It is often a toss up for me who is more talented when it comes to furniture and lighting design, the French or the Italians. I often think how many fabulously wonderful items have been created in both of these countries, and find it difficult to imagine why they never conquered the world. Perhaps, with that creative spirit and joie de vivre there comes a craziness that buys into social dilemmas and inhabits rational thinking when it comes to economics. Whatever the cause, both nations continue to inspire and excite my dezign juices and without their input their would be a big wide hole in the interior design community.
Segue to my latest passion for the furnishings by the French company, Pouenat. Believe it or not, Pouenat was established in 1880 in Moulins, France. Originally opened to create artistic wrought iron…something the French are well known for…it wasn’t until the 1960’s that they diversified into interior design and more decorative metal furnishings.
Many of the pieces were designed by Henri Pouenat, the son of one of the original owners. The designs that he created for the great French ocean liners, the House of Janssen and palaces around the world are still included in the classic collection Pouenat produces today.
When Jacques Rayet took over the company in 1995 he expanded the production lines at Pouenat to include the designs of successful contemporary designers and architects. This helped establish the company as a ‘go-to international design’ source, a place it continues to hold in the world of interior design.
It is these fabulous designers of lighting and furniture that have continued to attract me to Pouenat. Several years ago, I was introduced to their furnishings by my friend and business associate, Mario Eclid, who’s company, Mondo Collection, (see post) represents their various lines here in the States. Somehow, I just can’t seem to get enough of their exquisite contemporary products.
Here is the “A List” of designers that create furnishings with Pouenat. If you look up any one of them you will see how significant a role they play in contemporary design today.
The extent of what Pouenat can produce is so vast that I couldn’t possibly list it all here. Everything is customized according to the clients’ drawings. They literally can make anything and everything and welcome the challenge.
As an interior designer that greatly values customized furnishings and lighting I say: “Thank heavens that wonderful companies like Pouenat still exist in the design world today!”