Benoit Drew’s design dealer, Maison Gerard, knows for sure that mid-century French furniture is the best way to turn an American townhouse into something special. Brooklyn multi-level home gets a trendy look with exclusive pieces from Guillerme et Chambron.
Benoit Drew is Managing Partner at Maison Gerard Gallery in Greenwich Village. He received an academic education, and at one time practiced law. His collecting experience is based on intuition. “I never wind up a thing for a specific purpose. I buy it because I like it and want to live with it. For Maison Gerard, we collect things that appeal to us, but, of course, with an emphasis on authenticity, historical context and experience.”
Drew and his business partner Gerardus Widdershoven founded Maison Gerard in 1974. They are both experts in French Art Deco. Their specialization is the work of famous designers Jules Leleu, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann and Jean-Michel Franck. Also on their list is a wide range of contemporary works by designers that the gallery has acquired over the past decade – including Carol Egan, Aurélien Gallé, Herve van der Straten and Jean Girel.
This experienced design dealer recently completed a joint project with developers Brooklyn Home Company to transform Carroll Gardens into a stunning showcase for the work of French design duo Guillerme et Chambron, whose company Votre Maison produced unique wooden objects from wood in a former arms factory.
Once upon a time, the objects that shaped the atmosphere of the current townhouse were created for two different Parisian apartments. “Showing this piece of furniture in one space now allowed us to convey a sense of what it might have looked like a few decades ago – we decided to get creative and give ourselves some freedom in furnishing. This style turned out to be quite solid, it is far from fragility – but at the same time it is very refined, ”comments Benoit Drew.
It is immediately noticeable that this furniture has a lot of unique details: these are amazing elements of cabinets, and hidden drawers of tables, and intricately colored tiles, and transforming elements. Drew, who started collecting Guillerme et Chambron about five years ago, hasn’t always been a fan. “At first I did not understand them, but as I became familiar with various table models, I changed my mind. I love how the small designs fit in with the big ones – and that they can be combined. Once I discovered a dining table that can be opened from above, and I was amazed at the ingenuity of the creators.”
This townhouse has four bedrooms and six bathrooms. Wood finishes create a harmonious and warm atmosphere on every level of the Brooklyn home as craft meets design. Benoit Drew emphasizes that this interior is “playful and comfortable, chic without being ostentatious.”