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Schiavello’s innovative new ColourLab brings a considered and cohesive palette of colours and finishes to working and living spaces. Now Schiavello clients can select a wide range of textiles (including fabric, leather, plastic, timber, metal and MDF powder coats) to perfectly match or complement their existing furniture, giving them unparalleled control over the pairing of colours and materials.

Compiled by the company’s design team in collaboration with Italian colour master, Giulio Ridolfo, Schiavello will use ColourLab across all its furniture applications and environments. Uniquely in Australia, Schiavello will also utilise the palette across its in-house timber carpentry, plastic injection molding and metal and MDF powder coating line for chairs, tables and other furniture applications. The power of colour is extraordinary; in spatial design even more so. ColourLab uses psychological research to help unpack the immeasurable benefits colour brings to people and spaces. Indeed, when applied to health, work and learning spaces, Schiavello believes colour and texture could become a critical tool for the success of future spaces.

The first ColourLab instalment focuses on red and blue hues, based on a University of British Columbia experiment that found working in a red room made test subjects more cognitively alert and aware but a blue room doubled their creative output and imaginative power.

“Our first ColourLab palette explores the contrast between these two divergent colours,” explains Anton Schiavello. “It’s also inspired by the vibrant colours of Russian Suprematism and Bauhaus, which used simple shapes with straight and geometric lines, layer repetition and mixtures of vibrant red and blue with black and white.”

“In our approach to colour and texture, we embraced Bauhaus’ different contrast methods – saturation, light and dark, complementary contrast, simultaneous contrast, hue and the contrast between warm (red) and cool (blue) colours,” Guilio adds.

The original seed for the ColourLab concept was planted in 2009 when Peter Schiavello met Giulio at the Venice Biennale. The pair immediately became fast friends, bonding over their Italian ties and similar value systems – the importance of family, connecting with one’s emotions and a love of the creativity that comes from embracing colour. Placing his gathered objects and Schiavello samples next to and on top of each other, Guilio has delved into colour's endless possibilities to develop tonal variations. His new Schiavello palette beautifully balances how colour is used in different materials – rough and shiny, smooth and coarse. The result is a palette that is uniquely ‘us;’ a vibrant collection of textures and colours that speak to the Australian landscape. All Schiavello upholstery, metalwork, timber work and MDF powder coating is Australian-made and supported from the company’s Melbourne headquarters.


Schiavello is an Australian-owned furniture manufacturer established in 1966. The company is headquartered in Melbourne and currently has staff of around 1,300. Schiavello is one of Australia’s oldest manufacturers of high-end furniture, with solid roots in Australian manufacturing. With an understanding of the latest in production technology and appreciation for thoughtful design, Schiavello creates furniture that lasts for generations. Designer furniture from Schiavello is sold all over the world.


Giulio Ridolfo studied at Domus Academy in Milan, and graduated with a Master of Fashion Design in 1985 and has since worked as a talented colour advisor to many of the world’s leading interior, clothing and footwear companies. Giulio contribution is not a traditional colour palette representing the full circle of colours. His colour compositions has more to do with expressing an attitude or a choice and this has resulted in highly personal colourways. Giulio draws his inspiration from diverse sources such as photography, art and fashion. He gathers images, colours, patterns and textures then combines these different elements and expressions until he creates something new. Since 2009, Giulio has worked with Schiavello, composing colour schemes and the curated design of various finishes.



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