Robert McKinley’s Spirited Debut Furniture Line Is an Homage to Italy | Architectural Digest

When it comes to Italian fare, Robert McKinley is a well-established expert. The New York–based designer has left his soigné stamp on multiple restaurants for Sant Ambroeus and Felice, all hits with the contorni crowd. But his latest project—a debut line of furniture and lighting—might just be his most personal homage to the Bel Paese yet. Named Monea, after his mother’s family, the collection celebrates his Italian roots through form, materiality, and spirit. Sofas err on the side of sexy and low-slung, with one modular option using an ingenious system of clips and straps to bind seats with backrests and armrests. Occasional tables are similarly clever, combining fragments of richly veined marble with timber columns or spheres, the latter peeking through stone tops via circular cutouts. Lighting nods more directly to Northern Italy: Inspired by chimneys in Venice, a series of conical table lamps incorporate wood salvaged from the port city’s boat docks, while ceiling fixtures mix handblown Murano glass with rattan from the Treviso village of Barbisano. Each surface begs to be touched, and that’s exactly the goal. Says McKinley: “Monea is a collection that represents my spirit and is designed from the heart. It is meant to be timeless—made with materials I love.” 

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