Like many design professionals in Southwest Florida, Osvaldo “Ozzie” Pancaro is attune to the stark shift taking place with local interior design. When he opened his first Casa Italia showroom in Estero’s Miromar Design Center, it was right around when styles were starting to evolve, he says. While most home design still followed the Mediterranean style of architecture, the interiors were becoming more streamlined and contemporary. Pancaro’s eyes were fixed on the future, with his range of sleek furnishings from brands such as Tacchini and Pianca. Now, the Casa Italia world is expanding.
Pancaro, who was born in Argentina to a father whose family hails from Italy and a mother whose roots are in Spain, moved to the area after 15 years spent managing a high-end Italian furniture showroom in Fort Lauderdale. When he moved to Naples in 2006, Pancaro says the Mediterranean look was still apparent on the exteriors, but the interiors were taking more eclectic and transitional approaches. This was the perfect time for him to tap his connections with sleek brands like Cattelan Italia (and later, Minotti and Poltrona Frau), to bring the same sophisticated looks he offered on the east coast of Florida. He still goes to Italy twice a year to scope out new designs straight from the factories of his partner brands.
Last year, he opened a showroom focused on Minotti at the newly opened The Collective design hub in Naples Design District. It’s one of only 12 in the country to carry the brand and one of five showrooms to stock exclusively Minotti products. Surrounded by some of the best in the local home design scene, Pancaro thought it fitting to display one of his top brands there. He’s also since closed the showroom in Estero, and is about to debut a Third Avenue North locale in downtown Naples, where he’ll showcase his full collection of Italian brands, plus new lighting from Spain-based Santa & Cole.
>>Read the full story in our May issue:
Photography by Zach Stovall