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Date published: April 04 2016

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Her impact goes far beyond the fashion world says Christopher Guy Harrison

Christopher Guy Harrison, the CEO, Designer and Founder behind the luxury, furnishings brand Christopher Guy, heralds Coco Chanel as the main influence for his designs.

Celebrated as one of the most influential designers of all time, Coco Chanel’s impact goes far beyond the fashion world and her designs continue to be echoed throughout the fashion, interiors and decorative art worlds alike. Last Autumn, an eponymous exhibition at the Saatchi gallery, Mademoiselle Privé, highlighted the breadths of Chanel’s achievements.

Christopher became fascinated with Coco Chanel from an early age, captivated by the elegance, sophistication and simplicity of her ageless designs. He launched a collection entitled Mademoiselle based on his own interpretation of how Coco Chanel may have commissioned her home if she was here today. The range, which includes cabinets, beds, lighting, mirrors and upholstered furniture, is a contemporary interpretation of her classic designs.

Simplicity is key when trying to achieve Chanel’s celebrated Parisian chic. For upholstery, opt for lavish materials such as rich velvets and sumptuous silks – layering decadent fabrics was typical of Chanel’s designs and resonates strongly with the art deco movement. To achieve an opulent look, pair rich fabrics with polished, lacquered hardwoods and plush buttoned details.

Throughout her life, Chanel became famous for her monochrome palette, which is clearly reflected in Christopher’s furniture and room sets. Accent monochrome with neutral tones of taupe and oyster as well as sophisticated pale pinks and smoky greys. This perfectly encapsulates the elegance and simplicity of Chanel’s pared-back look. Pale upholstery can be contrasted with dark piping, emphasising the clean lines of the furniture.

Precision and symmetry were key design components of Jazz Age style so when buying mirrors, lighting and occasional tables always buy a pair to keep your room scheme well balanced. The sunburst mirror was an iconic motif of art deco style and makes a striking focal point of any living area or bedroom. For a dramatic look, choose an oversized mirror to hang over a mantelpiece or in the hallway.

Cocktail hour was a well-established part of the day during the belle époque. Install a decorative cocktail bar or drinks trolley in your living room for entertaining guests.

With travel becoming increasingly accessible during Chanel’s lifetime, exotic sculptures and accessories became highly covetable. Chanel herself travelled extensively and was inspired by Chinoiserie, which is evident from her apartment in the Rue de Cambon, Paris. To achieve an eclectic look, accessorise your living space with exotic accents such as pearl trinkets and animal sculptures. For an added exuberance, a large Chinese screen makes a perfect room divider.

Author: Christopher Guy Harrison

Company: Christopher Guy

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