Directors Max de Rosee and Claire Sa reveal the story behind why the architecture practice launched its own furniture line.
De Rosee Sa, an award-winning London-Lisbon-Brussels-based architectural and design firm, is a name synonymous with understated luxury. Founded by Max de Rosee and Claire Sa, the practice favours a holistic approach. De Rosee Sa works side by side with a client to create a truly tailored arrangement that’s centred around their client’s particular way of living, blending architectural design with granular details and finishes.
It’s this all-encompassing concept-to-completion method that has led the firm to launch its own furniture collection, which they sell via their online shop alongside a curated selection of antiques. “Our customers want pieces with a story, rather than everything being brand new – this creates a more lived-in and inviting atmosphere,” explains Max de Rosee.
The furniture strand of the De Rosee Sa business is very much demand-led, with design concepts directly influenced by their clients. “Most of our designs stem from working with clients during a project. For our commissioned pieces, we like to work closely with the client – they want our design input and we want to ensure that the pieces are functional and fulfil the brief,” says Max.
In the online shop, each De Rosee Sa piece bears the hallmark of intelligent design with considered details. A slender black lacquer and rattan hall bench made specifically with a narrow hallway in mind; a Klein blue desk with two brass-lined cable access ports; and a cosseting emerald green tub chair, designed for maximum impact but minimum footprint.
Our clients want pieces with a story, rather than everything being brand new – this creates a more lived-in and inviting atmosphere.
- Max De Rosee
The range extends to smaller accessories, including their generously sized gem-toned lacquer trays. “We were looking for a variety of tray designs and felt these weren’t easily accessible, so we designed our own. We have four tray designs and the customer has the option to customise these. You can choose your own design and select one of our colours,” explains Claire Sa.
One of their most successful pieces to date also happened to be their most challenging to work on. “Our statement Red Lacquered Table has definitely been the most challenging to design,” says Claire. “The client wanted an extendable table, which could be easily adapted from seating four to fourteen people by incrementally adding additional leaves. Each configuration was carefully designed so as not to appear temporary or sit awkwardly.” This ribbed timber leg table features a polished brass base and is finished in a deep cherry red lacquer gloss. “The table was designed to be positioned in an oak-panelled room, so we really wanted the high gloss red lacquer to contrast that,” she explains.
The pair believe that an uptick in commissions after months of confinement is no coincidence, with people spending more time at home, and realising the importance (and benefit) of a beautifully chosen, well-made piece of furniture. “Demand for bespoke furniture has definitely increased. People are living in their homes more than ever and appreciate bespoke pieces of furniture and what they can add to a room,” says Claire. “The right furniture in a room is critical, it can either enhance the architectural backdrop or it can work against it. Furniture, together with artwork, lighting and soft furnishings needs to be carefully curated and considered to achieve an impactful design atmosphere,” she adds.