Updating a Golden Age

René Prou is considered the first French interior designer to work in a modern style – and also happens to be the grandfather of Patrick Frey, CEO of Pierre Frey. For its latest furniture collection, Pierre Frey has looked to this familial connection for inspiration, while bringing into the fold the talents of Lebanese design studio David/Nicolas.

The result, David/Nicolas’ Verso collection, was inspired by the interiors of Prou’s transatlantic liners, emblematic of the golden age of travel. “[Prou’s] life was all about travel – he designed 15 cruise liners and more than 50 different cars of the Orient Express trains,” said communications director Pierre Frey about his great-grandfather, in conversation with David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem as part of Focus/20’s virtual programme. “It was a great start for the inspiration.”

There’s a focus on multifunctionalism: sofas and chairs have oak bookcases or fold-down storage built into their backs, a footstool has a table that straddles it and a handsome screen features an elegant shelf.

The collection is completed by a rug originally designed by Prou himself, in a dynamic geometric design that’s unmistakably art deco in style.

Pierre Frey, First Floor, Design Centre East