Paolo Buffa


Paolo Buffa was an Italian furniture designer who defined his own unique design aesthetic to become one of the most sought-after Italian designers of his day. Renowned for pairing elements streamlined Art Deco styles around a more modern sensitivity, Buffa excelled in creating high quality pieces that spoke to the well-to-do clientele of the time.


Born in Milan in 1903, Buffa trained at the Polytechnic di Milano. Following his graduation in 1927, he worked briefly for Gio Ponti, and in 1928, he partnered with architect Antonio Cassi Ramelli (1905-1980) to establish their own design studio in Milan. While at the studio, Buffa and Cassi Ramelli made numerous furniture designs with mellowed classical revival inspirations, including a dining room that was showcased at the Triennale di Milano exhibition of 1930, and others showcased during the 1933 and 1936 Triennales di Milano.


By 1936, Paolo Buffa opened his own independent studio where he became particularly successful, in part because he had already tapped into his unique combination of stylistic elements. His incorporation of more traditionally Neoclassical motifs or materials – for example, rich rosewoods or supple, velveteen fabrics – with the relatively avant-garde forms and themes of a lighter Art Deco style made his pieces particularly attractive to the upper classes who wished to convey their connection with contemporary design trends while also upholding an air of old-world flair.