The French Living: the Immortal Fascination of Decoration

A thin gold line crosses the centuries unscathed, connecting two timeless conceptions of sumptuous elegance. On one hand, the dazzling art deco finishes of the Jazz era, and on the other, the grandiose magnificence of Louis XV and Louis XVI styles. Today, these distant eras are able to meet thanks to The French Living, a collection of furnishings for a luxurious living area in classic style that fuses, with an eclectic and contemporary approach, these exceptional expressions of French decoration (Art Deco also emerged in Paris around 1925). Here, generous and aristocratic seats spark a dialogue with the noble linearity of tables and consoles. Floral inspirations trace original links between the ancien régime and Tropical Deco of the ‘20s, while a sleek palette of velvets and woods smooths forms in a refined opulence. The luxury of one era counterbalances the luxury of another, with the admirable result of a conscious and modern harmony that doesn’t cede to the banality of superimposition, and resists the temptations of oversimplified pairings. Behind it all is Jumbo Collection, a brand founded in 1985, and today a leader of luxury furnishings Made in Italy. This is a preview on the road to Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2021 (#roadto2021), and following collections with more essential lines (Fragonard, Fuji, Shinto), the brand marks a proud return to the enchantment of timeless decorations.

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The floral motif is nothing new in the annals of stylistic history, but its interpretation has mutated over the years. Just take, for example, the Tulipe armchair: with its large armrests and a low backrest, it evokes the silhouette of a flower that opens above its calyx, while the base in wood is inlaid with gold leaf finishing. Here, the creative language would appear to be that of Louis XV’s decorative panache, if it weren’t for the spontaneity with which the chair rises from the base and for the dialogue orchestrated with other elements in the collection embracing a naturalistic flair, like the Pineapple table: here, the foot is inlaid by hand to obtain the scale effect of a pineapple with the irony typical of that found in Tropical Deco.

Every concession corresponds to a counterweight. The sinuosity of upholstered furnishings is flanked by the linear forms of the table and console. Looking at the roundness of the Grand Armée corner sofa, we see decorative fringes and the iconic capitonné effect — artisan made, according to the brand’s ethos — recalling the importance of a return to classical ornamentation. The dusty pink tones of velvet, meanwhile, soften the whole, confirming the rule of refined moderation. Contributing to this is the thinness of the “brothers” Lumière: a prized table and console, and further evidence of a balancing of styles. Light lines evoke the furnishings of noble 18th-century palaces, but how could we overlook the origin of 1920s stylings in the slim colonnade supporting the surface in natural maple? To embellish these refined pieces are radial geometric inlays carved into the table top along with the lost-wax brass casted details of the supports.

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Using the same materials of the table, the Lumière console reaffirms a graceful classicism, while the Boulevard table (pictured in opening alongside the sofa) completes the collection with its own hand-carved inlays, incorporating the elegance of natural maple with inserts in brass.

A keen eye for detail, a rich tradition of artisanal craftsmanship, and the ability to recount a story communicated as a compendium of decoration: these are the makings of Jumbo Collection, whose managed to reveal that secret gold line connecting two legendary eras, suggesting evanescent encounters between grandiose silhouettes. Almost like if Gatsby and Maria Antonietta were to magically meet and converse in the subtle atmospheres of the living room, drawn to the ethereal fascination and timelessness of these stunning furnishings.




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