Timeless Simplicity, Dynamic Elegance, Bold Modernity: The Refined and Luxurious New Designs of Thomas Pheasant Are Unveiled
In the history of interior design, there are certain rare innovators who elevate the practice of design and craft into the highest art. Such a designer is Thomas Pheasant, whose fifty-piece virtuoso Thomas Pheasant collection for Baker is presented by the leading designer and manufacturer of fine home furnishings at High Point market today. The dynamic new designs are an evolution of the designer’s previous collections for Baker, and include all-new furniture, upholstery and lighting.
With these new sleek and more minimalist pieces, Thomas Pheasant enhances his existing collections with a precise orchestration of fresh ideas. They mix well; they are at home together. New materials, new silhouettes, and design innovation add to his distinct vision for Baker and vocabulary for today’s culture and passions.
“Baker and Thomas Pheasant are proud to be celebrating the fifteen years of our highly successful collaboration,” said Baker President Russell Towner. “With these sculptural and luxurious new pieces, Thomas Pheasant proves once again he is one of the most brilliant and singular designers of our time. He enhances and enriches his Baker legacy, and inspires us all.”
In the new collection, he was inspired by Modern American painters and sculptors like Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra and Tony Smith, whose minimalist works demonstrate utmost refinement and sophistication. Pheasant lets the purity and essence of his inspirations steep inside his head so that they can take a very different form in his designs.
From art to furniture, there can be a connection that plays in his head as he considers shapes, new clean-lined silhouettes, color, and dimensions. Art is his process, and with the “Wedge” sofa, he designed it to be comfortable and useful and attractive. While art illuminates his work, the owner acquires a beautiful piece of furniture that meets the demands of the designer while remaining highly functional.
The designer worked with the skillful team of engineers and artisans of Baker Furniture, where artistry and precision are applied to each piece, allowing the designer to create exquisite works of art for the home. For example, the Blade cocktail table, featuring floating panels over a large expanse, or the Sling chair, maintaining a slender profile of the frame. Each piece is executed with bravura, effortlessly achieved to render meticulously constructed metalwork in the former, or crisp silhouettes and tight upholstery with precisely placed fabric seams in the latter.
In Pheasant’s approach with the new collection, his insistence on purest function comes first. His chairs have exquisite lines and they also afford ease and comfort. His tables are the perfect height and dimension, with every surface and alignment exquisitely realized. His lighting brings an intimate, warm ambiance and illumination to rooms.
The exposed wood of his case goods collection is executed in a palette of brass, glass, and solid dark-stained mahogany in either a high sheen finish, “Luxe”, or a new lower sheen finish, “Caviar”, characterized by a soft gold rubbed into the open pore of the wood’s grain. This luminescent reflective finish, a new invention by Pheasant, is the epitome of luxury, whereby the beauty of the gold is subtle and relaxed.
He designed the new lighting group for Baker to be distinctive, as sculptural as the furniture pieces in the new collection. He also wanted to mix the components he was using, into the furniture pieces and into the lighting.
For example, the Delgado, a pendant fixture, over a dining table is a dramatic, single light source. The visual focus is all about the shape and the texture, enjoyed in a variety of situations: over a large dining table, as task lighting, or suspended above either night table in the bedroom. The designer delights in the idea of creating multiple applications with a sculptural, beautifully crafted, single light source.
“This is the collection of my dreams,” says Thomas Pheasant. “And the key to every piece and to the whole collection of fifty new pieces is Baker’s world-class talent. Baker has the extraordinarily accomplished technical staff, devoted craftspeople in North Carolina and in traditional ateliers around the world, as well the engineering experts who are essential in the development of my collections. Together they make it all perfect.”
Pheasant is a neutralist at heart. For his color palette, the designer set out thinking about graphite, bronzite, alabaster, and mica. He pondered minerals and metallic surfaces, trying to create a new class of neutrals which is centered around this idea. This palette spans from a very pale alabaster or ivory color, to a very dark yet warm charcoal gray. Pheasant envisions a room executed in a harmonious mix of soft alabaster colors, and offsets the scheme with a pair of striking Sling Lounge Chairs upholstered in a charcoal gray, or executed in a deep bronze.
“The new collections are original and dynamic, and at the same time the consistent Thomas Pheasant sensibility and attitude and purity are all there,” he said. “I am always true to myself as a designer. This continuity must be here, and it takes a lot of my attention to get truth and honesty in my designs.”
A perfectionist, Thomas Pheasant creates each collection with an unmistakable style. The designer intertwines architectural rigor, mesmerizing refinement, an extravagance of concept, yet there is always a restraint in effect. And to achieve the ultimate simplicity he traveled to Italy to work with glass and metal ateliers and artists to create rare and exquisite pieces for his new range of lighting.
“It’s a designer’s dream to work with Baker’s knowledgeable experts,” he said. “I push myself. This romance and quality of artistry and craft are such a privilege. It’s very inspiring and exciting.”
The Thomas Pheasant Approach: Thomas Pheasant, who launched his highly successful design studio in Washington DC in 1980, creates collections that are burnished with his passion for perfection. He spent time daily sketching, editing, and studying technical considerations.
For Pheasant, it is not a matter of centimeters; he works in millimeters for the ultimate beauty. It’s precision with a touch of playfulness. The legs of occasional chairs feel balletic. His gilded sunbursts (inspired by originals in the superb Pavlovsk Palace near St. Petersburg) are like elegant jewelry. His new gilded finishes are subtle, sensual.
“Everything is connected with an experience, a moment, a dream,” said Pheasant who often travels to Paris, London and St. Petersburg to view the finest examples of neo-classical architecture and furniture for reference.
Just as a “less is more” principal has guided generations of architects, so Pheasant continues to edit and refine his designs to gain his ideal silhouettes. His new works eliminate embellishment so that the final piece exhibits a very pleasing purity of line and movement. Each chair and cabinet has the power to feel personal, intimate, and subtle and forever.
The designer is also scrupulous about the romance and effect of his furniture designs, so that within his matrix of form, scale and materials, he envisions the furniture in a room. He considers the spaces in between, and how each piece stands in harmony, in relationship. For Pheasant, the sum of the parts must reverberate.
“The key with this new collection was that we bent the rules to make this collection so different,” says the designer. “Simplicity is not easy. Our Baker team takes pride in every detail. Baker is able to accomplish perfection with each and every product and design. For a designer, this is the ultimate collaboration. I am most grateful to everyone at Baker.”
About Thomas Pheasant:
Thomas Pheasant is internationally recognized for his career spanning 30 years in creating interiors. His diverse accomplishments have been widely published in the most prestigious architectural and interior design magazines around the world. In 2005, he was honored by Architectural Digest US with the distinction "Dean of American Design". Based in Washington, D.C. he continues to work on residential and commercial projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Since its founding in 1890, Baker has been the hallmark of design excellence and uncompromising quality. It is distributed worldwide through a network of interior design trade showrooms and luxury home furnishings retailers. The company is a division of Baker Interiors Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Samson Investment Holding Co. Baker Interiors Group is comprised of Baker, Milling Road and McGuire Furniture Company.For further information, please visit www.bakerfurniture.com.