Paola Antonelli, Contemporary Design Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, exhibits her good taste.
In Europe, Antonelli says, "when you move, you bring your kitchen with you--your dishwasher, your cabinets, everything." To find a portable kitchen in America, try POESIS (860-542-5152).
Antonelli considers ALFONSO BIALETTI, who created the "MOKA EXPRESS" STOVETOP COFFEEPOT in 1933, to be a genius, because the device combines technology with design and makes fantastic coffee ($23, from Valenti; 718-386-0896).
Antonelli sees enormous potential in HOUSEHOLD CERAMICS, which are already being used for kitchen knives. F&W editors are fond of the ceramic blades from KYOCERA ($50 to $160, from Sur La Table; 800-243-0852).
A good dining-room chair "helps your posture and keeps your legs from falling asleep," Antonelli says. Because a chair should fit the body, she explains, buying one is as personal as buying a suit. One of her favorites is Mario Bellini's 1977 "CAB" CHAIR which has a high back and a well-padded seat, all covered in saddle leather ($825, from Cassina; 212-245-2121).
"Lamps are to designers what shoes are to women," Antonelli wrote in an introduction to a book on lighting. They have "personality and individuality," she says, and the design options are almost limitless. She loves Ingo Maurer's "LUCELLINO," a bare bulb with feathered angel's wings ($610, from Moss; 866-888-MOSS). In the kitchen, Antonelli believes that TASK LIGHTING over the stove is important: "I need to look at food closely; I can tell when pasta is done by its color."
Antonelli admires ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI both for his body of work and for the way he explained his ideas to the public. For example, he and his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni created the "ARCO" in 1962 to illuminate a dining-room table without making a hole in the ceiling. Inspired by streetlights, it has a heavy marble base with an arched steel rod. Since the lamp illuminates an area eight feet away, it basically acts like a chandelier ($1,740; 866-888-MOSS).