Celebrating Their 10th Anniversary…. Only Italian continues to delight and inspire

Only Italian is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with an exciting new range of office furniture that’s right up to date with international trends in workplace design. Their theme for the new range is ‘Back to Colour’, a welcome relief from the preponderance of grey and monochrome colour schemes of the last few years. Only Italian’s new range of colourful furniture is specifically selected to bring a feeling of delight and playfulness to the work environment. But it’s not only visually pleasing – their furniture is ergonomically designed to be comfortable, healthy and practical.

Mirella Bescotti is the founder and managing director of Only Italian, which was started 10 years ago in a small flat in Avondale. The company was so successful that they soon moved to their current premises in Williams Way in Msasa which is still their head office and warehouse. Two years ago, Mirella opened the new showroom in the Celestial Office Park in Borrowdale, just opposite Celebration Centre, where you can see their new range beautifully displayed. Mirella is always up to date with current trends in office design and points out that major corporations like Google and Apple have begun moving away from the austere Scandinavian aesthetic and embraced brighter, happier, more whimsical office interiors.

Contemporary Italian designs for office furniture are still minimalist with clean simple lines but there’s an emphasis on quality and style and a more refreshing and vibrant outlook. Mirella describes the present trend as embodying a philosophy of rejuvenating the office experience. Office design trend watchers K2 Space is predicting the return of bright colours, prints, patterns and even decorative wallpapers and wall graphics. Even before the global Corona virus pandemic there had already been a movement towards office designs that were more domesticated, relaxed and informal with spaces for workers to take a break from their desks and de-stress during the day. For a few years now office designers have been increasingly focused on work environments that are flexible and casual.

Employees are no longer expected to spend their days locked away in dingy little cubicles with uncomfortable, drab furniture. Management is increasingly realising that if their staff is happy and healthy then their productivity increases dramatically, and there’s a heightened sense of team spirit and co-operation. Office design these days is intended to be more stimulating and inspirational rather than regimented, disciplined and rigid. Besides, a bright and more cheerful work space has been shown to increase creativity and innovative thinking. Mirella believes that ‘The Office’ should be a place where workers look forward to spending their time. Even CEOs and top executives are embracing the trend. In the old days the size of a manager’s desk was in direct proportion to his or her perceived importance. A huge, heavy, bulky desk in sombre dark wood was considered something of a status symbol, especially when paired with an enormous chair upholstered in dark leather. Thanks in part to the advent of laptops executive desks are becoming much smaller, lighter and more streamlined and many managers now prefer a modestly sized office with a simple desk and an ergonomically designed chair.

Only Italian has a great new range of executive desks and chairs that are elegant and sophisticated while still making a prestigious impression. Speaking to Mirella, she points out that more people are now working from home so the home office is becoming a vital element of our new lifestyles. When the pandemic first started many people resorted to setting up their laptops on their kitchen tables or any other corner of their home where they could fit. After months of lockdown and not getting out of the house many people are finding the kitchen table an increasingly awkward and tedious place to work. Only Italian has the perfect solution. They have small, neat, practical desk and chair sets that you can use to create your own dedicated work space away from the endless household distractions, and you won’t need to set up and then pack away your ‘office’ on a daily basis. The designs are simple and unobtrusive and would work well with almost any existing home décor scheme. The desks were originally designed for students to study at home so they’re very affordable too. For many of us it seems working from home will be an ongoing lifestyle choice for months or even years to come, so you might as well create a space that you enjoy where you can focus on being creative and productive.

Mirella believes that the pandemic has caused a major change in our work life that will continue well into the future even after the crisis is over. While the office is not dead, a lot of people will only find it necessary to go the office for a few hours a week or for team meetings and not on a full time basis. Only Italian’s range is perfectly suited to the current blurring of the distinction between home and office space. Only Italian sources most of its range directly from Italy, although they also work with local manufacturers for specific customer’s needs. Their main suppliers in Italy are the leading brands LineKit, IVM and SCAB Design – all renowned for top quality furniture in the latest styles that are on trend with modern international office design.

Their ranges include shared workstations, individual desks and chairs, executive desks, boardroom and meeting room tables, storage solutions, reception desks and furniture for waiting areas. In addition, they have now introduced COVID screens for the workplace to keep workers feeling safe and healthy – there are both clip on screens and movable self-standing screens in clear Perspex. Apart from supplying furniture, Only Italian also offers a design service so they can visit your office (or work from plans) to give you advice about what furniture would work best – and look good – in your space. Their delivery and installation services are first class, and all their products are fully backed up so in case of any problem, which rarely happens, items can be repaired or replaced. A few of their major corporate clients include Old Mutual, CABS, Stanbic, and Econet, as well as coffee shops like Café de Paris. Take a look at the article on the new Eight2Five Innovation Hub on page 58 to see Only Italian’s furniture in a brand-new office setting.

To find out more: Visit their showroom at Block C, Celestial Office Park, Borrowdale. Check out their website: www.onlyitalian.co.zw or their Facebook page: Only Italian Office Furniture Call: 0772 340 797 or 0242 886 254

text by Michael Nott

photos by Structure and Design

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