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Fab Friday: Bungalow 5

The Bungalow 5 collections are designed and produced by a group of architects and designers who are based in New York City but who work on projects throughout the world. Working with in-house cabinetmakers and finishers, the Bungalow 5 team produces unique and stylish pieces often using unusual materials sourced from distant places. While their designs are heavily influenced by both Eastern and Western classical archetypes, they are informed by a modern sensibility to silhouette, material, and color; and possess a versatility which allows them to slip as comfortably into a traditional room as a modern loft or sunroom. The hallmark of a Bungalow 5 piece is that it always feels comfortably familiar yet strikingly fresh. Robin Baron: Tell me about what you do... Luca Rensi: I am a former interior decorator who started a fashion forward furniture company called Bungalow 5 with two other partners. My main areas of focus are product development and production.

RB: What do you love most about what you do? LR: I love seeing the products go from concepts on a page to real life objects. I am thrilled even further when I see our pieces in use; both in our showrooms and in client’s spaces.

RB: What are some of your influences? LR: Just about everything. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the design industry by Mark Hampton who was my first employer and mentor in the field. Once, while we were returning to the office after a series of difficult client meetings I began to doze slightly in the car. The second my eyes closed I was immediately prodded by Mark who exclaimed, “How are you going to learn anything if you don’t always pay attention to what is around you. You will find design everywhere”.

RB: What impact has working in the design industry made on you? LR: I’d probably say that design rules my life. I have been fortunate enough to work with three design giants: Mark Hampton, David Kleinberg and David Easton. Working with these men on the variety of projects their firms attract has given me an opportunity to see a great deal of one-of-a-kind furniture, lighting and decorative accessories providing me with inspiration for my own designs. RB: How would you describe your own home décor? LR: In three words, Eclectic Laboratory Chic. I use my own home as a place to experiment with new designs. So, the furniture, lighting and accessories are always changing.

RB: What do you love most about your home and why? LR: That is a tough question because there is so much I love about my home(s). I suppose that I should explain here that I live a rather odd double life. I spend half of the time in Shanghai near our manufacturing facilities and the other half in New York City which is where our design office is located and near our New Jersey headquarters. That being said, I LOVE the clean, light and open décor and fabulous view of my Shanghai apartment and oddly enough, the dark cozy and cluttered feel of my New York apartment.

RB: What is the one thing in your home that everyone comments on? LR: People usually always tell me that my spaces have a very calming effect on them.

RB: Anything else really that you’d want to include about the company would be wonderful! LR: People are realizing that interior design isn’t only about creating beautiful rooms, it’s also about creating a lifestyle-space. They have been moving away from traditional “brown wooden furniture”, and bringing their imaginations to bear: looking for something fresh, unusual, and even whimsical. We really love this trend because it’s exactly how we feel: we strive to expand the palette of affordable options creating collections in mirrored glass, leafed metal, lacquer, grass cloth, and leather (to name only a few)!

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