Paolo Buffa was born in 1903, the son of a famous glass worker and artist Giovanni Buffa. Buffa studied architecture and design at the Politecnico di Milano, and would go on to study as an apprentice to Gio Ponti. In the late 1920’s, Buffa parted from Ponti to open his own studio with fellow designer, Alberto Cassi Ramelli. They produced pieces inspired by neoclassicism, but Buffa’s range of influence also touched on functionality despite being known for lavish gold or bronze inlaid designs. Throughout the 1930’s-1940’s, Buffa participated in exhibitions in Italy and France with his partner, Cassi Ramelli as well as fellow designers Pietro Chiesa, Francesco Buzzi Ceriani, Guglielmo Ulrich, Franco Albini and Ico Parisi.
Buffa’s often worked on commissioned projects for private home interior design and furnishings, residential or public spaces throughout Italy. These commissioned projects for upper class Italians or foreigners would continue throughout the later part of his career. A few of his noteworthy designs are a commission in 1951 from the King of Egypt to redesign the interior of the kings’ private yacht; and luxurious cabinets and buffets, many he designed with Angelo Marelli and Mario Quarti. Paolo Buffa’s eye for artistry and quality craftsmanship has made him a highly revered figure of 20th-century interior and furniture design. Buffa died in 1970, leaving behind a catalog of work that is still of great interest and inspiration to many designers and decorators today.