Decorating & Design

Interview: The Duo Behind Gabriel Scott

We featured the stunning brass chain Kelly chandelier by Gabriel Scott in our January 2014 trends issue. Based in Montreal, brothers-in-law Gabriel Kakon (shown left) and Scott Richler have been creating custom-made designs for the trade since 2004. In 2012 they launched a production line of chic and contemporary occasional tables with sputnik bases, plus sensuous lighting designs, to lots of buzz.

HH: You both have experience in high-end residential decor, can you tell me some of the things you learned before launching Gabriel Scott?

Gabriel Kakon: Our line of furniture today is a result of making custom furniture for so long. Our production line looks chic and one-off. Even though it’s made in a series, we still have that high-end aesthetic and finishing quality.

HH: Your lights have a jewel-like aspect to them, especially with the use of warm metals.

GK: We use a lot of warm metals, but also steel and wood. Steel is often where our thoughts begin, it’s the basis of many of our pieces. Now we are integrating more brass, it’s a nice contrast to the blackened steel and looks sharp and edgy. Our Welles light incorporates lots of copper; it’s consistent with all our products.

Scott Richler: There’s an artisanal process we used to create a blackened patina so you get an oil-rubbed look that shows a depth of gold undertones. It lends a high-end furniture quality.

HH: What’s a trend that you’re excited about in furniture or lighting?

SR: I usually draw inspiration from things other than trends, for example, designs rooted in geometry.

GK: The trend we are really excited about is things locally made. I hate to say it, but people are moving away from that polished Italian design that just seems so perfect, it looks plastic. There’s a shift of attention away from Europe towards Montreal and Brooklyn. Those cities are becoming big on the design scene, where the focus is on made-by-hand products by young up and comers. The product has a soul and personality, and there is something nice about an object that looks authentic. We make every Gabriel Scott piece in Montreal; people assume we don’t make it locally.

HH: Do you have a favourite piece?

SR: I spent a lot of time thinking about the Welles light fixture, both as a designer consumer. It’s modular and customizable, and it allows designers and architects to create a lot of versions and possibilities.

GK: The Kelly chandelier and Welles lighting fixtures are a favourite. I really believe design should be personal, adding a something special to a space. We try and do it with both those light fixtures. And the Welles is completely customizable; it’s a sculpture or signature piece that’s really interesting and important. A statement couch might not necessarily be comfortable, but lighting can function like a piece of art.