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By ISOLDA MINETTO

The value of artisan tradition

We speak to the owner of a historic made in Italy brand, Faoma which has been executing prestigious interior design projects since the 60s and is now being courted by the Russian market.

Veneto has always been renowned for its skilled craftsmen, already during the incipient Venetian Republic, and this artistic heritage has lead to the development of important local businesses. Faoma is part of this heritage, grounded in artistic craftsmanship applied to the furnishing sector. The company was founded and led by Serafino Scalco during the 60s and today Faoma is guided by his two sons Franco and Loris, with the same values as their own master cabinet maker.
In response to the crisis, they raised the stakes and focused even more on the exclusivity of products; now they are courted by architects and clients from high Russian society. Franco Scalco speaks to Ville&Casali

How was the Faoma brand born?
Faoma is our family’s story and life. Already back in the 60s my father was producing prestigious bathrooms and kitchens. In the 80s we founded Faoma as it’s known today, together with my uncle Pietro Tonetto. Today, my brother Loris and I are the natural custodians of their teachings and values.
Our history reflects that of the local land: a strong spirit of innovation, initiative and dedication to work. Our collections and our projects are masterpieces of craftsmanship enriched by sophisticated mechanisms integrated into furnishings. One example is the motorised pillar which we also produce in large sizes, featuring remote controlled or biometric opening mechanisms, customised for the storage of valuable objects, watches, paintings or documents.
All technical engineering solutions are generated by an ingenious and competent team. In practice, the past, which should always be conserved and protected, is integrated with a perennially fleeting future.

How do our creations come about?
Our ethos is to remain grounded in humility in the creation of projects, drawing inspiration from art history while exclusively modelling the product around the unique desires of our clients. For years now I have delighted in interpreting and re-interpreting different historical ages, but we must never forget the importance of the entire Faoma team who work alongside me in developing these projects. Precision and attention to the smallest of details are all fundamental in the creation of complex and articulated interiors, especially in private contracts to which we dedicate ourselves with great passion. We only use the finest materials for our collections: brush-lacquered woods, gold leaf gilding and strictly hand made artistic engravings, rigorously ecological and natural finishings.

How did you come to execute interiors for important Russian clients?
We were one of the pioneers of this market.
We started by executing prestigious kitchens and today, the most important architecture studios entrust us with complex projects involving the entire living space, even relaxation areas.

What strategies have you implemented to face the global crisis over the last few years?
Prestigious Made in Italy is in continuous growth, as is our business. The global crisis means that we are required to keep a close eye on the market to which we remain emotionally tied, there has also been a need for greater skills and efforts in facing global challenges. The Russian market is extremely different from the USA, Asian or Arabic ones. Each market identifies itself in different aesthetic connotations, but each one is capable of recognising excellence.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently our focus is on three important projects: Russia, Turkey and China. We export Italy with pride, proud to be the standard-bearers of an artisan and cultural heritage which has always left an indelible mark throughout history.

Above, Franco Scalco, owner of Faoma, together with his brother Loris.
To the left, a photo from the family album.
On the following page, some private tailor made projects by Faoma.
The vertical motorised extraction secretaire is inserted in walk-in wardrobes to make the most out of space to full height. It is an example of engineering technology applied to an artisan project, a distinguishing characteristic of creations by this north-western Italian company.