BEST of the BEST 2014 | Home | Decor: Les Nécessaires d’Hermès
Essentials for the finest of nests...
Back in the 1920s, the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank enlisted Hermès to swathe some of his furniture pieces in the company’s supple leathers. It was not until very recently, however, that the French luxury-goods manufacturer—best known for its superbly crafted leather items, ready-to-wear fashions, and statement-making jewelry—staked a claim in the field of home furnishings. La Maison, a series of furniture, textiles, wall coverings, and tableware, made its debut to much fanfare at the 2010 opening of the brand’s Left Bank boutique in Paris. The series continues to receive prominent placement today: The entire third floor of Hermès’s newly refreshed Beverly Hills, Calif., boutique, a 12,000-square-foot Rodeo Drive space that reopened last September, is devoted to La Maison, displaying its desks and dressers, beds and sofas, and tableware and textiles in rich vignettes rather than austere showroom settings. Indeed, despite being relatively new to the market, Hermès appears comfortably at home in the domestic space.
Highlights from La Maison have included the 2010 reissue of 14 Jean-Michel Frank designs and the 2011 launch of 13 contemporary pieces by Enzo Mari, Antonio Citterio, Denis Montel, and Éric Benqué. In 2013, Hermès unveiled its most impressive La Maison line to date: the 12-piece Les Necessaires d’Hermès (from $5,300 to $67,300), designed by Philippe Nigro.
Nigro’s collection takes its name from the French word for “essentials” and encompasses pieces that reflect the handcraft of Hermès’s heritage. The lines are simple and clean, the proportions elegant. The way the drawers open and close, the way an ottoman reveals storage and then shuts perfectly—it is all so precise. Details, such as impeccable piping and retractable metal hooks, have received ample attention from the artisans, as have the larger elements. Metal frames all but disappear behind meticulous woodwork. Materials range from Canaletto walnut and bull-calf leather to brushed stainless steel. The line’s seating options include the Carré d’Assise, a low stool that comes in three different heights, and the Cheval-d’Arçons, which serves as a chair, a coffee table, and a storage unit. The Table à Cachette is a Canaletto-walnut side table with stainless-steel feet and rotating drawers.
Up next on the home front: Hermès will settle down in September in Shanghai, where it will open a store with nearly 2,800 square feet of “maison” space.
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