Designer Sarah Sherman Samuel is back again and this time she's expanded her collection into exciting new categories. Her spring collection for Lulu and Georgia introduces fabric that will be available by the yard as well as on finished pillows, drapery and select furniture pieces. Plus, a whole new line of decor, tabletop, and furniture.
"For this collection, I wanted each rug to have its own story but all through the lens of classic and timeless textures and materials which tie each style together and allow for multiple rugs in one space for interesting layering."
Your work blends both modern and traditional elements. Can you talk about your design philosophy and how you approach each project/collection?
Yes! I have a deep appreciation for historical architecture which is evident throughout my work. I strive to design spaces and objects that say something new while giving a nod to the past. I want people to feel excited about finding something they haven’t seen before but somehow feel nostalgic at the same time. It comes with the art of the mix. For example in a very simple way, by applying traditional elements like tambour to a clean lined sideboard. Or marrying the Roman column inspired Doric side table with my chunky contemporary clouded coffee table.
Are there any particular trends or design styles that you see gaining popularity in 2023, and how did you address them in this collection?
I think there’s a continued momentum towards embracing irregularities. A want to feel connected to the objects and the hand behind them. The dishes for example are translated exactly from my hand. The scallops on the plates are not perfect, the spherical handle on the bowl oblong.
Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration behind the Spring collection?
The fabric and wallpaper collection came from my love of pattern mixing and layering. Stripes are an essential element to have in any designers arsenal. They can give interest in a minimalist space or be the perfect grounding pattern to mix with others in a maximalist space. I hand painted most all of the patterns in the collection, before converting them to digital art to preserve the irregularities and imperfections that you get from a human hand. The Tiger pattern is the anchor which was a collaboration between my then 6 year old son Archie. He had drawn the tigers, which I was so taken with, I then mimicked his style to create the trees, brought them into illustrator, cleaned it all up a bit, and created a repeat pattern.
For the tabletop collection I was inspired by a simple bowl my grandmother had that I would eat cereal out of when I was a kid. It was a simple white bowl with a flat integrated handle and I loved it. I remember thinking even as a small child why don’t more bowls have handles? So I went ahead and put handles on everything.
My husband got me a small kiln for my 40th birthday so we’ve been able to play and prototype with clay in the studio.
I experimented with different shapes and handles for the dishware, large and small scallops and irregular spheres. I wanted them all to coordinate but each piece be different so when all set together on a tables cape they give it movement and a sculptural quality.
I’ve been using the plates and bowls as my everyday dishes for a couple months now (perks of being the designer) and I still get a thrill when I open the cupboard. I’m most looking forward to all the fabric by the yard. I have so many vintage furniture pieces stock piled that I can’t wait to reupholster everything!
What’s next for Sarah Sherman Samuel, and how do you see your design style evolving in the future?
We are developing pieces in more new categories… SSS bedding and lighting are already in the works.
How would you describe this Spring assortment?
It’s both whimsical and refined
What are some stand-out pieces from the collection? Any personal favorites?
The favorites list is too long… like the whole collection. Ha I’ve designed each piece thoughtfully so they all feel like my children.
What additions and changes did you make to extend our furniture collection? Why were those needed?
We made a bench version of the rise daybed to extend the versatility of that silhouette. Everyone might not be able to fit a full daybed but a bench has a smaller footprint.
We also added a new color to the clover stool and made a side table that matches the Doric dining table to round out that collection.
The Merritt line was also a bit hit. We had only one color way in the initial launch, the nightstands were a dark stain finish and the dresser white, so as to look not too matchy-matchy if bought together. Now we are offering both finished in both pieces so there’s flexibility to have the rich dark colored dresser or a white nightstand.