INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPERT SERIES:
INTERVIEW WITH AN EXPERT SERIES:
Interview with Daniel Perez of Perez Furniture
Photo Credit: @sophie.quenneville
Daniel Perez is the co-owner and principal designer at Perez, a Canadian furniture company based in Montreal. Before embarking on a career in the furniture industry, Daniel worked as a hairstylist. When his work took him to France, Daniel caught a glimpse of Manipulator Magazine and his love affair with furniture flourished. Now Daniel has built his business around the idea that furniture should be comfortable, beautiful, and playful. He endeavours to create designs with humour in mind, eliminating some of the mundane seriousness of every-day life. We chatted with Daniel about his design philosophy and experience as a furniture designer.
You started your career as a hairstylist. Tell us how you became interested in furniture and how you made this transition in your career.
It started as I was leaving for a two-year hairstyling stage in France. Just before my departure, I cut out a page in the Manipulator Magazine of a Flexform sofa that really caught my eye and kept it in my “file-o-fax” (giving away my age now…) and kept referring back to that image throughout my stay in Europe. When I finally got to sit in it… I was in love and promised myself I would try to buy one on my return to Canada. On my return, I was confronted with its price, so I embarked on the journey of trying to reproduce a sofa that I would love just as much. That journey got me hooked!
When you started your business, what was your vision for Perez? What did the Canadian market lack at the time, and how did you envision Perez fitting into the industry?
The vision was definitely an alternative to expensive imports, built in Canada. Travelling throughout Canada, we found that an alternative was lacking, so we embarked on prototyping collections we felt would be both well designed and more importantly, super comfortable. The experience of comfort is where it's at for us all here at Perez.
"...furniture serves as the final resting place for the end of our complicated days at work."
In your opinion, what is the purpose of furniture in the home?
For me, furniture serves as the final resting place for the end of our complicated days at work, and also an extension of one’s views on design and how it affects us subliminally.
As a furniture designer, what are the three most important qualities you look for when purchasing or creating a piece for your own home?
That the piece does not overpower the space visually, gives ultimate comfort/experience, and as a lover of fabric, gives a finishing touch.
Picture Credit: @maman_cocon
"The money goes into the comfort, less into the design as the design must bend itself to the physical needs of comfort."
Perez furniture is built intentionally with comfort in mind. As a business owner, why have you chosen to prioritize both style AND comfort?
At this point in time, for Perez, we really feel the two can never be separated. There is lots of beautiful furniture out there today, but not that many are comfortable. The money goes into the comfort, less into the design as the design must bend itself to the physical needs of comfort.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs? Are you drawn to a certain style or era?
Travel is definitely where I find the most inspiration… its where inspiration flows, as cultural influences always find a way back into design. In terms of style or era, I have to admit I don’t subscribe to either, as I usually wait to see if a form influences me positively.
Picture Credit: @fam.designs
"Hopefully having designs that are playful, and with a bit of humour, can help us remove a bit of the seriousness from our daily lives."
What’s your favourite thing about being a part of the design community?
Knowing that design, properly used, can and will always be the vehicle to seduce consumers towards ecologically responsible products.
Your designs are innovative and ‘toylike.’ What advice do you have for designers wanting to encourage their clients to bring more playful silhouettes into their homes?
Staying youthful is keeping “play” in our lives. Having playful designs can only be understood by the ones who want to continue playing, so…. Hopefully having designs that are playful, and with a bit of humour, can help us remove a bit of the seriousness from our daily lives.
In a nutshell, why should designers be investing in Perez pieces for their clients’ homes?
Oh boy!...hard question to answer as we truly believe nobody should be sold on any product but rather be introduced to its qualities, and should those qualities fit their needs, if the experience of sitting on a Perez product is positive, then the purchase becomes natural. Comfort and design are our main goals in the construction of our all of our collections.