Anthonio Luca Design is known for great kitchens, baths and so much more, mainly because owner and CEO Jimi Napoli has a unique background in dance, art, interior furnishings and all things Europe. Jimi looks at every project through a different lens. Clarke recently caught up with Jimi to find out what was top of mind for him in kitchen design today.
“For me the creative process is just part of life,” shared Napoli, whose original focus was dance coming out of school in New York City. He was also a lover of the 1980s Memphis movement that started in Italy as a reaction to the design status quo at that time. The Memphis aesthetic largely found a home in furniture design and so Napoli spent his early career as the creative director and manager of 12 modern furniture stores. Each part of his life has informed the next, right up until he opened Antonio Luca Design in 2013 in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Antonio Luca Design is Known for Movement in Design
“I have always loved movement,” shares Napoli. “In kitchen design I love to take a static line and make it move. We use different kinds of materials and make them do new things.” The enthusiastic designer is a one-man operation, known mostly through word-of-mouth, with an energy that makes homeowners feel special, listened to and valued. “I take my clients shopping. We explore and discover what they want together. When I’m designing a kitchen, my first stop is always Clarke in South Norwalk,” says Napoli.
Jimi Napoli’s Kitchen Design Excitement
“I think appliances are what is exciting in kitchen design today,” said Napoli. “Good designers have seen every cabinet, hardware, finish, flooring and wall covering trend over the past several decades. And yet the part of the kitchen that continues to really evolve is the technology! That’s why my first stop with a client is at the Clarke Showroom. Antonio Luca Design wants them to think about the function they want in the kitchen before we start creating the form around it. Sub-Zero and Wolf offer so many options for a designer to create a new look with this technology.”
His favorites? “I love Sub-Zero’s BI-42 refrigerator and Wolf cooktops that can be recessed right into the countertop. They give you a streamlined feel and tremendous performance.” Antonio Luca Design works with a custom woodshop that creates unique pieces that come from Napoli’s imagination. “I love mixing woods with glass and stone,” says Napoli. “And brass with walnut, concrete with zinc. I have sought out true craftsmen in various trades to bring my vision and the wishes of my clients to life.”
In his early career, Jimi would get his inspiration from travelling for months across Europe, but today with a husband, two children and a business, he says that he gets his inspiration from working on his own home, gardening, beach walking and “watching everything in detail.” In fact the name of his firm was inspired by his two sons: Anthony and Luca.
What’s Next for Antonio Luca Design?
Jimi is noticing that many of his clients are now in the 30-40-year age range. “I work with clients of every age and stage, and I’m seeing that younger clients are actually more grounded now. They’re well-educated and well-read.” He shared that these young homeowners are looking for exciting ideas to surround them in their homes and are less concerned about re-sale and more focused on living now. While Jimi’s home is a small 100-year-old cottage with a cozy, livable style with lots of art and outdoor living, he considers his natural ingrained style to be contemporary. When asked what kind of project he would love to work on, he quickly responds, “Something uber contemporary. While contemporary style is not the norm for our area, I would love to work on a project that allows me to use those skills and collaborate with architects, interior designers and lighting designers who have a similar vision.”
All Photography: Alejandro Ulloa
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