Mona Itani: A Unique Design Vision
Having an old passion for vintage china and tiered plates, I was immediately drown to her beautiful tableware designs, and then discovered a line of chairs that looked the least conventional, and most attractive. Designs that successfully managed to combine both romantic and gothic essences. Since then, I made it a point to know more about the person who brings such beautiful pieces to life, Mona Itani, the first furniture designer to be interviewed here on Cloud of Lace.
Tell us more about you: Where are you from? & where did you grow up?
I was born in Beirut, but moved to San Diego when I was 7. That’s where I spent my childhood and most of my teenage years. After that it’s been a combination of Beirut, San Diego and the UAE, where Dubai is now home.
How did you decide you want to be a home accessories designer? Where did you study design?
I stumbled upon it by accident. I’m a graphic designer by heart. Growing up my personal form of expression was through drawing and creative writing. Both my parents have architectural and interior design backgrounds, so it always been a lifestyle.
I went to San Diego State University.
Was your family supportive? -How did you convince them?
They take it as a hobby. Time will tell…
How did you come up with your brand name and logo?
My name is Mona, but everybody calls me Moni. It’s been my nickname since birth and even in my adult years, the name has stuck. Moni Itani has a nice ring to it. I took the opinion of the two closest people in my life and they both insisted on it.
The logo? I wanted something simple. Thin and refined. Black and white. Then depending on my mood, I have the freedom to add a splash of color to any collateral at any stage, or not.
What was the first design you ever sold?
My first design ever sold was my Ashlyn Willow and Jaylyn Willow Chairs. A lady bought one of each for her home in Beirut. These chairs completely represent how I view the journey of life.
Which textures/material you like to use the most? Why?
I love to experiment with different textures and materials so I don’t have anything specific I like to work with.
What is “timeless” when it comes to home decor, in your opinion?
It’s simplicity with a touch of accent color through accessories that creates an overall effortless ambiance.
What are the highlights of your line?
The Willows. They are designed to make your room come alive.
Each chair is hand engraved and represents a unique personality. The chairs look absolutely gorgeous from the back, as much as they do from the front. Whichever way you will place them, they are guaranteed to grab attention. Their marble-like paint finish emulates a heavy, solid piece of art that creates a strong sense of presence.
Where can we find your creations?
I’m looking into a couple of boutiques in Dubai, but right now on my website www.moniitani.com.
Are you considering a boutique of your own?
Not any time soon.
Where would you like to take your brand next?
I have learned so much from my first collection. The feedback I’m receiving will help me compose my next step.
My personal style signifiers are my ripped skinny jeans and leggings. I love how you can dress them up or down depending on your mood, for an effortless look.
The sights that inspire me are decor8, design milk, pinterest, apartment therapy and design sponge.
When I’m not working, I usually love to catch up on some reading, traveling, entertaining at home and painting.
The best thing about my job is it has no boundaries.
The last thing I bought and loved was a set of plates by Theirry Ona that I ordered online from a shop in Amsterdam.
And the thing I’m eying next is a 3-piece translucent glass decanter set by Joe Cariati. His pieces are absolutely gorgeous. I am in love with the abstract glass figures.
An unforgettable place I’ve traveled to is definitely Tbilisi.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is the Bianco e Nero Porcelain Cat by Rosina Wachtmeister.
In my fridge, you’ll always find blueberries.
An object I would never part with is not an object but my cat, Julius. He has his own istagram account with more followers than I do. Juliusthegrey.
To me, ‘ugliness’ is being self centered.
And ‘beauty’ would be defined by always carrying a smile with you.
Follow Mona Itani on Instagram.