It’s been three years since designer Ivan McCarthy Peens started Meuble Fine Furniture – three hold-on-to-your-rattan-seat years of bracing political, economic and personal maelstroms. But true to the adage, Ivan, his business partner (and the manufacturing yin to his creative yang) Theunis Erwee and the team have not only endured but emerged stronger. ‘We have edited and refined our look and product offering to something truly timeless, quiet and follows the principles of slow living,’ says Ivan. ‘We saw the need for well-made, well-priced timber furniture, and we have kept those products as part of the current range but have started adding different material and colour options – including stone and upholstered pieces too.’
Perhaps most indicative of the brand’s growth has been the recent move into its dedicated showroom in Cape Town’s architecturally and historically significant De Waterkant neighbourhood. ‘We are very much inspired by slow living. A concept which promotes the conscious lifestyle of what you value most, something that transcends trends and reassigns true value to craftsmanship,’ says Ivan. ‘The new showroom is really a physical manifestation of this philosophy, a space where visitors will experience a mood change, a shift in tempo and feel it is time to breathe.’
By Ivan’s admission, this is not a conventional showroom space – sprawling, packed, disconnected – but perhaps one better described as a holistic installation. ‘Here one can see the integration of interior and furniture design with the golden thread of the space being soft, warm and contemporary,’ he says. Enter the ‘Pierre’ sofa and chair. In line with the brand’s honed approach to design and part of its newest releases, these pieces strike a balance between sculptural structure and soft, organic curves; solid wood frames and shaped foam are carefully pieced together to create generously proportioned pieces finished in textured fabric. It is something new for the brand but at the same time evokes even the earliest designs of the brand’s initial collections.
‘Natural materials have always been a go-to for us. The warmth and shades in natural wood and stone is almost impossible to replicate. The tactile quality of smooth, honed marble is soft to the skin and striking to the eye,’ says Ivan. As an extension of our existing range, these pieces are simple in form, amplify texture and are grounded thanks to the quality and craftsmanship at their core.’