2011 is upon us with fresh new design projects abound. But to take a sneak peak back to the festivities of 2010…
A brand admittedly not ringing familiar bells in my Interior Design black book; an invite to the Promemoria Christmas drinks through an industry affiliate was nevertheless returned with an enthused acceptance.
I glanced at the Promemoria internationally-based website before dashing off, essentially needing to gauge at the very least their professional, industry-based standing (as subjective as that may be).
An overtly-styled site, the immediate high-end, on par competitors came to mind. I was quick to consider it a case of ‘style over substance’, until I eventually located the discreetly-placed ‘menu’ button at the bottom (perhaps I was distracted by the decadent opera soundtrack).
So off I went to the showroom in Chelsea, nestled alongside the numerous well-established local names. A cosy, if seemingly cramped space it was, where the well-to-do fought for a corner amongst the generous team of caterers decked in hospitality whites, liberally pouring the Prosecco and slicing the festive Panettone. “There are 5 floors” I was informed. Certainly more than meets the eye, literally, I established and figuratively too, I hoped.
And more there was. Winding staircases led to one room after the other, resembling much more the feeling of a domestic retreat than a large-scale, open-plan showroom. Each space was layered with an abundance of soft textures nestled along solid forms of the bespoke cabinetry. There was an almost aristocratic ambience, with themes of ‘Gentleman’s Club’ meets ‘Country Club’, with hints of ‘Mile High Club’ seeping through too. I could almost smell the potent cigars and hear the faint ‘ching’ of toasts to double-malt whiskey on the rocks.
I discovered Promemoria were a force not to be reckoned with (Clients such as Candy & Candy et al tend to speak to volumes). A much as can be gauged from pure observation, quality and craftsmanship played key roles in each piece, from the detail of the joinery to the solid finishes of the aged woods. Family-owned with a multi-generation legacy behind them, it’s no wonder they have managed to refine their craft to produce the standards they have today.
Masculinity certainly edged its way to prominence – Boxy, solid wood bookcases featured neat niches for the academic hardbacks, in turn accommodating a mini bar fridge and even tripling as a poker table on the surface, complete with the obligatory green felt finish.
Competing for top marks alongside quality with my newly admired Italian furniture house was their impressive, experimental, non-conventional philosophy on materials. Curiosity and stimulation were kept at all-time highs as the hand would be tempted to confirm what the eye saw – squishy, cylindrical stair hand-rails were encased in velvet, robust wall-length libraries were crafted solely from soft yet tactile leather. Even the walls were wrapped in feathery light linens where one may expect wallpaper.
As impressed as I was by the brand and their unique offerings, disappointedly the attentiveness of the staff did not quite return the same results. Pleasing as it was to easily identify those quick to top up the Prosecco, recognising the Promemoria representatives was a little more challenging. One seemed startled with my approach and request for some material on their new Outdoor collection. Discreet words were overheard in a corner by management, presumably to pick up the act.
Perhaps the approach to service had been loosened somewhat given the festive occasion, so I’ll grant them a seasonal token of mercy. After all, future visits to the showroom are sure to be scheduled… if only to feed my curiosity at the new ways Premomoria have challenged conformity. Certainly a shining star positioned solidly at the top end of the scale.
Images courtesy of Promemoria