Art de Vivre In The Furniture Scene
Using exceptional artisans and high-quality materials, we explore how some furniture brands create objects that reflect the French art of living.
The French art of living — Art de Vivre — has its roots and history in the Gallic country. The expression is actually the confluence of culture, lifestyle and history. Many high-end brands have been keen on conveying this idea through five pillars — culinary art, beaux art (fine arts), haute couture, French literature, and art of perfume — of the French luxury culture. The furniture scene is not spared. Some brands have come up with unique products that are artistic and functional at the same time. Here’s a pick of objects that take a nod to Art de Vivre. These are also new items recently showcased at Salone del Mobile 2022.
Alberi di Toscana is more than just a home accessory. It combines the practicality of a catch-all tray with the elegance of a lamp capable of enhancing the aesthetic of any entryway, coffee table, or console. Ceccotti is famous for its wooden furniture pieces and the ashwood tray gets the same artisanal treatment. The tray offers a lean and elegant aesthetic with a lip around the edges, complemented by four feet to elevate the object.
On the slightly recessed surface, a tapered mushroom-shaped pillar holds the LED lampshade crafted of Volterra alabaster, a highly valued mineral identifiable by its bright white colour. The lampshade — which emits a warm, pleasant light — is available in several iterations and recalls the iconic foliage of some typical Tuscan trees such as the olive, cypress and maritime pine. The velvety smooth wood and the flowing forms of the object make this a sophisticated object both to admire and touch.
Sfera Ebbasta has devised Cocky — an over-the-top chaise lounger and ottoman that appears like a bird ready to take flight. The armchair imagined by Sfera Ebbasta tries to bring these two souls together through armrests that unfurl like wings, complemented by a bronze claw base.
“I am happy to bring my artistic vision to the world of design. Those who know me know how important style is to me and an artist today has to be able to be 360 degrees.” Sfera Ebbasta is an alias of Gionata Boschetti — one of the most famous Italian trappers.
Still in the Driade 2022 collection, Omar Hassan designs the PiùDiUno tapestry. It bears the perfect synthesis of research and action as a homage to contemporary art. A colourful tapestry, produced in India by local CC-Tapis artisans. Developed entirely by hand, the artisans closely follow the artist’s idea by meticulously executing the design, composed of different lengths of wool pieces, ranging from 5 to 15mm in length. The finishing process begins with the application of brightly coloured fringes that evoke the artist’s work — it is a dialogue between painting, sculpture and craftsmanship. “This work represents my vision of society: a collection of individuals who, all together and without prevarication, form a marvel of colour,” said Omar Hassan.
The name “Ort” is derived from the name of the ORT cloud — the origin of millions of comet nuclei that illuminate the Firmament. Inspired by this cosmic element, it took designer Jacopo Roda to design “Oort’ — a modular lighting system.
The table lamp consists of a uniform, flexible light line inside an internally ribbed glass cylinder. These tubular elements can generate an infinite system of compositions and shapes, which can be combined to meet every architectural and aesthetic requirement.
Matteo Pala rugs are made in Italy by some of the best artisans and designers. Part of the collection dubbed “Opere Fantastiche” (Fantastic Works) designed by MM Company, there are four models – Contarina, Anafesta, Foscara and Alvisia. The rug collection celebrates Venice’s 1600th anniversary. The names are a tribute to Venice, as the rugs are named after the city’s most famous Doges. The compositions are built from perfectly observable perspective projections. They are characterised by the materiality given by the different heights of the fleece: the closer one moves towards the centre, the shorter the fleece is.
Philippe Starck is no stranger to the furniture industry. His Donald series of tables and consoles are a testament to Glas Italia’s high-tech glass engineering. Offered in Square and Rectangular table tops, these 6+6mm extra-light glass is made to exact dimensions and perfectly bonded at 45°. The base is made from a thick mirror-polished stainless steel plate, topped by a volume in coloured transparent glass. This beautiful table with its ombre base will definitely serve as an artistic expression in any home or space.
High-end and bespoke furniture design studio Ahu presented furniture pieces as part of 5Vie during Milan Design Week 2022. These limited edition collectable designs are sculptural and functional. Each piece is handmade by master craftsmen in Istanbul. From a bar cabinet to a large cabinet, both objects combine works of graphic art with innovative product design. The solid mahogany pieces also feature digital printing technology which is hand lacquered to achieve a glass-like high-gloss finish. Every piece will feature an engraved metal plaque displaying the edition number.
Made in Japan, the Hermès Coulisse lamp is essentially a table lamp made from coloured washi paper with a bamboo structure. Connected by a circle made from memory copper-plated steel, the luminaire offers diffused and direct lighting. Its Spanish designer Tomas Alonso took inspiration from the world of theatre — where panels provide stage decoration, while the stage lights are visible and simple.
The table lamp is made from geometric shapes (circles, rectangles and triangles) in an interplay of positive and negative spaces. The bamboo frames are made by master Japanese cabinetmakers to give the lamp exceptional lightness. The diffusers are formed from washi Japanese paper where the material is derived from the inner bark of mulberry trees.
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