Through the Looking Glass | Text: Janet Mercel
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Each week we take you behind the scenes to show you the people and spaces that inspire us. This week journalist Janet Mercel sits down with us and explores our move from NYC to Miami and the people and inspiration that came into play when doing up our Miami apt.
When Product Designer Thomas Fuchs and his husband, Michou Mahtani, relocated from New York City to Miami, they brought their lighting and home goods empire with them. It was so important to Michou that he immediately find the local taste makers, Alicia Kossik of The Polished Coconut to help style and give a Miami vibe to an already colorful home of wares.
Thomas & Michou's 12'Ft 16th Century Dining Table
High above Brickell in downtown Miami floats the glass box that isThomas Fuchs and Michou Mahtani’s apartment.The pair courted on safari in Masai Mara, and bonded while growing their home goods empire at glassblowing factories in Murano, Italy and stone masonries in Delhi, so it makes perfect sense their home is stuffed with the obscure objects and artwork that come with a life lived globally.
All Furniture designed by Thomas from his collabs @donghia to Quatrain
Paint Colour: Benjamin Moore Blue 2066-10
“Our indigo living room is loosely modeled after Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Garden and Villa Oasis in Morocco,” Fuchs says. “I think next I’m going to move all the orange trees into the bedroom,” his husband Mahtani adds.“We love the idea of sleeping in an orange grove.
Thomas & Michou in Africa with the Masai, Michou wears the Handbeaded Anklets and Bracelet the Masai Gifted Him
”The apartment is anchored by its open-terrace views on all sides, perching over the bay on one end and the whole of downtown stretching out on the other. Fuchs is, first and foremost, a designer of lighting and glass objet, and his hand-blown creations from his brand Otium are scattered everywhere. In the living and dining rooms, ceiling fixtures, textured vases and lamps with gold paper shades and names like Oro Sfera and Egiziano sparkle from every corner and play with the lights of the city below.
It is Fuchs who elevates their space from just a beautiful collection of eclectic pieces to the bespoke jewel box it is, having custom designed almost all their furniture not picked up abroad.
The mauve sateen sofas from his time asCreative Director of Donghia, the carved chairs and Bombay chest are his pieces from a stint at Quattrain. Mahtani ,who hails from Lebanon, Jamaica and India, was a lead creative at luxury retailer Takashimaya and later, RemyMartin, before meeting his designer husband Fuchs in New York.But it is in their love of bold textiles and their ever-growing art collection that the couple’s visions merge.
Fuchs and Mahtani, who share a birthday that also happens to be their wedding anniversary, commemorate the occasion each year by investing in a new work. Their newest acquisition, Into The Sun/Burn, by photo realist painter Tim Buwalda, is flanked by a pair of lacquered cabinets from Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road, while my mixed media sculpture from a friend, Mexican artist Sharon Berebichez, prickles from the marble coffee table next to Picasso ceramics.
In the guest bedroom, an entire wall painted in high-gloss Ming Jade is dedicated to canine portraiture, one of which features their own pups, Frida and Calder, by artist Mary Beth Mackenzie,and another acquired from theBrooke Astor estate. “We’re told she also had dog wall in her home,”Mahtani says. He gestures to one particularly striking workin the mirrored hallway, featuring an Indian priest in a vivid yellow turban he picked up from a market on the banks of the Ganges. “At first I wanted a portrait wall entirely of men in turbans,” he muses. “ButThomas said no, so we did dogs instead.
Paint Colour: Benjamin Moor Ming Jade High Gloss 2043-20
”Neither is afraid to mix it up.The opposite wall in the guest-room is papered in a wildly colorful Christian Lacroix botanical print, the better to feature the seagrass-wrapped head board, while the master bedroom features a“very masculine” pink. “Benjamin Moore’s Pink Eraser,” Mahtani says. “It has a lot of brown in it, that’s how we pulled it off.
Paint Colour: Pink Eraser 2005-50 by Benjamin Moore - Bedside Table Murano Glass Lamps & Candle Sticks Otium
”Graphic black and white, in theVenezuelan artist Tony Vazquez piece framed over the bed, and the carved candlesticks Fuchs crafted from the same stone as the Taj Mahal, offset all the color.
The familiar shapes ground their space and serve as a reminder of the design aesthetic that is the foundation of their home. “Thomas’ genius is the way he reimagines our collections,” Mahtani says of his husband, “from home in Manhattan, to our NewJersey beach house, and now Miami, without ever repeating himself.”-TF
Thomas Fuchs Creative brings craftsmanship by skilled artisans to market previously only available to the trade. Traditional techniques such as hand carving, lost wax casting and glass blowing are accessible at a price point without compromising the design aesthetic. Launching into the retail market with a line of Bar ware gives an entree to a genre that the female customer relate to and the male customer appreciate.
TFC brings a twist to the common perspective with the collections such as "Remains" using the skull as a tool for inspiration; "Botanicals" of killer plants and inlaid unassuming "Bubbles". Thomas Fuchs offers the consumer to build a timeless collection of daily objects that evoke emotion while being functional.