Maxime Old

Maxime Old

For some time, KR+H's Paul Reidt has been inspired by the work of Maxime Old, a French designer (1910-1991) who had not only a passion for modernist form, but also employed a cabinetmaker's sense of craftsmanship.

From a monograph by Yves Badetz, Maxime Old Architecte-DécorateurPaul and our craftsmen delved into the challenging process of creating a desk and chair with only a photo from the book as a guide. (side note: The book currently sells at a starting price of $598 on Amazon.)

Maxime Old had an absolutely beautiful, refined sensibility for shape and form. He was fascinated with movement.
— Paul Reidt

The desk was originally designed by Old for a chamber in the chateau Moulin-a-Vént (Windy Castle), Gironde, France.

There was no image of what the interior of Maxime's desk looked like so Paul configured the interior to hold a laptop computer. In fact, the original desk lid anticipates the form of a laptop. The remainder of the storage space has charming niches reminiscent of antique writing desks.

The desk was designed by Old in 1957, while the chair was not created until 1970; an unusually long period separating these two parts of a perfectly mated pair.

While the legs of the seat show a minimalist approach, they were irregularly tapered and faceted, adding a sculptural dimension. The seat required special engineering to get it right as it seemed to defy gravity. (The upholstery hides a steel structure.)

After our delight in receiving Best of Boston Home for Best Custom Furnishings, we were excited to share this furniture project, an act of love, with you. Today you'll see our homage to Maxime Old in KR+H's showroom where it continues to delight all who take a seat and explore the quality and beauty of its design, its craftsmanship, its story.

To see the desk in motion, visit our video on Quality.

KR+H sketch of Maxime Old inspired desk and chair by Dena Dearborn