At Home Office Life, we take great pride in partnering with brands with rich histories and a portfolio of truly exceptional pieces. In celebration, we are introducing The Brand Spotlight – a series of interviews where we dive into these wonderful brands and learn more about what makes them unique, their process behind their creations and everything else in between.
Our second entry in the series is with Patrizio Lari, CEO of Badari. There are few brands that embody the qualities of luxury as accurately, and as comfortably, as the Italian furniture house. Their pieces are sought after by the many, being famous for their complete mastery of bronze-crafting and their balance of style and tradition. Their legacy, spanning over six decades, is one of excellence and the very pursuit of it, and no greater proof exists besides their exquisite creations.
Now, let’s dive into the wonderful world of Badari:
HOL: We know Badari is a company of great heritage, but what’s the story? Take us right to the beginning.
PL: Badari was founded by Marcello Badari in 1956 as a repair shop. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, he decided to launch a new project repairing brass light fixtures. In that period there was a great demand for repairs, however, after a few years, Badari realized that people were more interested in the new rather than the old.
Soon after came the great economic boom in Italy and with perfect timing, Badari started his first business producing artistic chandeliers. There was plenty of work in the sixties. But in November 6th 1966, a great flood completely devastated the beautiful city of Florence, leaving everything under a meter of mud, including his small workshop!
HOL: Wow! That must have been devastating! How on earth did he recover?
PL: Well, when Badari and his wife Marisa were finally able to get to their workshop, they rolled up their sleeves and began to clean all the chandeliers that were submersed in mud.
Even though the will to keep working was there, the materials were too dirty and within weeks he surrendered to the truth. The end of Badari was imminent. Spring was at the door and with it, hordes of tourists and entrepreneurs looking for new business. One such entrepreneur happened into Badari’s workshop and saw him hard at work, trying to clean what was damaged by the flood. He stopped him and offered to buy everything that remained. He was charmed by the antiqued patina that the mud had left on the fixtures as well as the crystals that were dirty and brown. To this day, we still sell hundreds of chandeliers with our F29 finish and antiqued crystals that are a reminder of this beautiful story with a fairy tale ending.
Badari - Signoria Pouf
HOL: From your story, it sounds like inspiration, dedication and a little bit of magic made Badari a true luxury brand.
PL: But the progressive nature of Badari did not stop here! His search to create new models that attract the attention of the foreign markets brought him to Cuba where, after weeks of bargaining, he managed to buy an entire container full of antique style chandeliers. Once he returned to Italy, Badari disassembled all the pieces of the Cuban chandeliers which produced thousands of parts to use as models for the creation of new pieces. Badari Lighting, which took the place of Marcello Badari in 1983 and has since been guided by Roberto Lari, has become the leading company in the field of classic illumination. Thanks to unmistakable taste in the creation of classic lamps and chandeliers. Roberto, even today, uses many of the famous parts that arrived from Cuba in the creation of new items.
HOL: What does Badari represent and what makes it unique?
PL: Badari represents the complete customization of our products. Here, we make dreams comes true.
HOL: That is exactly what inhabitants of the luxury lifestyle love to hear. When buying Badari, what is it that people feel? What is the experience?
PL: We serve a very tiny niche of people. All the sales are personal and unique. We make sure that what they buy is what makes them happy.
HOL: And which designers have been your source of inspiration?
PL: Classic bronze artists such as Philippe Thomire, the bronze maker for King Louis XIV, to the eclectic Italian designer Gio Ponti.
Badari - Uffizi Bar Cabinet
HOL: Gio Ponti is a popular favourite, but of course, he is a legend in the design space. Now, who have Badari collaborated with, and are there any collaborations your supporters can look forward to?
PL: Our collaborations are often with top designers and high end customers who rarely allow us to share names. I can say that we can count state presidents, artists and tycoons among our clients.
HOL: Impressive, and with Badari’s rich history, it isn’t too surprising word of your brand has reached people of such calibre and status. When creating/designing furniture, what inspires you?
PL: When designing a piece of furniture we always try to respect the style and period, keeping in mind that everything we do must be user-friendly.
HOL: And what is the process behind Badari’s creations?
PL: We are an artisan company and we want to keep things like this. Always, a new piece starts with a sketch, then we realize the prototype in wood and then we transform it in bronze.
HOL: What item(s) from Badari’s office collection would you recommend, and why?
PL: Anything in bronze, from classic to contemporary. Bronze casting is our soul and makes us unique. But we are also experts in working brass, for example the legs of our Simply Desk, and the handles of the Uffizi desk.
HOL: Lovely! But what is next for Badari? What should people be on the lookout for?
We are enlarging our group. We are acquiring new brands that will allow Badari to offer a wide range of products inherent to furnishing…but I said too much. Stay tuned for news!
As always, check out our growing Badari collection so you can fully experience their classic and modern pieces.