Ex Forti by Selvaggia Arborio Mella di Sant'Elia

What are details if not precious witnesses of luxury. Ex Forti is that detail, it solemnly seals an interior in the name of refinement and elegance.

We had the privilege of speaking with the founder Selvaggia Arborio Mella di Sant'Elia, and discovering a wonderful person as well as a great professional. She let us know better about Ex Forti and about her recent collaboration for the St. Regis Rome.

She ran her co-owned showroom in Rome for ten years, from 2005 to 2015. In the meantime she often worked with architects to design the complete interiors of luxury homes and boats. Sometimes, depending on the scope of the project, designing custom furniture. Since 2015 she has continued exclusively with interior design alongside architects and craftsmen, focusing more and more on small accessories and furnishing details.

During the lock down she made the bold decision to create Ex Forti, so called for the family's motto: "Ex Forti Dulcedo", that is, "out of the strong, the sweetness". A hymn to harmony, which Selvaggia seeks in all forms, volumes, refinement, through sculptural elements that are close to art.

Ex Forti collection includes object holders, boxes, candles, candle holders. Each piece is unique and created entirely by artisans in Italy. Ex Forti furnishes luxury private interiors, boats up to 50 meters and more, often with a complete customization of the elements.


The project for the St. Regis Hotel

The St. Regis curator were looking for new accessories for the bathroom, in its most majestic suite, the Royal Suite. Three hundred square meters, the most valuable of the entire building. The will of Ex Forti was to create a series of accessories that would immerse themselves in the environment. Finally giving it the solemnity it deserved.

Seven pieces, all unique, specifically designed for the space they occupied, and calculated to the millimeter on the marble sink top. Each is embossed with the St. Regis and Ex Forti logo. They have a strong and sculptural geometry, such as the courtesy mirror in brass, a toothbrush holder and a soap dish in Nero Marquinia marble, with a triangular basis and brass details.

After various tests made with templates and prototypes, Selvaggia reached the right position of the pieces, the right weight, the right dimension, the right resistant materials. Combining aesthetics and technical features.

Handmade in Italy

Each piece of Ex Forti is the work result of several Italian craftsmen. The relationship with them is key in the development of the designs and in their realization. Sometimes the production steps, from start to finish, require eight different masters. The challenge, Selvaggia tells us, lies in making oneself understood by artisans, but also in being listening, and relying on their know-how. Trusting them, especially in new productions.

She tells us, with deep conviction guided by experience, that one must know how to give up an idea if it cannot be realised. In a good way though, to be able to quickly find the solution. A gem tip for us, that can be appreciated by designers and not, in many situations.

- Ex Forti - says Selvaggia Arborio Mella - is a work that I carry on with dedication and passion. I can say that it looks a lot like me, and that it represents me. It has many layers. This is also what I like, that it has many layers, like people. They too have a deeper look. Interesting to discover. -

Pictures credits: courtesy of Ex Forti. All our gratitude for this inspirational talk. Ex Forti by Selvaggia Arborio Mella di Sant'Elia, February 2023.

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