I admit to wanting a little “bling” in my home. A signature piece of furniture can make a space pop and finish the overall design with an exclamation point. Many of today’s best designers are adept at injecting a fresh, modern feel into their clients’ homes while keeping the integrity and good design principles intact.
Enter Michelle Bergeron, who is an interior designer, artist and furniture designer extraordinaire. Michelle offers a unique line of couture furniture adorned with a faux shagreen finish that is durable, water resistant and can be made in any color, design or pattern.
I first met Michelle at the Architectural Digest Home Show this past winter, where she introduced her extensive line of furniture and wall paneling collection called SkateModerne. Flocked by press and designers during the show, there was a buzz surrounding her booth, where she was offering pieces in interesting finishes and hues, mixed with rosewood, ebony woods and organic materials, all with unexpected touches such as semi-precious stones, steel and Lucite. Michelle’s customizable collection showcases mid-century silhouettes with a modern twist. Because Michelle originally hails from the fashion industry, she creates seasonal collections to keep her designs current, and all are artistically inspired.
What is shagreen, you ask? It’s a popular material that has been used for centuries throughout Europe and Asia, and utilizes the skins of interestingly-textured sharks or skates for design purposes. Michelle has long loved this look for its timeless appeal. After a visit with her children to Riverhead’s Atlantis Aquarium a few years back, though, she found herself drawn to a cute little white skate that swam up and caught her eye. As her children enthusiastically petted the skate, Michelle realized that she could no longer, in good conscience, buy shagreen furniture for herself and her design clients. After much contemplation, Michelle embarked upon creating a line of this fabulous material, offering quality faux shagreen to the industry.
Michelle and I spent an afternoon together in her beautiful Amagansett home viewing her personal collection of SkateModerne. Her clear design vision shines in her home, and the space is carefully edited with dashes of strong colors and modern lines. We gravitated towards the dining room, where taking center stage was the bright purple Deco Fern cabinet from her 2010 collection. This piece sets the tone for the room, and the sea coral-shaped knobs finish off the cabinet giving it a sophisticated feel, that is yet perfect for a beach house. The purple hydrangeas, the lovely cabinet, Michelle’s eclectic art, all melded together flawlessly, and we chuckled over the fact that even my magenta skirt fit magically into the color palette. I am happy to hear that SkateModerne is available right here in East Hampton’s Mecox Gardens, offering Hamptons residents a chance to buy these special pieces and bring a little sparkle into their homes. [/expand]