It’s a Guy’s World
Timeless elegance and luxury go hand-in-hand in making dashing interiors. Furniture designer CHRISTOPHER GUY talks about how to get the look right.
Good design is all about functionality, timelessness, creativity and desirability. It is also about visual balance, and decorative furniture and furnishings created with an ever-lasting elegance. I believe that luxury is the icing on the cake of otherwise utilitarian products, something we strive to have, rather than need for our daily survival. Does one really need a Rolls-Royce to get from point A to B? Does fine wine really taste any better when sipped from a crystal glass? No, it is just a perception and a reinforcement to signify your arrival.
POINT OF VIEW
I left school in England at the age of 16 and moved to the south of France, where I worked on my first project with my stepfather, building a home over a period of 18 months. This ignited the first sparks of passion for design in me. Living in such sophisticated surroundings had an impact on me, setting the foundation of my love for old Hollywood glamour and French class. Travelling from an early age allowed me to observe, and be exposed to, various cultures which became an important part of my design philosophy in the future. I have always drawn on my world travels, experiences, sights and sounds to drive inspiration. Through several cultural nuances witnessed during these journeys, I get a creative license
to interpret these elements into our own luxurious contribution to the brand’s furnishings. I believe that internationalisation transcends tradition and an understanding of beauty is global, and recognisable.
The composite blend of contemporary mood with classic values is my idea of appropriate interiors. It stems out of seeing a wonderful idea and considering the possibilities of it as an indulgent item. I am a perfectionist and I am always striving to create the next best design. The making of the Chris-X chair leg was developed to improve and redefine the posterior appearance of a seat. As is the case with many of my designs, it was inspired by the curvaceous feminine form; the corseted waistline of a lady from a bygone era, and the tiptoe pose of a ballerina. The idea was to create a chair that was simple, graceful and flexible enough to work with a number of style categories. The only way to emulate this sensuous yet polished look was to reconfigure the rear legs, and so the chair was born.
Buying a pair of high heels is straightforward, however, knowing what dress, jewellery, hairstyle and make-up to accompany these is the challenge every woman faces.
Like on an Oscar night, the same dress has often been seen worn by two celebrities but with varying accessories and with different visual results. The same is true of an interior—how to get a mix of furnishings that complement each other. This was the agenda when I set out to create the Mademoiselle Collection, which today consists of some 500 designs. Recently, we have just launched the expanded Collection, inspired by the undisputed style of Coco Chanel as if she were alive today commissioning her home.
BEST LOOK FORWARD
One should not fill a room with too many beautiful pieces that fail to communicate with each other. In an average space there is enough room for a single eye-catching object, surrounded by other more subtle ones. When you see Madonna on stage, you don’t see her dancing with girls in the same colour dress, or beauty. Instead they tend to be a little bland so as not to overpower the star. Similarly, a room cannot be filled with too many stars, as they will clash. When it comes to must-haves, I will suggest a room without an exception should have—a decorative mirror either as a centrepiece or as a functional looking glass, a sofa that feels as comfy as a bed and vice-versa, artwork and sculpture and a gorgeous rug.
Beautifully curved Dita sofa ( left); hand- carved Le Soleil mirror ( above)
Fortuny bed with restrained tufting and curvaceous cabriolestyled wing arms
A contemporary living room setting which is a statement of sumptuous luxury ( above); La Croisette chair with Guy’s signature Chris- X legs ( below)