Celerie Kemble on Her Design Inspiration
November 25, 2013 - 4:47pm
For lines with Henredon and Maitland-Smith, the designer created the furnishings of her dreams.
Celerie Kemble

Kemble: My recent collection with Henredon is the culmination of years of furniture fantasies. It’s inspired by antiques that made my heart go pitter-patter, vintage pieces that I have fallen in love with shopping the Dixie Highway and custom items I have made for clients.

My inspiration comes from travel, fashion and an awareness of what makes an environment comfortable and pretty. Creativity comes from appreciating what seems to work naturally — and dissecting it intellectually to see how it can be recreated.

My design philosophy? In my home designs, it is all about the client. In my furniture and lighting designs, it is all about my dreams.

The aesthetics of a piece are  important, but as an interior designer I am the dog that gets kicked if it doesn’t function well or doesn’t live well in a client’s home. So I believe form and function should always balance each other. When thinking about a piece, I always try to weigh the practical and focus on little details so that your arm has a comfortable height to rest on a sofa back while chatting with a friend. My inspirations are rooted in tradition — the classic forms of French Directoire furniture and the sweeping lines of 1940s upholstery. I gravitate toward timeless forms, craftsman finishes and materials.

Wall sconce No. 1954-356 is a favorite of mine, inspired by the super streamlined work of Tommi Parzinger. We worked with paua shell for the leaves and created shades with glass beads that, along with its size, makes it feel opulent. A pair can be hung vertically to create an elaborate wall sculpture of light.

  • Celerie Kemble
  • Lamp 1754-857 showcases Kemble's unique design style, rooted in classic and traditional forms.
  • Wall sconce 1954-356 was inspired by the streamlined work of Tommi Parzinger.

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