Neri&Hu designs Ren furniture for Poltrona Frau

Neri&Hu's Ren furniture for Poltrona Frau functions like "little butlers"

New York 2016: Shanghai studio Neri&Hu has designed a collection of furniture for Italian brand Poltrona Frau that provides decorative storage solutions (+ slideshow).

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The Ren range – which won the inaugural NYCxDesign Award for best storage last month – comprises a free-standing and wall-mounted coat rack, table, console and valet stand.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

Crafted in walnut with brass and leather accents, the furniture is intended to function as occasional storage space. The pieces feature hanging brass trays and hooks, as well as circular mirrors.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The valet stand also includes a wooden hanger for clothes, while the wall-mounted rack includes a smaller tray for storing keys or jewellery.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The studio designed the series to serve as "supporting actors" for traditional furniture like beds, tables and cabinets.

"They act like little butlers around the house to hold personal accessories and paraphernalia items, offering a resting stop for a busy day," said studio founders Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, who recently designed a coat stand for Offecct.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The studio has worked on several interiors projects in its home city, including a retro-style burger diner and the flagship store for fashion brand Comme Moi.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The forms in the Ren collection take their inspiration from the shape of the Chinese written character for "people", from which the furniture range borrows its name.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

"The design language is based on simple lines supported by a structure shaped like the Chinese ideogram 'ren', which means people," they said.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

Each piece sits on a simple wooden frame that branches out into a pair of supporting wooden legs, forming a distinctive profile when seen from the side.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

The lid of the console table can be lifted up as needed, and the standing coat-rack includes an oblong mirror wrapped in brass and leather.

Ren furniture range by Neri & Hu act as supporting actors for main furniture pieces

Poltrona Frau, which was acquired by Haworth in 2014, has previously partnered with Alexander Wang on furniture and Benjamin Hubert on a pleated leather seat.

The brand presented the Ren collection at its SoHo showroom during this year's NYCxDesign event, which took place across New York from 3 to 17 May 2016.