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Lines of Beauty
Christina Lawrence | Photo: Nick Garcia | January 3, 2013
With the debut of his showroom this winter and new additions to his furniture collections in the works, interior designer Serge de Troyer sets off to become a one-man brand.
A mere 12 days from the grand opening of his brand-new showroom-slash-studio, designer Serge de Troyer can’t hide his excitement. “I’ve been working until midnight for a week straight… I can’t even feel my feet anymore,” he says, voice crackling. “I haven’t slept, but I don’t need Starbucks because I have so much going on and it’s so exciting. I’m very blessed. I tell you, I have never worked this hard in my life.”
The 41-year-old Belgian native grew up with a penchant for art and architecture, a passion that was fed during his career as a high-fashion model traveling the globe. “I always wanted to have a furniture line, so I saved my money on the side,” he says, recalling his younger days. After designing a few failed prototypes during the mid 2000s, he finally completed 10 designs and debuted them at a New York trade show, then took them to the High Point furniture expo in North Carolina. They were an instant hit, and it wasn’t long before de Troyer was selling to Saks Fifth Avenue, The Ritz-Carlton, and private clients from Chicago to Dubai. Today, his business has exploded to the point where, he says, “I simply had to have a place for interior designers and the public to be able to come and see everything.”
Enter Serge de Troyer Home. Set up like the interiors of an elegant residence rather than a formal store, the designer’s eponymous, 1,050-square-foot locale in the MiMo District has been transformed from a gutted concrete shell to a luxe, inviting space with high ceilings, crown molding, chandeliers and wood floors that de Troyer describes as “straight out of 19th-century Paris.” That he practically gushes as he describes it is no surprise; the same enthusiasm comes through when he talks about the materials he uses to create his statement pieces. “I love to work with parchment, in any color… fish skins [like stingrays], Italian leathers, acrylic, chrome,” he says. Each piece is also painstakingly constructed—his Serge de Troyer Collection signature leather trunk bar is an impeccable amalgamation of bone, leather, chrome and glass. De Troyer releases two to three new designs per month and is constantly updating his website (sergedetroyer.com) as they become available.
His pieces are so eye-catching that a woman who spotted his shagreen jewelry boxes in a national magazine spread called and asked him to create one to use as an urn for her deceased husband’s ashes, which she planned to keep in her home. He tells the story of their conversation in all seriousness, then laughs at a sudden realization and adds, “Maybe I should think about making a line of caskets!”