This collection of furniture came about as a response to a specific project with a specific type of room: a studio-library building to be constructed in the garden of the Academy house. And like many imaginings that lead to products, the designs were an effort to pass along a style from this location that we couldn’t readily find in the marketplace.
Library style is about rooms that are eclectic and comfortable, poised for work yet elegant enough to receive guests. Historically the library would be a place for collected objects, representative of curiosities and travel, and of course, a love of books. In today’s homes, these contents now flow into family rooms, dens, offices, and all-purpose living rooms. Yet the accompanying design notions – bookish, slightly formal or even fanciful, invitingly layered and lived-in – are the same ingredients that still bring a kind of warmth, individuality, and a slower pace into balance with the increasing speed and gadgetry of modern life.
The aim was therefore to assemble a set of memorable pieces as one might find in an older home’s library, conservatory, or studio. Each one would be designed to be a touchstone that can define a room. This is a way to invite one-of-a-kind furnishing, to stand in for rarer antiques, and to add a collected feeling to the basics of many homes.
The trick of the furniture is to be historical, but in a new way. Pieces capture the grace of original antiques without becoming traditional antique reproduction. Instead, they are compounded from a trove of favorite details, flourishes, and profiles that have been filed away over the years in the design studio, from auction finds, early Chippendale and Georgian design manuals, and antiquities. Many of the inspirations are early English and European, marking a departure from the more vintage-modern and industrial ideas that are often associated with Thomas and Aero Studios. Following this path, other items are close interpretations of the very fine, historically-based, custom upholstery and woodwork that we design for client residences.
The intrigue of the group is in this blending: the stretching, rescaling, grafting, and updating of different classic ideas that come from a world of design beyond modernism. A fully upholstered bookcase, tailored in patterns of nailheads. A camelback sofa, designed with the customized option of an upholstered or wood-frame base. A radical 18th century English sleeping chair, reclaimed as a low-slung, incredibly comfortable chaise. All represent a reigning idea at Aero: that the time of now is about mixing, and reviving pieces with beautiful craft in them. No matter the era.
That is what modern can be.