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Celerie Kemble: The Luminary Life

Written by Sally Finder Weepie

There’s a world where handwoven wicker and verdigris brass meet a flash of sass. It’s Celerie Kemble’s world, and the designer—a master of celebrating traditional style while rewriting the rules—brings it to her debut collection for Arteriors. Parasol pendants and lamps? We see shades of brilliance. 

“My favorite aspect of the collection is the versatility–each piece has multidimensional character. It can play a defining role decoratively, or it can take the back seat in a room already infused with a stronger essence," Kemble says. "The pieces can be looked at for their shape, their materiality, their edge, or, in some cases, just the warm glow of the light they produce. I designed everything in this collection to be supremely functional but have a touch of organic warmth and a flash of sass."

Throughout the design process, Kemble focused on careful combinations of elements that you don’t always find together—and the desire to create a special harmony between a few different design styles. "My collection with Arteriors expresses my viewpoint in its many juxtapositions of old-world or organic materials with modern shapes and soft curves on harder forms," she says. "The pieces also glow and dapple in a dynamic way. This is light we are talking about! Even the accessories, which are in many cases glass or eglomise, are all about sparkle."

Regarding lighting, Kemble has this advice: “Understand that it is one of the strongest influencers of mood in a room. Choose your lighting so that it can come from many sources and heights, which softens shadows and allows your lighting to remain variable for different occasions. All on or all off is silly. A room should be like a stage where you can use lighting to highlight or downplay certain areas at certain times. Also, it can be the source of unexpected but delightful materials and colors! There is no need to match all your lights by one material, such as all brass or all nickel – find lighting that helps break that monotony.”

In collaborating with Arterior's Mark Moussa on this collection, Kemble says, "I felt I had a really brave partner who knows his business inside and out from a craft and manufacturing angle. He also has a strong sense of fashion and the marketplace. What can I say about a man who is daring enough to let me run with the idea that there really is a world where verdigris copper, eglomise, leather, wicker, brass, bronze, and bamboo should meet AND be able to create it for me? The final designs will only be as good as the skills or the resources put into them, and I think Mark Moussa and his team have brought my vision to spectacular life."

See Celerie's collection here.