Italian connections help new website selling European designer furniture offer lower UK prices

(October 19, 2009)

New online retailer Contemporary Home International ( is establishing itself as the home of European designer furniture selling a wide range of top brands for significantly lower than the usual UK prices, despite only going live a year ago.


The website is a furniture connoisseur’s dream, featuring high-end products from more than 50 design-led brands, with a particular focus on Italian names such as B&B Italia, Ceccotti, Poliform, and Flexform. Furniture from iconic designers including Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is also available from Contemporary Home International.


Francesca Bianchi and Gabriel Homer are the brains behind the business and their relationships with European, and particularly Italian, suppliers help them to secure fantastic prices for the UK market.


“A good price example of what we can obtain from our suppliers is the Cattelan Alaska chair,” says Gabriel. “This item would normally retail at £2,275, but we can offer it for £1,580, representing a saving of 30%.  Another example is the Philippe Starck Caadre mirror which retails at £2,345 but we are selling it for £1,435, a saving of nearly 40%.” *


Gabriel and Francesca have spent the last 10 years working in the world of furniture and design and, as a result, have built up strong relationships with suppliers in the industry, particularly in Italy.


It helps that Francesca is Italian and furniture is her passion, so she has had years of dealing directly with Italy.


Gabriel also has a wealth of experience with European furniture websites and comes from a family of furniture designers, so working in this business seemed like the perfect path for them to follow.


“We can find the exact piece a customer wants, even if it’s not on our site, and get it shipped straight to their house. We ensure the furniture our clients request is manufactured down to the exact finish they want, all for a significant cost saving on usual UK or US prices. Typically we can offer an item for 30% lower than usual UK prices, but this can be as much as 40% or 50% lower,” says Gabriel.


And with the credit crunch forcing everyone, even the wealthy, to re-evaluate how they spend their money, the prospect of securing such a saving on genuine designer pieces can make the difference between unaffordable and affordable luxury.


“One of our very first US customers has saved an estimated £100,000 on a spend of around £200,000,” says Gabriel.  “They kitted out their beachside apartment in Miami with some really stylish pieces from our site.”


Having supplied its British customers with the best that Europe has to offer in terms of modern high-end furniture for a year, Contemporary Home International has now expanded its operation to the US, setting up a new office to cater for the growing number of orders from furniture lovers across the pond. 

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