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Architect Reda Amalou Presents Easy Haute Design

The French designer and architect skips formality in favor of spunk, color, and shape.

Despite our most impassioned protests, we love change. The weather dictates most of this for us—in skin care, fashion, and even time off—though style updates are hardly a burden. Designer Reda Amalou craved this same transition with furniture, as he is fond of the textural highs to be found when surrounded by linen in the summer and wool flannel or velvet during the winter. His design response is the Season armchair, a deep-set leather piece featuring four removable cushions that are meant to be swapped and adapted at will.

Paris-based Amalou is an architect who seems to slide easily past the discpline’s serious formalities and rigor when creating furniture and objects for his namesake collection. “My approach is more personal, based on cultures that I have experienced,” he says. “There is also a different physical dimension—the direct contact between the object and the user. This is essential to my design approach.”

Even with a heightened sense of the tactile and personal, not much will stand in the way of his material choices. His go-tos range from silvered bronze, eggshell, gold leaf, and American walnut. “For my latest collection, I tried to draw collections where line and material are one—a refined line and a material that respond to one another. As for my influences, Asia certainly, but also the modernism of the 1950s and a certain form of ‘je-m’en-foutisme stylistique. I’ve had enough of stylistic fuss!”

Recent releases suggest he is also extraordinarily comfortable with a curve. The Dots series presents a slick interpretation of the traditional Asian stool, keeping the focus entirely on the material. Each intro features a minimum of 18 coats of hand-applied lacquer. Meant as a side table or stool, each one wears a high-gloss finish that better emphasizes the designer’s unconventional palette in peacock blue, warm saffron, and deep garnet—colors that are convivial, loose, and very French.

Amalou has a strong history of collaborating with top design houses like Veronese, Baguès Paris, Roche Bobois, and Baccarat, which has no doubt informed his sense of luxury. Balancing the minimal and sobering his characteristic swing, Amalou’s works are the free, informal 21st-century version of haute design. The Ladybug side table, an early edition, pairs hammered bronze, “a noble material,” with a lacquered fabric top—an effect that says, “I woke up like this.”

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