With innovative design as a common thread, these striking seating selections are hardly the usual suspects.
THE PIECE: The Pench
THE DESIGNER: Sawkille Co.
FIND IT: sawkille.com
THE INSPIRATION: Handcrafted in New York’s Hudson Valley, The Pench came about through both humor and observation when two of its Rhinebeck-based design atelier’s traditional pieces merged into one–resulting in The Pench becoming its own functional and sculptural object. Substantial, timeless and fresh, this original design delivers a big dose of style and remarkable versatility.
Sawkille Co. marries… Traditional ideas with modern lines to synergistically create compelling furniture that is always thoughtful and subtly commanding.
This particular bench reminds me… Of every country home that I’ve ever dreamt up, and although I have never envisioned a piece quite like this, it immediately holds sentimental value.
Seating is the genesis… Of any design: It assigns the purpose of the room. I tend to look for classic pieces that also have a bit of sculptural appeal, such as this one.
Luxury is… Not having to play all of your cards at once, and this bench has that inherent ease. The walnut used is sturdy, and the craftsmanship is exceptional. Even in its raw state, walnut is superior to other woods due to its grain and character, but the ebonized finish here adds a crispness to the overall design that elevates the work even further.
Partners In Crime
THE PIECES: Vik Chairs
THE DESIGNER: Stewart-Schafer
FIND THEM: stewart-schafer.com
THE INSPIRATION: Three trips to Iceland served as both the source (so many sheepskin hides!) and the impetus for the Vik chairs, the latest creation from multidisciplinary design rm Stewart-Schafer. The company’s principals, Christine Stucker and James Veal, had a midcentury shape in mind for the chairs, which were handmade in Brooklyn, New York, and they cleverly infused them with a very forward and funky approach that merges old and new.
Conceptualized and styled… Is the immediate vibe I get when considering Stewart-Schafer’s work. I could see them adding set design to their list of accomplishments, as there is an avant-garde quality even in their simplest pieces.
When our team is looking for seating… We look for beautiful lines that speak to us. This chair, in particular, feels like a “boudoir” bedroom kind of chair; though, I could also imagine it in a modern desert house looking out at a spectacular view through a giant window.
The Vik chairs… Also feel very 1960s to me, like a rock star with giant glasses and bell- bottomed jeans would definitely own this design.
For me, it’s all about… The juxtaposition of objects, so that each one gets a chance to either shine or support the others, like a beautifully patinated wood table against a sleek simple sofa, or, in this case, a design made from a sleek, single curve of steel melded with fluffy, organic fur. The balance just works.
THE PIECES: Brice and Alban Barstools
THE DESIGNER: Jayson Home
FIND THEM: jaysonhome.com
THE INSPIRATION: Hand-carved, highly grained and full of character, the Alban (center) and Brice barstools are statement-making both alone or as a group, braiding modernity with warmth–a Jayson Home trademark.
Luxury today is more… About seeking out a select collection of carefully sourced, thoughtfully crafted, holistically designed items that imbue your home with meaning.
Jayson Home… Is a go-to destination when I’m looking to add a layer of richness to complete a space. There is a sense of worldliness to the materials and colors they choose for their seemingly familiar forms. I can always count on them to source original, timeless and tasteful items.
As stand-alone pieces… One would never guess that these are barstools. I like the psychological tension created by the user wanting to sit on them while also feeling that they are something elevated, not meant to be sat on–that rarely happens in the world of interiors.
Modern sculptures… Or even a simplified totem pole is what these designs are reminiscent of–a relic filtered through the lens of Nordic minimal sensibilities. They feel handmade by a sculptor with the utmost control and restraint of ornamentation.
THE PIECE: Chloe Stool
THE DESIGNER: Ave Home
FIND IT: avehome.com
THE INSPIRATION: Embracing the less-is-more concept of design, Ave Home fashioned the Chloe stool, a homage to the uncomplicated yet chic style of French fashion. The subtle stitching on the supple leather seat breathes an understated elegance while the fluid shape of the base is inspired by neoclassical design, a marriage that has become a signature of the New Orleans-based furniture house.
It’s clear that Ave Home… Is very much inspired by their hometown of New Orleans, considering the brand’s French influence and melodious mix of old-world-meets-trendy styles.
For me, a statement piece… Doesn’t have to be a big gesture. I’m not drawn to objects that beg for attention, but rather designs that are well-crafted with graceful details that reveal themselves slowly over time–ones that speak of quality or provenance. Quiet elegance and carefully edited components, like the thoughtful stitching on Chloe’s leather sling seat, go much further for me.
The shadowing and light… Shone here on the Chloe stool accentuate its sexy curves and stunning detailing. It brings out the beautiful caramel color of the leather and showcases the ballet slipper-inspired, gold-leaf ornament where the arches of the base meet.
Luxury is the trifecta of… Quality, hand and function. It occurs when an everyday object becomes elevated through its finishes and design elements.
Laws of Leisure
THE PIECE: Halley “Outdoor” Chair
THE DESIGNER: Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti
FIND IT: minotti-la.com
THE INSPIRATION: Minotti designer Rodolfo Dordoni took cues from the sinuous attitude of design that was so artfully expressed in the 1970s when concepting the Halley chair. Its organic shape was contrived with the intent of enjoying life equally indoors or en plein air, encouraging sociability and inviting relaxation in a way that only Italian furniture can do.
Minotti is absolutely synonymous… With luxury Italian design. Their whole line is impeccably designed and crafted with the greatest attention to style, comfort, detail and quality. Rodolfo Dordoni’s partnership with Minotti has been incredibly successful, adding a very signature modernity to the line.
I’m obsessed with seating… And I like every room to have a standout chair, be it new or vintage. An amazing chair can bring a room to life, whether it’s a statement piece that takes its place as an architectural moment of beauty or one of great comfort that alludes to cozy private reading moments.
The Halley chair… Transports me to sitting on an expansive veranda in South America, caipirinha in hand. The design is at once commanding yet understated, sharp yet casual.
Low-key luxury… Is the new definition of elegance.
THE PIECE: Rocking Horse
THE DESIGNER: Iota
FIND IT: iotaproject.com
THE INSPIRATION: Armed with a powerful social mission, bespoke materials and an eye for edgy design, Iota gives a whole new–and stylish–life to the art of hand-stitching, a technique employed in all of their handmade objects. The Rocking Horse, for example, features a yarn “saddle” and is bound to incite a certain playfulness appropriate for modern and fanciful spaces alike.
Iota… Designs and produces incredibly special pieces. Every work is a collaborative effort involving designers, craftspeople and manufacturers. They also train and employ women in communities with high rates of unemployment all while making storied, striking designs–a win-win situation.
I often aim for… A style that is both re ned and laid-back at the same time, not unlike Iota’s aesthetic and unique approach.
Understated… Is the new sophisticated.
Even though it’s simplistic… The Rocking Horse stool looks and feel substantial; the chunky braids and knits, in juxtaposition with the delicate tassels, emit the ultimate look of luxury. This piece adds a fun expression of artistic license to the mix.
Hand-knitted yarn… Is the focus with all Iota furniture, as demonstrated here on the bench seat. The material, along with the function of this design, appeals as much to adults as it does to children by evoking a certain childhood nostalgia. The silky, black tassels add an extra bit of whimsy.
PHOTOGRAPHY BYÂ ALICE GAO
RUGS THROUGHOUT: AGRA KNOT IN KINGFISHER AND BYZANTINE BY ARMADILLO & CO.
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