Italian Design finds a home in Aoyama

Trends Trends & Culture - October 4th, 2013
dono-italian-design-in-aoyama

This multi-faceted design shop goes beyond furniture: you can kit out your house with sleek Italian pieces and get a comprehensive consultation with a professional interior designer to find a home décor solution that fits your needs.

What started out as a few imported pieces from Italy sold only via a website has expanded a good deal in the decade since owner Kiriko Ueda launched it. Dono now includes a revamped website filled with quality, handmade Italian pieces, a snazzy showroom in Aoyama, and catalogues of nearby furniture shops with pieces that can put the finishing touch to a room.

Dono shop

We chatted with Ueda and found out a bit more about her Italian theme. It seems like importing Italian pieces was the obvious path to follow once she stepped up from being an interior designer, back in 2003. “After researching hundreds of stores all over Europe, I found that Italians were the ones who were not only most responsive to a young entrepreneur like myself, but they also understood my concept.” Little by little, Ueda filled her website with alluring designer Italian pieces, and after receiving an increasing number of demands, she decided to open the Dono showroom in 2012. “The showroom only shows a small portion of what is offered on the website, but customers want to see, touch and use the products, and the showroom gives that opportunity.”

Indeed, the showroom space is filled with gorgeous designs, and it’s easy to see why she attracts so many customers. Our favorite item were the practical yet nifty desk setsmade of soft leather from Toscana, all handcrafted by local artisans, we found out. Ueda confirmed that the desk sets are undoubtedly Dono’s best-selling item, and each include a mouse pad, paper and pencil trays and a pen stand. Each of those sets can be personalized to the specifications of the client, and uses high quality leather, worked and stitched using traditional methods—we think it would give flair to any drab office setting. We were al

so quite tempted with the vast collection of eye-catching clocks, in fun, stylish designs.

ClockThe style of Italian Design without the sweat

If the thought of furnishing a room (or an entire house) and coming up with a décor theme sounds a bit daunting, Ueda uses her expertise as a professional interior designer to coordinate rooms and help clients select the best pieces to fit with the rest of their rooms. She also uses her connections with other furniture and design shops around the area to track down pieces that may complete a room. “This kind of service is quite unique in Japan, as most furniture shops only provide the items, without the design part”, Ueda explains. Her consultations can be held in English as well, and she heavily caters to non-Japanese clientele, who can leave it to Ueda to coordinate everything for a worry-free decorating experience. Ueda told us that she even takes care of details such as flower arrangements and art pieces, which can be the small touches that bring a room together.

Ueda is establishing herself a trendsetter for interior design in Tokyo, offering this all-inclusive package to her clientele—whether it’s a corporation, individual client or even part of a design fair, Ueda explains. Her consultations can be held in English as well, and she heavily caters to non-Japanese clientele, who can leave it to Ueda to coordinate everything for a worry-free decorating experience. Ueda told us that she even takes care of details such as flower arrangements and art pieces, which can be the small touches that bring a room together.

Dono shop

You can browse the extensive Dono collection at www.e-dono.com, or visit the Aoyama showroom and book a consultation (Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 3-38-7, see map below).


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