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Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range

From design influences to details – an insight into this Deco-inspired table set

Jon Sharpe
By Jon Sharpe, Chief Creative Officer

In a collaborative effort between LuxDeco’s design team and the artisans at British studio Thomas James Furniture, the Orion range rebirths a graphic Art Deco motif in powerful 21st-century form. Consisting of an equally sleek marble-topped console, coffee and side table, it’s a triple-threat line-up that balances the art of understated beauty with serious head-turning appeal.

From design influences to material choices and the subtle details of the range, LuxDeco’s Head Designer, Sam Aylott, discusses the making of the exclusive table set.

What initially motivated you to design the Orion range?

I set out to produce a design that was super-sleek yet bold enough to take centre stage in a space. The idea of a luxury table set really appealed to me, so I created a console, coffee and side table that can stand alone or be styled together for maximum impact.

In three words, how would you sum up the aesthetic?

Luxurious, graphic, industrial.

Where did you draw influence for the designs?

The design was inspired by an Art Deco motif that I fell in love with, which plays with the combination of linear movement intercepted by circular shapes. This ignited an idea to translate the graphic into a 3D frame.

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range - Imspiration - Style Guide
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The British artisans at Thomas James Furniture took the piece from concept to reality. Tell us a bit about the collaboration with the studio.

It was great. Thomas James Furniture is a bespoke British studio that really shares our understanding and love of impeccably detailed pieces and fine materials. The founders really got into the concept and understanding of proportions, which is key, and they shone when it came to the niggles of construction. For example, we worked together to replace many of the key mitered welds with a mechanical fixing. This allowed for a much more crisp and precise join that really complemented the industrial precision I strived for.

Which specific qualities did you look for when choosing the marble?

Colour was an obvious factor as, after all, the world of interiors is led by aesthetics. Originally, I wanted a high-contrast black and gold palette. However, as beautiful as it is, I questioned if this would overpower the linear pattern of the frame. So we decided to go for a slightly softer brown Pakistan marble, flecked with golden veins.

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range - Illustrations & Drawings - Style Guide
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Why did you opt for a brass base?

Brass is very Deco – its gold colouration projects luxury and aspiration. Again this coheres with current trends. We went for solid brass over plating so that it can develop a patina over time, and, if desired, can be gently cleaned to restore its original brightness. I must admit, if I had a piece myself, I would love to see it mature over the years.

How does the wax coating impact on the designs?

The wax coating is applied to seal the brushed brass. This slows down patination massively yet still allowing it to mature gradually; however, if a client is set on zero maintenance and wants it to remain a bright brushed finish, then we can substitute the wax for a matte lacquer.

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range 1 | Style Guide
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Can you explain how the triple linear detailing was created?

Solid brass bars were used for durability and longevity (I foresee these pieces being handed through generations.) A variety of machinery and techniques were utilised – from waterjet cutting methods to brass dowelling for the mechanical joins – to make the brass frame as crisp as possible. All of which contributes to the considered nature of the design. The reinforcement of linear movement creates a sense of power, strength and industrial complexity often associated with the Deco period.

Did you face any challenges during the design and creation process?

Yes, sketching the rough concept and even moving onto 3D models and renders were one thing, but transforming it to reality was another. I didn’t foresee the triple linear frame to be so problematic, but it’s very difficult to ensure the design is absolutely parallel – a slight misalignment would stick out like a sore thumb. The second hurdle was ensuring crispness with the metalwork joins. This is something often overlooked in metal furniture, which is a travesty.

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range 2 | Style Guide
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What’s your favourite feature of these pieces?

Firstly, the marble's recessed and bevelled edges – they create a purposeful transition between materials, each complementing the other. The subtle detailing and proportions are also something that I feel elevates the piece from any other marble and brass table as, I am the first to admit, there are many around.

Meet the Designer: LuxDeco's Sam Aylott on the Orion range 3 | Style Guide
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Which other pieces can be styled with the Orion range to elevate the look?

As the Orion range is such a statement piece, I feel it can work in its own right within an interior, whilst its neutral palette is very versatile. I am actually very excited to see how designers will incorporate this into their projects. If I were to partner it with some of my LuxDeco exclusives, the Spectre, Lunar and Holmes pieces spring to mind.

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