In the spring of 2020, Maison Gerard collaborated with frenchCALIFORNIA, furnishing a beautifully renovated townhouse at 330 Sackett Street in Carroll Gardens. Benoist F. Drut, working hand-in-hand with the one-of-a-kind branding and design agency, as well as the Brooklyn Home Company, transformed the already four bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom residence into something more extraordinary yet.
When complete, the airy, high ceilings, well-lit rooms, featuring wood detailing on custom fireplaces, banisters, and pillars (executed by the artist and sculptor Fitzhugh Karol), doubled as a presentation space for the revolutionary mid-century French designers Guillerme et Chambron, the residence serving as the first large-scale show of their work since their firm’s peak in the 60s and early 70s.
“Playful, comfortable, and easy to live with. It’s chic without being ostentatious,” is how gallerist Benoist F. Drut describes the duo’s output, the soul of which can be found in their company’s name, Votre Maison (“Your House"). Their focus was as keenly attuned to functionality—furniture’s use in daily life—as to the creation of innovative design. For the pair of designers the home was envisioned as a place where the family could live both comfortably and in aesthetic harmony
The association was destined to be as influential as prolific. Not only did Votre Maison produce over two thousand models during the later half of the twentieth century, it also left an indelible stamp on design of the 50s, 60s and 70s. The company’s output served as a model for a vast field of livable contemporaneous design.
This steady output of furniture bucked convention not merely in the equal emphasis Guillerme (who did most of the design) placed on utility and beauty, but in the almost paradoxical creation of a consistent style that was as staid as it was arresting. While his work was in many ways distinctively conservative and recognizable from project to project, both in form as well as in medium—his wood of choice, waxed oak, was often either lightened or darkened to the same few tones—Guillerme’s pieces also possessed an unusual flare. He incorporated elaborately detailed tiles and unusually bright fabrics, both of which could be used interchangeably in a variety of pieces.
In short, he designed, and the pair executed, furniture with a distinctive style and presence, an unusual consistency and flare, furniture which charms in equal measure with its functional details as with its clean and distinctly sunny aesthetic.
Please enjoy a look through their work, and at this beautful residence (all photos courtesy of Matthew Williams Photography & frenchCALIFORNIA). And don’t hesitate to reach out with any inquiries by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone by calling 212-674-7611.