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Anima Dominus Gives Miami A Design Makeover

Gordon Guillaumier, Elisa Astori, and John Jenkin. (Photo: World Red Eye)

A walk through Anima Dominus — the furniture showroom that has been bringing Italian style to the Miami market for 16 years — evoked fantasies of penthouses with picture windows filled with sky and sea, waterfront billionaire McMansions with yards like country clubs. Now Anima Domus is bringing the renown Driade line to the Miami market. They celebrated with a showroom cocktail party filled with cosmopolitan style.

Domus owner and president, Marconi Naziazeni, warmly slipped his hand on my shoulder to guide me to US Driade CEO John Jenkin, who kissed my hand. Driade Designer Gordon Guillaumier, an attractive man from Malta, living in Milan, had also flown to Miami for the event. Thanks to men like these, Miami is an international style hub, reborn again as this city is wont to do.

"We have a very sophisticated, well educated clientele base," Naziazeni said. "Most of them have Miami as a second home. They want what they want: the best that can be offered from anywhere in the planet. In our case, we offer them the Made in Italy contemporary design, from the furniture to accessories to home furnishings in general.

"We are very honored to have Driade, one of the most important brands in Italy, now represented in our showroom. It's basically impossible to talk about contemporary design from Italy from the second half of last century to today without mentioning that name. Driade was one of the few companies that has never been afraid of experimenting with new materials, new shapes and new forms."

"This is one of the most eclectic collections," said Jenkin, a charming man sporting a beard just the right shade of blue, "novel, but not too aggressive." The size and scale of the homes, the clean lines of the city — and yes, all that money from all over the world — make Miami a perfect fit.

"In Miami the dimensions of the homes are completely different than New York," Jenkins said. "In New York, Driade is often the touch. In Miami, we are able to furnish the entire house. People are more joyful, so they are more willing to play with this kind of design." He walked me over to a glass table with a signature Gordon Guillaumier ribbed base with a slight curve. "It's very simple, very clean. Sometimes it is not easy to understand simplicity but there is beauty in the line."

And the price point? "Price is a perception," he replied.

Italian high end design is the new Miami Vice.

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