Pillow Talk with FOF Suzanne Flenard of Square Modern
By Geri Brin
I adore Paris and I can never have too many decorative pillows, so when Paris-based Jeremy Schuster wrote to me about his partner Suzanne Flenard’s new pillow line, I became an instant fan.
My “less is more” blog post from last month resonated with Jeremy because Suzanne takes the same approach to the way she lives. “She’s given me a great appreciation for mid-century modern design and allowed me to shed many things of the past, both physical and emotional, that I thought were so very important,” Jeremy wrote.
Suzanne’s distinctive pillows, made primarily from reclaimed, high-quality fabric remnants, are her first collection for her new company, Square Modern. They are produced not far from her and Jeremy’s home. You can even spice it up with interior painting services.
Geri: Give us some background leading up to your decision to design decorative pillows (e.g. what were you doing before? where? did you study design in school? how did you become interested in design?
Before moving to Paris, I was working at Design Within Reach for several years in New York City. While not formally trained, I have always had a passion for design and all things modern. This stemmed from my mother constantly redecorating our home while I was growing up.
Since moving to Paris, I have struggled to find great, modern accessories. So, one day I decided that I was going to produce a product that I would like to have in my own home.
Why did you choose the fabrics you use on your pillows?
Some of the designs I use are from the Mid-Century Modern era for which I’ve always loved. Others are textiles that catch my eye that I feel will work well as a decorative pillow.
Where do you get the fabrics?
The fabrics are reclaimed designer remnants, purchased from a few select sources in the United States. Re-purposing rescued fabric that might have otherwise landed on the cutting room floor made sense to me, while providing an aspect of sustainability to the products. Each collection is produced in limited quantity, as these textiles are often found in limited supply.
Where are the pillows made?
All items are produced in Paris, in a small atelier located in the Sentier district.
What do pillows bring to an environment?
If a room in your home was a sentence, I think pillows would be the punctuation mark. By adding an accessory, like a pillow, you can immediately change the entire vibe of a space! They also provide personal style to a room.
What are 3-5 tips for choosing pillows that will look smashing in your home?
Pillows should be accent pieces, not something used to mask or overwhelm. Try combining squares with rectangles, different color palettes, and mixing patterns together. (I created my collection so that all of the items can be used with one another) Sometimes, they can breathe new life into an old space.
Should decorative pillows also be functional?
Yes, I’m all about functional design. This is why I’m a stickler for the filling I use in my product. I use only feather inserts for comfort with enough filling to maintain the shape/look of the item.
How do you know you’ve gone too far and bought too many pillows?
Well, I’m a total minimalist and all about less is more. For the record, I currently have three on my sofa and two on my bed- so, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference.
Are you planning to work with other products?
I do have a few ideas up my sleeve to utilize these same fabrics in another format in the future. But for now, I’m strictly focusing on pillows.
For more information or to buy Square Modern pillows, visit their website: www.squaremodern.com.
Images courtesy of: Suzanne Flenard, Love In The City Of Lights