In a world vast with endless inspiration and incredible design, these six global brands caught our attention this season, begging to be handled with care.
THE PIECES: Ionik Stool and Tuskan Stool
THE DESIGNER: Oeuffice
FIND IT: mattermatters.com
THE INSPIRATION: When Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Jakub Zak’s creativity united in 2011 to form their U.K.-based design laboratory, Oueffice, they challenged themselves to imagine limited-edition objects, that were reminiscent of utopian ideals and innovation. Enter the Ionik and Tuskan stools, both part of a second coming of the studio’s Kapital collection and based on primitive stone columns resonant with classical architecture. Handcrafted in Italy using solid-stone blocks, they are modern in aesthetic and scale but maintain the integrity of their inspirational era–an edgy balance very much in line with the contemporary duo’s manifesto.
At first sight: I’m completely impressed with Oeuffice’s penchant for reimagining the classics: They manage to create sculptural works of art that are equally functional and versatile.
On composition: It’s against this backdrop that the stools prove their inherent duality. They feel natural against the exposed brick but would also easily hold their own in both a formal or contemporary setting.
As far as design goes… Italy really has no limits. These stools resonate with the country’s influential style in part because of the simple application of elegant, timeless materials; the Cipollino Apuano marble is super-sleek, the travertine is very porous, and the Rosa Perlino marble is full of movement. Each element is independently unassuming, but in union, striking works of art are born.
Lasting impression: Refined, sculptural, bold, fresh and playful.
THE PIECES: Celestial Bowl on Stand in Gold + Green and Celestial Bowl on Stand in Gold + Black
THE DESIGNER: Elad Yifrach
FIND IT: l-objet.com
THE INSPIRATION: Elad Yifrach, the mastermind behind lifestyle brand L’Objet, fell in love with Tulum, Mexico, the moment his senses connected with the town’s lustrous and unparalleled warmth and energy. This beachy nook along the Yucatan Peninsula and its storied history inspired a collection of earthy, charmingly desaturated and understated yet elegant pieces. The Celestial bowls, especially, speak to Yifrach’s devotion to Tulum’s vibrancy and aesthetic: a little bit wild but nevertheless the pinnacle of authenticity.
At first sight: The Celestial bowls are the perfect fusion of traditional forms with modernized midcentury ideals. While the shapes are evocative of ancient pottery, the studded embellishments are extremely current and pack an edgy punch.
Ceramics (and Tulum for that matter) are… Having a huge moment, which makes Elad’s latest collection even more special and relevant. It’s really lovely to see regions with a long-standing relationship to these materials and techniques making a mark on contemporary design. The resulting pieces always seem to have the most integrity.
At home: I imagine these objects functioning beautifully as both decor and utilitarian objects. I’m already picturing filling them with fruit or creating an unexpected floral arrangement.
Lasting impressing: The Celestial bowls are modern, punk, classical and statement-making.
Send and Deliver
THE PIECES: Mali Vases and Jethi Vases
THE DESIGNER: Jaimal Odedra
FIND IT: maisongerard.com
THE INSPIRATION: Moved by the melodious rhythm of bamboo forests, decorated fashion vet Jaimal Odedra set out to explore a new medium with his Mali and Jethi vases. Using bronze in the traditional sand-casting technique, the vases are handmade by artisans in Morocco, and though Odedra visualizes each form and silhouette, the life of each piece is organically determined by the skilled hands that shape it–resulting in one-of-a-kind mini masterpieces.
Consuelo Pierrepont & Katie Spalding
At first sight: Jaimal’s pieces exude a dramatic subtlety and a relaxed-luxe nature. They’re extremely elevated and yet artisanal all at once.
We are really drawn… To the versatility of these beautiful objects. They are such unique designs but don’t have an obvious provenance, in the best way possible.
In design, culture and spirit… Morocco is perpetually inspiring with its use of colors, shapes and the effortless ability to seamlessly blend everything together. While these vases are a more modern interpretation of these traits, they embody the country’s unmistakable melange of the organic and the well-crafted.
Global musings: Nothing adds layers like sourcing from around the world. Our clients want to know the stories that are attached to a piece; they want us to use pieces that tell a part of their story. Jaimal’s works seem to do just that.
Lasting impression: Fluid, effortless and memorable.
THE PIECE: Spring Lamp in Irish Green
THE DESIGNER: Mathieu Lehanneur
FIND IT: carpentersworkshopgallery.com
THE INSPIRATION: Paris-based designer/artist/science enthusiast Mathieu Lehanneur dreamed up the Spring lamp, alongside its counterparts from the Spring series, with the intention of transporting design lovers to a land of natural and ecological metamorphosis. Lehanneur’s aim to create eye-catching objects that examine nature’s poetic side is realized in this delicate lighting fixture, comprised of a bundle of hand-blown, ribbed-glass tubes in a rich green marble base. Along with other materials from the series, both the marble and glass were incorporated into the piece in their natural color and condition–inciting a primitive moment in an otherwise distinctly modern piece.
At first sight: There’s a wonderful sense of fluidity to this light fixture, almost like water that’s lit from within.
Artist to artist: In my own work, I’m constantly trying to push the design dialogue forward, and this piece falls in that special spot between design and sculpture. Lehanneur is playing with our preconceived notions of what a lamp is and propelling those ideas a little further.
It’s important… To know the rules before you break them. Here, the artist is clearly informed about design, which is why any risks taken clearly paid off.
Global musings: As our world becomes larger, it’s increasingly important to look inward and become more focused. For example, I try to figure out what an area offers that’s specific to that place, whether woven silk textiles in Laos or innovative lighting in Paris. I am always on the hunt for the offbeat and the unusual.
The French… Have been innovators in decorative arts since Andre-Charles Boulle’s then-groundbreaking furniture in the 17th century, and I think Lehanneur is definitely following in the footsteps of his countrymen.
Lasting impression: This design is sculptural, graceful, fluid, lyrical and dynamic.
THE PIECE: P2 Lavinia Exagonal Armchair
THE DESIGNER: Lazzarini & Pickering for Marta Sala Editions
FIND IT: thefutureperfect.com
THE INSPIRATION: A second collaboration between noted Italian architect Marta Sala and Roman architectural studio Lazzarini & Pickering brings us the P2 Lavinia Exagonal armchair, a showstopper from Marta Sala Editions’ Collection No — 2. Shown in a sumptuous Pierre Frey fabric, the seat’s striking shape and seductive proportions incite immediate interest. One would expect no less from this power collab, but there is still something to be said about a design that equally prizes comfort and allure. And in the case of the P2 Lavinia: Mission accomplished.
At first sight: The Lavania Exagonal armchair is incredibly modern and reminiscent of Italian furniture from the 1960s and ’70s–a fitting result from this pairing of industry leaders. The piece is as smart from behind as it is straight on, and the exacting lines are both gorgeous and unapologetic.
As a first-generation Italian… I may be biased, but I feel that Italy is the undisputed leader in design. Be it automobiles or architecture, furniture or fashion, the legacy of our people is bold, thoughtful design, and this piece is clearly Italian-born.
Global gatherers: The hunt and find is one of the more thrilling parts of what I get to do with interiors. Pieces collected from around the world add that transportive element of a life well-lived. And an international piece with heritage or a good story gives a sense of being collected rather than assembled.
Lasting impression: This striking seat reads as stylish, architectural, luxurious and dramatic.
THE PIECE: The Man Ray Glass Leaf Mirror
THE DESIGNER: Cox London
FIND IT: rosetarlow.com
THE INSPIRATION: After years of creative collaboration and a mutual affinity for the decorative arts, design duo Christopher and Nicola Cox officially joined forces in 2005 with the launch of their London studio. Ever since then, they have been producing exquisite and original pieces–the Man Ray mirror being no exception. A love letter to 19th-century French Dieppe bone mirrors, the Man Ray is a striking blend of hand-pulled ivory glass leaves, carved silver gilt wood and hand-silvered mirror plate, and embodies the very vision of its creators: designs that are rich in technique and timelessness.
At first sight: This showstopper of a mirror appeals to me in that it is extremely delicate but commanding of your attention–a true statement piece indeed. It also speaks to the fabulousness of Cox London as a company. Add Rose Tarlow’s stamp of approval and I’m sold.
As an Anglophile… With a lifelong obsession for all things British–pop music, movies, art and design–this mirror epitomizes the U.K. tradition of things not always being what they seem. At first, I thought it was comprised of a million little shark teeth aÂ la Damien Hirst’s renowned tiger shark in formaldehyde sculpture, which like this mirror, doesn’t fully register until staring it right in the face.
On composition: I love the contrast of this fragile piece dwelling in an industrial space, when one would normally anticipate it living in a traditional environment.
Lasting impression: This mirror is delicate, intricate, beautiful and unexpected.