IT TAKES TWO

THE HUS­BAND-AND-WIFE DUO BE­HIND SCH­WUNG HOME ARE DE­SIGN­ING FOR THEM­SELVES—AND THE FU­TURE.

Gotham - - Contents - BY OUSSAMA ZAHR

The hus­band-and-wife duo be­hind Sch­wung Home are de­sign­ing for them­selves— and the fu­ture.

Look­ing at Do­minique Sente and Rudi Ni­jssen’s first col­lec­tion for Restora­tion Hard­ware—a daz­zling set of light fix­tures made of hand­blown glass globes, lus­trous brass, and stream­lined retro forms—you could al­most guess that her back­ground is gold­smithing and his is an­tiques. And you’d be right. You might also guess, based on how well the pieces fit into RH’S sump­tu­ous aes­thetic, that the brand was heav­ily in­volved in their creation. And there you’d be wrong.

“One of the most amaz­ing parts of our col­lab­o­ra­tion is that RH gives us carte blanche,” says Ni­jssen. “There are no lim­i­ta­tions.”

RH has been seek­ing out—and pro­mot­ing—in­de­pen­dent ar­ti­sans at a time when con­sumers have be­come more in­ter­ested in crafts­man­ship. Ni­jssen and Sente are mar­ried and work out of their firm, Sch­wung Home, in Poland, where a six-month cre­ative process takes them from mood boards and sketches to the fi­nal pro­to­type. RH isn’t even in­volved un­til they present the fin­ished de­sign.

“Our only de­sire,” says Sente, “has been to cre­ate pieces that will es­cape trends, pieces with an ar­chi­tec­tural and po­etic vibe. Part of the source of our in­spi­ra­tion for this col­lec­tion was the dé­cor of some movie sets—mostly from the ’60s and ’70s.”

While Sente has helped Ni­jssen with pre­vi­ous RH col­lec­tions that have borne his name, this is the first time they share equal billing. Says the cou­ple, “Two can do bet­ter than one—like our icons, Charles and Ray Eames!” 935 Broad­way, 212-260-9479; rhmod­ern.com

“OUR ONLY DE­SIRE HAS BEEN TO CRE­ATE PIECES THAT WILL ES­CAPE TRENDS.” — DO­MINIQUE SENTE

De­sign of the times (LEFT): Rudi Ni­jssen and Do­minique Sente col­lab­o­rate on their new col­lec­tion for Restora­tion Hard­ware at their Poland-based firm Sch­wung Home (the com­pany’s name is Ger­man for “en­ergy” or “mo­men­tum”). BOTTOƦ: Glass-globe mo­bile eight-arm chan­de­lier in lac­quered bur­nished brass, RH Mod­ern ($4,995).

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