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For us, Il Buco isn't just a restaurant—it's a haven of flavor and style that enraptured us from our very first meal there. It was during one of those unforgettable dining experiences that we discovered more than just an incredible meal; we found a treasure trove of soulful homewares.

Among them, the epic beeswax twist candles and classic smoky glassware emerged as symbols of our affection for Il Buco's impeccable taste and attention to detail. In our quest to uncover the essence of this culinary empire, we sat down with Donna Lennard, a guiding force behind the scenes, to delve into the inspirations that have sculpted Il Buco's legacy and continue to inspire our journey with Shop Swoon.

Tell us a little about your background.

I was a graduate film student at NYU and worked for ten years before meeting my Il Buco partner.

Tell us a little about your current line.

All of our pieces are handmade in Italy according to traditional, time-worn methodsthat are disappearing in the age of mass production.

What/who is currently inspiring you/your team as you design pieces for the home?

In a search for elegant simplicity, we work hand to hand with our artisans to design according to that ideal. Naturally, those artisans were chosen because of our appreciation for the style and craftsmanship that has been a part of their work for decades and often centuries. At times, we adhere to the rustic tradition inherent in their work, and other times, we work together to forge a more modern rendition of their style.

What’s in your “culture queue” (music, books, film, exhibits, etc.).  

Joan Mitchell, the artist, and Joni Mitchell, the singer. Films by Andrei Tarkovsky, Federico Fellini, and Emir Kusturica. Brazilian singer and composer Marisa Monte, Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, and Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari. Arthouse films, French New Wave films, Italian cinema, and old films from Italy and France. “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” written by Daniel James Brown. Artist Philip Guston.

What’s your favorite city?


Do you have a go-to outfit/uniform when you work?

Yes, a Rachel Comey sweatshirt, Mother bellbottom jeans, Jill Platner jewelry, or a Zero + Maria Cornejo jumpsuit.

Who is your dream collaborator?

Francis Mallman, John Derian, and Tyler Hays, the creator and designer behind BDDW.

What’s your favorite meal?

Fabulous fresh fish local crudo, pasta con vongole, and roasted fish under salt or our spaghettini bottarga, rhubarb tarte, and Lopez de Heredia Rioja Blanco.  

What can’t you live without?

My son Joaquin, my Bengal cat Keiko, and my beautiful spot on Gerard Drive in the Springs.

What are you most excited about this year?

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of Il Buco. We are planning some very special celebrations. Stay tuned to @ilbuconyc for all the details.