Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FOLLINA: New Store – Magamaison

FOLLINA: New Store – Magamaison.  Follina is tucked in the Prosecco hills north west of Venice.  The charming small town boasts a fourteenth century Cistercian Abbey and an equally charming Relais & Chateaux Hotel, Villa Abbazia.  Recently, Maria Gabriella Sorbara Sammartini has opened her second Magamaison store (the first being in Bologna). The interior-decorating showroom, store and laboratory sells and custom makes things to order for the home. Maria Gabriella grew up with a needlepoint needle in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other, her late mother, a lady of great taste, Maria Luisa Munn not only enjoyed cooking and entertaining but was also an avid fan of creating petite point tapestries, so much so, that she was the first person in Italy to commercialize the craft by importing the famous Elizabeth Bradley kits from Wales and then by creating canvases to order for her customers from their own specifications and photographs, a practice her daughter still carries on today.  The exuberant Maria Gabriella grew up in this environment and is also very knowledgeable about fabrics and quality. It is her aim to provide her customers not only with something special and of excellent quality, which she has sourced from around the globe, but also to offer a sustainable price tag.

Stripes and Needlepoints. Magamaison imports the most beautiful striped fabrics from France “I love stripes because the pairing of the colors, side by side, is the best expression colors can have.”  Maria Gabriella explains.  Above the nineteenth century cupboard are a selection of needlepoint cushions.  Magamaison can custom make canvases to be embroidered from customer’s photographs. Already embroidered cushions and carpets are also available.

Shawls and cushions. A nineteenth century family bookcase serves as shelves for scarves and shawls.  In the foreground the multipurpose pear wood container was hand turned by Vettor Sammartini and the tweed cushion, below is made with one of Maria Gabriella’s favorite natural materials, others being linen, felt, cotton, fine wools and wood.

Scarves.   These exquisite scarves are designed by Danish designer, Bess Neilsen for Khadi and Co.  The scarves are spun and woven by hand in India, making them a true textile treat; light, warm, wearable and a treasure to own.

Towels.  The softest polka dotted Japanese towels come in pretty pastel colors and are so soft that you want to cherish them. The ecological towels are made from organic cotton and are dyed with  natural herb and mineral dyes.

 Linens and wood.   A Linen napkin and tablemat set are embroidered with an elegant border, the napkin is held together with a felt ring. They sit on a wooden cutting board inlaid with a pheasant, designed and made by Alberto Franchin.

The laboratory.   In the back of the store is a small workroom where customer’s projects are made up and take shape; tablecloths, curtains, cushions or even bigger interior decorating projects are just a few of the services Maria Gabriella offers her clients.

The borders.   Colorful borders waiting to be used, cheer up even the greyest days of winter.

The needlepoint kits.  One of Elizabeth Bradley’s embroidered fishes hangs on the shelves in the workroom ready to be made up into a cushion or rug for a customer.
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