lema home, manufacturing - rogerseller

Partner Stories:
a moment with Lema

Leading Italian designer and manufacturer of contemporary wardrobes and living solutions, Lema is known for innovative designs and superior quality that dates back more than forty years.  With a large team of celebrated designers who hail from all corners of the globe, Lema enjoys a constant stream of original designs and continue to create harmonious, slow living solutions.

lema home - rogerseller
An automatic industrial machine used for the process of squaring and edging the panels.

"The common thread that binds all of our products and sets them apart is comfort and a regard for slow living."

Donato Mosconi, Lema
lema home - rogerseller
This machine performs the edging process which applies a veneer-like tape along the edges of the squared timber pieces.

Interview with
Donato Mosconi, Lema

With over four decades’ experience working with luxury interiors brand, Lema at its northern Italian HQ, it’s safe to say that Head of Research, Donato Mosconi is part of the furniture. Here, he talks us through the evolution of Lema’s iconic modular designs and tells us about the unsung upside of mistakes.

Ciao Donato. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Cantù, which is not far north of Milan. In Italy, Cantù is famous for its high quality handmade furniture. I come from a craftsman tradition; my dad is a craftsman and I studied furniture making too. I started working at Lema in 1976. At that time, it was only me and two other people working here. What I found was a very friendly environment, full of knowledge.

Forty years is a long time! What can you say about your role at Lema today?
After such a long relationship with this company, I can say that with great passion, "I am the walls of Lema!" I know all the details, from the most mundane things to the most important human relationships.

What do you think makes Lema different?
Modularity and highly bespoke customisation have been Lema’s features since its inception. And our products are constantly updated with a precise style that is minimalist, clean and sober, but also elegant and refined. The common thread that binds all of our products and sets them apart is comfort and a regard for slow living.

lema home - rogerseller
lema home - rogerseller
lema home - rogerseller
Tape is applied to each panel to avoid damaging the previously lacquered surface.

What is it that customers love most about Lema products?
They love our products because they are the most beautiful! I think that our customers can understand and feel the passion and love of the people who have designed and produced the products that we sell. There is special attention given to everything.
 I believe that people can understand our commitment and desire to go beyond the limits, to always exceed them. Sometimes this is a difficult task, but we try to offer something that conveys passion, harmony and elegance. 

Which of Lema’s products is considered its most iconic?
The company’s DNA is closely linked to manufacturing bespoke systems; Lema was in fact the first Italian company to develop a bespoke load-bearing side-panel system. The original system has evolved over the years and has now become Selecta.
 Designed by Lema in 1978, Selecta is a bookcase par excellence. It was the first product to combine the details of manual work on wood with a series of technical innovations that give it maximum versatility in terms of composition, finish and use.

What do you consider to be your best mistake? My mistakes could be turned into an encyclopedia! I have made many, many mistakes. But I’m happy because I've usually recognised my biggest mistakes before any trouble or serious damage has happened. It’s thanks to the mistakes that we make day by day that we can improve.
 I’m lucky also because we work with products that are constantly changing. So every year we are able to improve on the designs of the year before.

What do you see as the role of good design in day-to-day life?
It’s very simple: I believe that the goal of our work is to improve people's lives, and to make the use of their home a more comfortable experience.

lema home - rogerseller
Upholstery covering and lining process. Before applying the fabric chosen by the customer, workers first apply a special lining to protect the product and enhance performance.
lema home - rogerseller
To cut the leather precisely, the artisan will first use a template to draw an outline on the leather.
Piero Lissoni - rogerseller
Piero Lissoni visiting Lema to provide feedback on new products he has been collaborating on.
lema home - rogerseller
A worker assembling runners for a Lema drawer product.

"I believe that the goal of our work is to improve people's lives, and to make their home a comfortable experience."

Donato Mosconi, Lema
lema home - rogerseller
A worker applies the final finishes to the Bai Lu chair, designed by Chinese architectural studio Neri & Hu.
lema home - rogerseller
Wooden lamella slats are used to bond corner shelving.
lema home - rogerseller
The Bai Lu chair in its raw form, sitting atop the same workbench that has seen many different Lema products hand crafted for over half a century.