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Furniture designer injects freshness into antiques

By Gan Tian (China Daily)

16:53, May 06, 2013

Athens Lounge Chair Tufted shows Thomas Pheasant's skill in incorporating new designs onto antiques. (China Daily)

>> Ancient material finding its way into modern life

American interior and furniture designer Thomas Pheasant paid a visit to China recently under the invitation of the American luxury furniture label Baker.

The award-winning designer has been recognized internationally for his interior design and furniture collections.

But Pheasant has not met any Chinese clients in his career. When he was describing a resting chair he created in a small presentation he held in Beijing, he used the world "lounge", which puzzled most of the Chinese attendees.

"A lounge is something you can climb up on to sleep, but this chair could be considered as a lounge chair, as it allows you to sit back, and relax," he explains. "When it goes to interior, it becomes a room where you can relax. So it's a word we use very loosely," he adds.

Athens Lounge Chair Tufted, the product he was referring to, shows Pheasant's skill in incorporating new designs onto antiques. The legs are in curvy lines, delivering a futuristic style, while the light golden velvet cushion adds a little bit of traditional elegance.

The Washington DC-based designer is known for his fusion design of classic and modernity. He says he has absorbed much from his trips around the world, including Singapore, San Francisco and France. And now, China.

The 58-year-old believes people have a close emotional connection with the place where they live.

When he was very young, he went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He was waiting in line, and happened to look up at the rotunda, which he says "overwhelmed" him. That was the first time he felt the power of the building, and he was determined to be a designer in related fields.

On this China trip, he sees a universal trend in the future of interior design.

"As I am having more younger clients, I began to notice this trend: People from everywhere, regardless how much money they are spending, want to be convinced that they are buying luxury, comfort and quality," he says.

It maybe because nowadays, the younger generation is wiser in their spending, especially in terms of an apartment, he says. "Home has become more than a place where people can rest. It is about personal taste."

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