Three designers. Three countries. Three styles, materials and views on aesthetics.
What they have in common is a deep reverence for the past, with all its influences. But then, they're also rule breakers with a bold contemporary vibe. So it's not surprising that the newly launched Palmyra Home line of furniture, which makes its debut at Amethyst this weekend is distinctively edgy.
This collection is the result of collaboration between French accessories and interior designer Cedric Yann Berceliot, embroiderer Jean François Lesage and digital designer Sara Vetteth. Working on redefining contemporary furniture, usually equated with cold minimalism, Palmyra bases its designs on the elegant furniture of the past, and then adds creative whimsy to each piece.
Sara Vetteth explains how the line evolved when the three designers, all friends, decided to try working together as an experiment. “It was very organic. A creative jamming… for me it was an outlet to work with creative people, learning, taking on the challenges of new materials… I wanted the whole collection to be integrated so its not just cushions and leather.”
Growing up in her mother's antique store gave her an appreciation for the solid furniture of the past. “There's something magical about British colonial and French period furniture. The curve of the back, height of the seat — everything is really perfect. They've got it just right over the centuries.”
Hence the designers have taken the proportions of antique furniture and added a younger aesthetic. Take their classic Louis XVI style chair, upholstered in navy corduroy with a back of chequered navy denim. Or the cottage style chair, painted azure blue. “The idea is to make it more simple. More casual. Make things a little more fun.”
There's also a line featuring ‘found objects,' which are limited editions. Such as a fluted teak base made from the legs of an old teak bed, which has been given a bronzed glass top and turned into a peg table just right for two cups of tea. Then there are the candle stands, made from the base of a carved wooden pillar. The aim is to create art that is both utilitarian and fun. Since the team works with a group of artisans, everything can be customised — though Sara cautions that you need to be patient since this is painstaking, necessarily slow work. An alternative is to browse through what's already available at Amethyst and take your pick. The collection is on sale at Amethyst in Gopalpuram, till October 31. Log onto www.palmyrahome.com for more details.