Christopher Guy Harrison, founder and head designer of his eponymous international furnishings brand, Christopher Guy, is famous for luxury furniture design – specifically the graceful and imaginative Chris-X chair leg.
Winner of the British Interior Design Award for Outstanding Design, Harrison lives in Singapore, where he oversees a one million square foot furniture complex. Also, he frequents his Beverly Hills Flagship Design Lounge, where he highlights his newest collection of the year.
Recently, Upscale Living magazine design editor Natalie King discussed décor essentials and inspiration with the acclaimed designer.
What is one piece that everyone should invest in to bring style into their homes?
There are two basic criteria for choosing furnishing in a home, the aesthetic aspect and the functionality of said piece. Luxury furnishing should have the designer’s concept and ideas conveyed through quality material and craftsmanship. The successful combination of producing this concept will ensure that you have an aesthetically pleasing piece that takes the form and structure into consideration, a piece which will last through the generations.
How do you stay inspired to create? Do you have a ritual before beginning a design plan?
My inspirations have always come from my travels. I believe that internationalization transcends tradition. It is with an understanding and integration of cultures that form the basis of my designs. There is no particular country’s tradition that I adopt in my designs, as I believe that the understanding of elegance is international and recognizable instantly. The most important aspect of the design process is determining the concept. Developing a clear and concise concept is imperative for the design to be understood by whoever is viewing it. The designer is the one person who conceptualizes the design in its original form. It is important for the designer to develop a clear and concise concept for the design to be understood by whoever is viewing it. I am involved in every stage of the process. Because we are a vertically integrated manufacturer with our own manufacturing facility, we have in-house capabilities from design concept, product development, engineering, production and finishing to packaging to ensure the highest quality standards.
What is your favorite space in your own home?
I do not have a particular favorite part of my home as this is something that is always evolving. The beauty of having my home is to change the look from time to time, until the next idea comes along.
Visually, design is key in creating a harmonious, inspired mood. What are the design elements that you believe everyone should incorporate into their home? For instance, what are the key pieces we should all have in our living or bedrooms?
A statement or accent piece works very well in dressing up or even making a room feel complete. It is important to note the proportion of the piece in relation to the space available as it is not necessarily the size that determines if it will be a statement piece but the structure of the piece of even the color. For example, a lower ceiling room could benefit in lower wider pieces that do not feel overpowering but expansive and comfortable.
What is the best advice that you have received in your career?
The best advice that I received was when I was having a day of headaches within our vast workshops, and which came from an ex-carver who worked in my original smaller workshops. “Mr. Chris, small workshops … small problems. Big workshops … big problems. Me, no workshop … no problem.”