Paul Demarquet and Albane Salmon met when sharing a bench at Paris' École Boulle. As well as a workspace, the dynamic duo shared an upbeat, positive attitude towards design that made them perfect partners. 'We're both from the south of France, so we were friends at first sight,' Salmon explains. 'Plus, we both wanted to open a workshop after we graduated – it was obvious we should do it together.'
Since September last year, this is precisely what they've done, working together as Atelier Sauvage. Their optimistic outlook translates into a new collection of lighthearted pieces for 2016, including an asymmetrical concrete coffee table, a collection of pretty, pastel still-life photographs and a set of sea-blue wooden DJ decks – complete with a padded, vinyl-sized pocket.
'When we were at school we didn't have a precise aesthetic pinned down, but we both enjoyed colourful furniture, and were curious about new materials like concrete, stone and steal,' Salmon explains. Atelier Sauvage's practice remains driven by this playful curiosity, along with a more serious desire to communicate the rugged landscape of the south of France through their creations. Their tagline says it best: 'Atelier Sauvage is when rough, wild and beautiful nature comes to you in the shape of spare and refined furniture.'
Their commitment to sympathetically reflecting the French landscape anchors the collection. Everything is underpinned by a considered, consistent colour scheme, a sense of well-earned craftsmanship and cool simplicity. What's more, each piece would look right at home on the shady terrace of a Riviera villa.
We're particularly keen on 'Anima', an art deco-inspired lamp comprising two contrasting wood essences (sycamore maple and pear tree), which have been treated as naturally as possible to create a clean finish. Future versions, we're promised, will feature expressive 'solar colours', hinting that there's much more to look forward to from the new kids on the design block.