Bespoke Italian interior architectural agency, the Luca Lanzetta Group, has expanded its scope of operations to now include Santa Monica with the opening of a permanent studio at 2421 Michigan Avenue. Headquartered in Milan, the group’s only other outlet outside of Italy is in Chicago.

The firm joins other global creative companies in Santa Monica like BMW’s Designworks that announced in January that it was opening a new HQ on Olympic Blvd, a part of the city already home to top creative companies including Pixomondo, Activision, Naughty Dog and Bad Robot.

Founder and CEO Luca Lanzetta has already completed a number of million dollar projects in Los Angeles for clients that Lanzetta cannot name but describes as high-end, celebrity and “very, very wealthy.” He says that some projects are so sensitive that he can’t even include them in the company’s portfolio.

“They want to deal with someone they can trust, someone they can work with,” Lanzetta says. “We’re currently working on eight projects, but we’ve done maybe 20 already. Not every project has photos, there are some projects where I have to sign an NDA and I cannot even have a cellphone inside of the house.”

Established in 2007, the studio came about by way of chance as much as anything else. After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from Politecnico di Milano (which is among the top 20 universities in the world for architecture, design and engineering) Lanzetta moved to the US in the late 90s for a role in establishing a North American base for an Italian specialist tool company.

Just a few years later, Lanzetta was heading the entire business operation and he purchased his first property, a condo in Chicago in 2002. On his request, the condominium developer allowed Luca to completely customize his new living space and after it was completed, the developer began using the unit as a model home to showcase the other condos for sale.

Realizing an opportunity to combine his talents, experience and his own enthusiasms, Lanzetta saw a business opportunity and founded his company. He began introducing Italian home furnishing brands to the US by opening key showrooms in Chicago and ultimately working with clients on a number of commercial, residential and hospitality projects. The rest, as they say, is history.

“The last thing I was thinking was that one day I would be working on $100 million mansions in Bel Air. But that’s what I do,” he says.

Even the decision to open in Santa Monica was not for a reason you might expect. Lanzetta has two daughters, the eldest of whom has a disability. “I was already doing a lot of business in Los Angeles, but I wasn’t living here, I was still based in Chicago,” he says. “I was looking for a specific type of school and we needed to be in a public school system, not a private school system. We found a well funded one in the Santa Monica-Malibu area and it’s one of the best in the country.” Consequently, Lanzetta relocated his whole family here.

However, by keeping a large portion of business in Chicago, Lanzetta can afford to attempt to diversify his business and establish a proof of concept. “You know, the price of property is much cheaper in Chicago,” he laughs. “And I want to open another showroom where I can provide an entire experience.

“Let’s say you’re considering working with me, you visit the showroom, you spend the night in this place that I create and you experience not only the overall design, but also every element within it and I want to be able to provide that, from the curtains to the carpet, they can be my products,” he says. “And then I can have a chef who could cook specifically for you and it creates a type of experience that you’re not going to forget.”

Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.