, we’re not designing for a trend, a timeless design that’s going to be relevant decades from now or for one particular era.

Design and creation, how long does it take? Could you briefly describe your work process?

Design, for us, is not much different than building the creations. Because every one of our collections is capsule collections, they’re each different. Each of them goes through a smaller process, and it’s not much different than how much time a new Branchville or film is made. When we first come up with what inspires us, the main goals, and elements that inspire us, then we come up with mood boards and palettes. With questions, like how does it smell? How does it taste? What does it look like? So, we bring visuals to art and words to our senses to know what that would look like, and then we go to the process of design. It’s very much a back and forth process, then it goes through the engineering, where we get production involved to make sure that what we’re producing is not just beautiful, but it’s also going to be engineered to be functional.

What are the fundamental trends right now in interior architecture?

We’re seeing a lot of neutral colors that are being used and mixed with certain accents of both materials. We’re seeing lots of whites and grays, but then, in rooms, we’ll see accents of colors that are a bit bolder. However, because we do work on the international market, we tend to see different trends occurring at the same time. North America is using much more whites whereas the Middle East is using more color, and Europe is more about using Earth tone colors. Each market is a little bit different and that’s what’s really interesting about our business, as well.

What do you think the trends of the future furniture design will be?

I think we’re going to start seeing elements, some traditional or classical elements being incorporated with modern architecture and design. I’m also seeing that the world has gotten smaller. Products like ours are much more accessible now. Before, you had to travel to these international fairs to become aware of such brands, but now with the internet, social media, I think it allows easier access to products.