With a design sensibility that combines light, proportion and interaction between dated and modern pieces, Jean Louis and Mado Mellerio designed the Senteurs d’Orient Boutique in Beirut.
The husband-and-wife team of designers who are behind Drake Art Studio commented: “The refined products in the Senteurs d’Orient line called for a jewel-like ‘ecrin’ with a dome evocative of a traditional Oriental hammam. All the pastel colors and the duchess satin fabric of the sofa evoke the Senteurs products.”
Despite the parameters and the breadth in scope of material presented to them for the Senteurs d’Orient boutique assignment, the Mellerios demonstrated a clear sense of direction in their approach and successfully defined the concept. This was achieved not only through their vast knowledge and rich experience, but by stretching their imaginative creativity and by continually searching to execute the uncommon and the unvisited.
By injecting their sharp and refined personality and projecting the image they sought to convey, the Mellerios truly succeeded in showcasing Senteurs products as if there were precious jewels in a plush luxurious satin box in a boudoir.
Next, Senteurs d’Orient also hopes to have the Mellerios develop a design concept for traveling and pop-up display units to be used by the brand all over the world.
Asked how they work together, the Mellerios responded that they sit together and develop sketches and plans. And if, after brainstorming on the structure, floor plans and client demands, they encounter a difficulty and diverge on some details, each one lets it rest for a moment and then they return and explore and interact again. “Eventually, the result is a creative surge,” explained Mado.
Both professionally trained to create quality environment projects, the designers’ collaboration is key to their teamwork – Jean Louis works within defined structural plans, while Mado produces from mental notes which help guide her creative direction.
Jean Louis and Mado graduated from the Ecole Camondo and l’ESAG Penninghen, then worked together at Franco Albini’s office in Milan.
After setting up their own office, the Mellerios have been commissioned projects ranging from refurbishing private residences, country homes, buildings (Hanae Mori Exhibition Building Tokyo) and hotels (Meridien Hotel Tokyo, Prince Park Tower Hotel Tokyo) to museums (Musee Jacquemart Andre Paris, Musee de la Chasse Paris, Musee de Bagatelle Neuilly, Musee des Automates Neuilly, Musee de la Legion d’Honneur et des Ordres de la Chevalerie Paris).
Drake Art Studio has also created museum scenography on different subjects including the Erwin Blumenfeld Exhibition “A Hidden Ritual of Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and exhibitions on artisanal crafts of the area at the Eco Museum of Terbol in the Bekaa Valley, as part of the Lebanese National Heritage Foundation.
The Mellerios’ Beirut showroom serves as a concept store with vintage objects, engravings, personal photography and more, while their Paris base, described as “a small bazar-like store “Onifotrop”, is filled with eclectic items and furniture.