When Elad Yifrach founded luxury tableware and home accessories brand, L’Objet, in 2004 he did so to “pursue his passion for beautiful things”. Over a decade later, it’s safe to say he has done exactly that.
His collections are wildly inspired by the decorative arts of exotic lands, considerately designed and finished to absolute perfection which means that there’s hardly a room which L’Objet homeware can’t make more beautiful. Read our interview with the Tastemaker and shop some of his most precious designs here.
Q: What’s the story behind L’Objet?
I founded L’Objet in Beverly Hills in 2004 in order to pursue my passion for beautiful things. Even before I had printed the first business cards, I flew with my first collection in my luggage to New York in order to present my designs to the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman whose manager wanted the pieces straight away. Now, almost ten years later, L’Objet is a fast-growing company and I am living my dream.
Q: What prompted you to establish a company specialising in stylish, high-end table top accessories?
I try to create pieces that people want to touch and treasure. I hope that my designs enhance people’s everyday experiences and inspire them in some small way.
Q: The collections seem heavily influenced by your travels and Israeli heritage. What is it about the decorative arts of these cultures that fascinate you?
I draw inspiration for L’Objet from voluptuous traditional designs of the Middle Eastern and North African. I love classicism and I sweep up inspiration and homage from French and Greek history. I strive to keep alive the most elaborate and rare traditions of craft.
Q: Where else do you gain inspiration from?
I’ve always been enamoured with the Mediterranean area, especially France and Italy and their rich design history. I was fascinated by their traditional craftsmanship and how these traditions were passed down. The entire L’Objet collection is a tribute to this region, but also a respectful step forward. My team and I constantly endeavour to produce materials in shapes and designs that have never been seen before. The first reaction to these ideas from many manufacturers was naturally always: “That won’t work!” but I would not give up.
Q: Tell us about your product’s journey, from inspiration to manufacture.
It usually begins with a point of reference I find when traveling. I find something that moves me and do my research on it. I try to imagine it done differently or adapted to the way we live today and add a twist to the expected.
Q: How long from concept to completion does a product take to create?
It really depends on the product. For example, from my new collection, Smoke & Mirrors, the shell tray is extremely intricate and is all made by hand using crushed shells. This process is extremely timely due to the careful detailing carried out by the craftsmen.
Q: How important is it for you to work with artisans?
Provenance is of the utmost importance to me. I always select each collection’s materials from regions best renowned for their production. Elevated craftsmanship is one of the key pillars of all L’OBJET’s products. Once we find an artisan who we enjoy working with and who performs the highest quality, we tend to come back time and time again. For example, in our newest collection Smoke & Mirrors, the beautifully textured white rabbit sculpture has been created by the same artist who worked on the swan and dragons from past collections.
Q: What kind of experience do the artisans you work with have?
My commitment to L’OBJET is to produce absolute quality in every piece we design. During my global travels I am constantly on the search for highly skilled artisans who will help me bring designs to life, and the techniques used by these artisans is what sets L’OBJET apart from all others. The artists and craftsman L’OBJET works with are experts in their field; some even come from a long line of passed-down artisan skills. It has always been important to me to spend the time looking for the right partners who will dedicate precision to each piece of a product and take pride in their materials.
Q: Where do you source your materials from and what standards do you insist on?
I source materials from all over the world, wherever I travel and take my inspirations from. We only have one planet and we are all obliged to take good care of it. It’s more challenging to create luxury from recycled materials, but not impossible. There are few elements and recycled materials we use now in our production process – I hope more opportunities will present themselves in the future.
Q: Which product is your favourite to design and develop?
Probably the Aegean collection, it was my first time working with porcelain and I had a very clear vision of what I was looking for. A classic element representing the sea. Everyone I tried to work with rejected even trying to develop the pieces and said it’s impossible to sculpt porcelain the way I want it. Nothing is impossible.
Q: Can you explain the concept behind the new collection, “Smoke & Mirrors”?
Smoke & Mirrors is inspired by the timeless allure of games, magic and mystery; this collection expresses the playful side of L’OBJET and really encapsulates the mischief of the after-dinner moment.
Q: Uncharacteristically, the new collection embraces an almost completely monochrome look. Was that a challenge?
I wanted to try something a little different and, as Smoke & Mirrors combines extraordinary textures and finishes, including natural shell inlays, antiqued brass, ebonised mahogany and signature Limoges porcelain. Smoke & Mirrors is an homage to the very finest craftsmanship, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with these materials. The collection also includes a number of new product categories, including trays, games, timepieces and the use of wood for the first time, therefore the focus was on the materials.
Q: To you, what epitomises L’Objet’s aesthetic?
Just like the way you dress represents your personality, a well-dressed table or a room is an expression of your style and creativity. My goal is to design beautiful objects that make you dream and travel while serving a great function.
Q: Which is your favourite colour combination?
We all use colour as a way to express life and emotions and as such it can be a very evocative way of bringing back memories and creating associations with different moods. I personally have a fondness for gold as it has limitless visual potential and is the most ancient and universal precious element.
Q: Are there any upcoming trends we should be aware of for home decor?
Refined, ethnic with ottoman and arabesque influences. A lot of rich neutral tones together with bold jewel [ones].
Q: How would you describe your personal interior style?
My home is like my passport, filled with special pieces from around the globe. I have antiques and contemporary pieces all over. My favourite room is the dining room – I use it often and not just for eating.