Art Attack - Frédéric Richard

Frédéric Richard
Art Attack - Frédéric Richard

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Frédéric Richard’s love of animals definitely shows in his luxurious French pet furniture line. An avid pet lover and antique collector, Richard drew from his love for his Labrador Retriever, George, and his Corgi, Felix, and on his passion for collecting antiques to develop his furniture designs. Inspired by the stools and sofas the French royal courts commissioned for their pets, he recreates the majestic looks of Renaissance, Louis XVI, Directoire, and Empire furniture. Just like in old France, each piece is handcrafted by hammering and punching the wood into shape. To achieve the perfect colour and texture, the wood is treated with natural pigments and wax. For the gilded details, Richard uses whiting, red clay, glue, and gold leaf. The furniture feels like it stepped straight out of an aristocratic French parlour.

Richard begins working on a piece by visualizing the final design in his mind and drawing it. He then builds a replica using high-density foam to ensure his design will work both aesthetically and functionally. At that point, if Richard is happy with the foam sample, he then re-builds the piece using wood. Richard has always loved crafting with his hands and used to blow glass, restore antique furniture, and paint antique patina on fine furniture. Driven by his imagination, curiousity, and creative desire, he honed his craft on his own, just taking a course or two when he needed it. Before starting his business, he designed furniture for humans as a hobby, giving the pieces as gifts on special occasions. The idea to create a line of pet luxury furniture was sparked when Richard, who hails from France, met his soul mate. When he realized that she was based in California, he thought he would start a business there, to justify his overseas trips. They now split their time between France and California. Richard says his business wouldn’t be as successful without her. “When I show a new sample to her, and see this discreet smile on her face, I know she likes it,” he explains, “and if she likes it, I know the line will be a success!”

To commission or purchase a piece, contact Frédéric at info@une-vie-dechateau.com. Prices start at $240.

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