Amir Kham­neipur’s con­tem­po­rary de­signs are full of time­less charm

Architectural Digest (UAE) - - Contents - WORDS SAIQA AJMAL PHO­TOG­RA­PHY PETER MUR­DOCK

Amir Kham­neipur’s con­tem­po­rary de­signs are full of time­less charm

New York-based de­signer Amir Kham­neipur has an old-world el­e­gance, which ex­tends from his per­sonal style to the clas­sic-yet­con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors and fur­ni­ture he cre­ates. Here, he re­veals his in­spi­ra­tions.

How would you de­scribe your aes­thetic?

Tai­lored mod­ern el­e­gance. Tai­lored be­cause of my ob­ses­sion with sym­me­try and bal­ance; mod­ern be­cause I like to mix styles in my in­te­ri­ors, blend­ing con­tem­po­rary de­sign with an­tiques and clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­tural pro­por­tions and el­e­ments; el­e­gance refers to a time­less­ness and nod to clas­si­cism that some­how al­ways finds its way into my work.

When did you re­alise you wanted to be a de­signer?

It was hard imag­in­ing be­ing a de­signer as a child when there were no ref­er­ences for me to draw from. In the so­cial cir­cles my fam­ily sur­rounded them­selves with, busi­ness was how you made money, and de­sign and dec­o­rat­ing was how you spent it. That be­ing said, I fi­nally de­cided to be­come a de­signer dur­ing my first year in col­lege at Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity. I loved it there, but re­alised de­sign was my pas­sion and I had to em­brace it. I trans­ferred the next year to The Rhode Is­land School of De­sign. Ev­ery­thing af­ter that un­folded nat­u­rally.

How has your back­ground shaped your work?

Even when we lived in Iran, un­til I was five, I was al­ways sur­rounded by art and an­tiques. Both my mother and fa­ther loved to col­lect and we of­ten would spend week­ends shop­ping at an­tique stores and mar­kets around the world. The Marché aux Puces in Paris was prac­ti­cally a sec­ond home to me, and I re­mem­ber be­ing mes­merised by all the in­tri­cate de­tail on the ob­jects and fur­ni­ture. Bronze, mar­ble, glass, wood, ta­pes­tries, all speak­ing to me in such loud voices. I loved it! Even the red car­pets that ran up and down the stands seemed so re­gal to me.

I can see how all those ref­er­ences have trick­led down into my de­signs now.

Your favourite piece in the fur­ni­ture range?

I have a new rock crys­tal cof­fee ta­ble that I am re­ally lik­ing. It is a mix­ture of black bronze and white rock crys­tal, with very clean lines. The won­der­ful thing about noble ma­te­ri­als is that they ‘speak’ to peo­ple.

Your ap­proach to us­ing colour and pat­tern?

I like to use tex­ture and nu­ances of warm and cold tones in the same colour pal­ette. The solid ma­te­ri­als in my in­te­ri­ors cre­ate the depth and in­ter­est I am look­ing for. ‘Liv­ing’ ma­te­ri­als like un­lac­quered bronze de­velop pat­terns and coloura­tion over the years. Sim­i­larly, silk vel­vets only get more beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing as they age. Qual­ity stands the test of time.

What are you work­ing on at the mo­ment?

I’m putting the fin­ish­ing touches to a large res­i­den­tial tower in Palm Beach, Florida. I was the creative di­rec­tor for the project, and de­signed all the com­mon ar­eas and units. I am also dec­o­rat­ing five homes in the tower now as well. Palm Beach is the epi­cen­tre of old-world class with mod­ern-world power. amirkde­

“The won­der­ful thing about noble ma­te­ri­als is they ‘speak’ to peo­ple. Qual­ity stands the test of time”

1 Amir Kham­neipur in his New York apart­ment 2 Metal-edge mir­ror 3 Czar cen­tre ta­ble4 Kham­neipur’s home is com­pact but big on style. The mir­ror-walled kitchendiner has ceil­ing-height stor­age 5 A bust on a pedestal (one of Kham­neipur’s de­signs) stands sen­try in his hall­way

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