Like many passion projects of late, The House of Drop came together after much heartache and soul searching during the long, dark days of the COVID pandemic.
After having to shut the doors to their Nashville-based lifestyle magazine, artists Brittany Steele and her husband Fabrizio Venuta spent countless hours discussing their next move. One random day, as she took inventory of her hundreds of vases, Steele began diddling by turning one of them upside down and letting paint roll down its sides. “Seeing something so normal transform before my eyes as a result of my own hands was [mesmerizing],” she says. “It was like quenching a thirst.”
After some further experimentation with Venuta, the two decided they had an idea original enough to warrant its own studio. Many conversations and considerations later, they decided that studio should be located in Naples. Fast-forward to summer 2022 and The House of Drop is a brick-and-mortar reality in the heart of the city’s art district at 5532 Shirley Street. Here, Steele and Venuta take chairs, lamps, tables, chandeliers, and just about any other home accessory one can think of and unleash their layering process on them. Thousands of layers of paint (sometimes holographic, other times with glitter for depth) eventually saturate the pieces before three final layers of marine-grade resin are applied to ensure a high-gloss finish and preserve the items for years to come. Their creations have since taken off, and these days Venuta and Steele find themselves transforming everything from surfboards to Birkin bags to Jimmy Choo heels into one-of-a-kind collectibles. “We don’t discriminate,” says Steele. “There’s nothing our drops can’t be poured on.”
As for what’s next? “We can take this in infinite directions in the coming years, given the right opportunity,” says Steele. “We’re always ready to roll up our sleeves.”
Text by Christopher Day