Konekt debuts chainmail lighting in dark-blue Manhattan showroom
Mother-and-daughter design studio Konekt has coloured the walls of its new showroom in New York City dark blue to provide a bold backdrop to its sculptural lighting and furniture designs.
Based in Philadelphia, Konekt was founded in 2015 by Helena Sultan, a former photographer and documentary filmmaker. Two years later, her husband Eric and daughter Natasha joined the help run the family studio.
The two have opened the showroom in New York's Chinatown, designed to resemble an open-plan studio apartment. The space features deep blue walls and weathered wooden floors that evoke a time-worn feel relating to the handcrafted pieces on display.
Konekt redesigned the interior space, which includes art pieces by Natasha's grandmother who is an artist. A golden wall glass mural by artist Michael Winn.
The Manhattan showroom also provides the backdrop for the launch of the duo's first collection together. Called Armor, the series comprises a light and table covered in chainmail, and was influenced by an antique metal pot scrubber the two found while shopping at a flea market.
The Armor pendant lamp features handblown glass light fixtures covered in metallic mesh, sourced from a 100-year-old manufacturer in Massachusetts.
The studio, which creates many of its works with American craftspeople and manufacturers, said that draping the industrial material over the delicate bulb posed challenges. "We were having a really hard time getting this specific shape made," Natasha told Dezeen.
The Armor light marks Konekt's first foray into lighting and is accompanied by matching side tables with similar mesh sleeves at their bases.
Another piece on display is a bulbous dining table, which draws on the soft curves of tumbled stones from the Atlantic Ocean. The table comprises a wood top and a convex bronze base, made in Pennsylvania. Each one is detailed with different markings and contours.
"A lot of inspiration comes from nature," said Helena. "The shape from shells and stones, and their sculptural forms."
"There is no uniformity," she continued.
Other pieces on display have more animalistic traits. The wood Bianca dining chairs, for example, have dramatically curved wood legs that extend at angles away from the seat. "The legs are inspired by the legs of camels, with sculptural hind legs," Helena said.
The dining chairs employ mortise and tenon joints to connect the different moments.
In the showroom, the chairs are arranged around a Gazelle dining table, which features slender wood legs that curve out far outwards. "The name Gazelle comes from the Persian word, Ghazal, meaning elegant and quick," said the studio.
Many of Konekt's pieces necessitate meticulous craftsmanship, and almost all are hand-crafted. Konekt credit their appreciation of art, nature and antique furniture to Helena's mum.
Designs employ a variety of metal as well, such as oil rubbed bronze, polished brass and antique nickel. A number of plush fabrics can also be customised.
The Pause Chaise, which has a body shaped like a peapod shape, comes in either velvet or wool to complement its slender brass legs. A series of stools with horsehair fringe are available in a variety of colours and metal finishes. Mirrors and candle holders round out Konekt's designs.
Konekt's showroom is in New York's Chinatown, just around the corner from Soho with its numerous lighting and furniture brands.
Other designers that have recently opened spaces in the city are Egg Collective in a corner Tribeca storefront, DePadova in Soho, a two-storey spot for Allied Maker lighting and Kettal's outdoor pavilion in Midtown.