Chicago interiors guru Donna Mondi debuts a stunning new furniture collection, with her favorite color front and center.
The Agnes gathered chair and Charlotte coffee table. (Photo by Max Wilson/courtesy Donna Mondi)
Mondi’s DNA is modern, but her soul is traditional, something she didn’t realize until she began traveling more internationally. “It evolved the more I was exposed to historical architecture in Chicago and visits to France, Italy and Spain,” says Mondi, a resident of the East Lake Shore Drive Historic District. “Different cultures have had a big effect on honing my style. I’m more innately drawn to things that are modern, but now I like a classical molding next to it, or a dressed ceiling. I love the tension when you blend.”
A constant in Mondi’s design? Black. “Almost every room can handle it,” she says. “It works as an anchor or as an accent. It never goes out of style. I can’t think of an interior I’ve done without several moments of black.” The En Vie collection—which Mondi calls her “art hobby”—boasts seven pieces, each named for the mistress of a famous European ruler. Agnes (named for the mistress of Charles VII of France) is a hugging armchair that started with the shape of the back, which Mondi feels is important because it’s often what you see when you enter a room. Origami-like folds of gathered velvet lend a textural dynamic. Velvet, shearling and leather add luxe plush to rich dark wood, often accented with gold, while blackened steel and Lucite bring a modern edge. An addition of five to seven more pieces already is in the works, focused on luxury and lasting style. “It’s not about what’s being shown in magazines or on Pinterest or Houzz,” says Mondi of her aesthetic. “I’m always aiming for classic and timeless.” $2,700-$6,000