Combining four of Italy's most famed furniture brands effortlessly in one gorgeous space in Designopolis, Art of Form is both an interior-lover's and art-lover's dream come true. We speak to founder Shaden Abdel Hak to find out more...
The second we step into Art of Form’s showroom in Designopolis, it’s like we’ve been transported to somewhere that’s a cross between a modern art museum and a socialite’s Upper East Side apartment – like the lobby of an ultra-chic hotel, but one of those boutique artsy ones, like the W. It’s sleek, all high ceilings and a floating staircase, and scattered everywhere is a mixture of pieces that look like they wouldn’t be out of place at the MoMa, and others which would work perfectly as the staple oversized, super-plush and comfy pieces for a family home; a final blend of art and comfort. “That was the idea – mixing the different moods of life all together,” Shaden Abdel Hak, President and CEO of the brand explains to us. The brand, founded in 2008, carries four primary, and incredibly high end Italian furniture brands: Giorgetti, Moroso, Poliform, and Missoni Home (we have our eye on an epic ottoman, its cushion printed in Missoni’s signature zig zag pattern).
“When the idea started, the concept was just getting all these Italian designers, with their divergent styles, to Egypt,” Abdel Hak elaborates. The four brands were carefully selected by Abdel Hak herself, who spent years of her life immersed in the design world. “I worked in tourism for twenty years of my life and all the designers for the floating hotels we owned were Italian – that’s why I have this passion for Italy – and I was liaising between the designers and the Egyptian contractors, attending the Milan Fair a lot…all of that gave me the experience to launch the brand.” She then selectively curated four brands with distinct but differing style aesthetics, wanting to highlight that despite their spectrum of styles, they could all be blended seamlessly together for a final look that combined all their elements. “Each brand evokes a mood, a feeling. We wanted to show that you can have the timeless beauty of the Giorgetti pieces – our nostalgic mood. And you can mix it with the energetic crazy Moroso. And a touch of Missoni, which is colourful, it’s sensual, and of course the serenity and cleanness of Poliform.”
Art of Form is based on the belief that furniture can be utilised as art to bring a space to life. “Furniture doesn’t have to be a straightforward chair, sofa, whatever. If you go to places like the Milan Fair, the pieces of furniture, they’re pieces of art,” Abdel Hak says passionately. “And how to put them together – that’s the beauty in it.” And their perfectly put together showroom reflects this with aplomb, effortlessly pairing earthy wood tables with pale blue velvet chairs studded along the ridges; large cream L-shape sofas with edgy bronze lamps, futon-style chairs that fold into themselves beautifully, injected with some cool colours in the form of a geometric print throw.
But to what extent is it a case of art versus comfort? “Brilliantly designed pieces have both,” Abdel Hak says simply. “You can have a piece that’s extremely uncomfortable but it’s very, very artistic, it’s almost like a lovely painting in the middle of everything, but of course it depends on what room you’re furnishing. If it’s a living room or a bedroom then comfort should come first of course, but either way, you can definitely have both elements in one piece.”
But though the pieces present in Art of Form are of the high end, high priced, high style kind, the type of pieces you collect to design an almost art-gallery-esque home, the furniture gurus have also recently chosen to diversify with a sub-brand, Spectrum, which still carries luxurious Italian brands, but at more affordable pricing. Though some people are willing to pay the price for the artistic beauty of Art of Form’s exclusive brands, Spectrum has a wider range, more styles, and a less hefty price tag. “With Art of Form we had four main moods but with Spectrum, it literally refers to a whole spectrum of styles being within your reach – and budget!” Abdel Hak laughs.
Between Art of Form and Spectrum, the two brands now cater to everyone - from the furniture fiends who are hardcore collectors and want high end art-like pieces for their homes, to the more laid-back type who’d like a wider selection at a reasonable price. But either way, all the pieces are beautifully crafted Italian works that instantly enhance your home. “What you are surrounded by affects your mood - being surrounded by beauty, and comfort…it just gives you an amazing feeling.” We have to agree.
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