Meandering down 31st street in Georgetown, with Italian restaurants such as Ristorante Piccolo and Il Canale lining the street, it feels as if you have been transported to a little section of Italy in DC. It is no surprise then to find Ezio Mattiace’s Arte Modus nestled off of the courtyard of Canal Square. Ezio, an Italian furniture retailer and interior designer, who recently moved his showroom to 31st street, loves his new location because it reminds him of his home country, Italy. Removed from the bustle of the busy Georgetown streets, it gives him the space to focus on his wonderful clients. Ezio arrived from Italy to the United States in 1996, working as a project manager for a construction company. However, even though his job was to work on the shell of a building, he was particularly interested in the interiors and what went inside the walls that he helped put up. Interiors were a new world for him but after receiving a master’s degree in business administration from Johns Hopkins, he was sure that he wanted to use his new love of interior design to become an entrepreneur. He started his own company of Italian manufacturers and has been importing fabulous Italian furniture for the past 12 years.
Just last year, Ezio expanded outside his original 3 companies that he sold in his showroom. Now he represents designers and furniture pieces from Italy, Belgium, England, and even America. From floors identical to those that rest under Michelangelo Da Vinci in Florence to flooring made from wood extracted from the Venice Laguna, to office furniture to kitchen designs, Ezio has it all.
He is a self-proclaimed furniture treasure hunter and he focuses on finding unique products to bring to the American design scene. His design aesthetic is contemporary classic, which becomes obvious as soon as you step into the showroom. Out on the floor, Ezio has an office display furnished by the Italian company Tecno, a high-end office furniture designer. The desk in the set was designed last year while the chairs by Tecno were designed in 1956 and 1963. The paring of modern pieces with classic speaks to Ezio’s passions.
Ezio, while he sells many different types of home furnishings, flooring and lighting, has a particular interest in kitchens. He is the regional head of Arclinea, an Italian manufacturer of kitchen cabinetry. For his own kitchen clients, he is one hundred percent involved in the design. He quickly understands what the client needs for their personal taste and use and then goes from there with a full service. He imports products from Italy and creates beautiful, unique kitchens.
For other clients doing other sort of home design, he is there to provide them with ideas and purchase products. He is in constant contact with Italian manufacturers and has three to four trips to Italy a year; to hand pick designs for his clients and his showroom.
These days, Ezio remains very busy but he does not see things slowing down anytime soon. He will be one to watch as he continues to bring incredible and unique Italian designs to the DC area.