ModularFurniture icons, remixed.
Born in Saigon, Remix Deco owner Sean Lam spent most of his life in Belgium before returning to his home city in 2002. “There is more opportunity to do something here with a small amount of capital,” he explains, “and growth here is very strong.”
His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for design led to opening his furniture store Remix Deco in late 2008. He stripped back the interior to create a modern, white showcase for his products, inspired by the loft apartments he saw and loved while visiting New York’s Soho neighbourhood.
The NYC Loft Style Remix Store
The pieces he sells at Remix Deco are replicas of European design classics, including the iconic Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Le Corbusier’s LC4 lounge chair, and his bestsellers - the Harry Bertoia Diamond chair and Eames’ lounge chair no. 670. Though all are classics, Sean says “they are still very modern today.” In fact, some of his clientele who aren’t well-versed in designer furniture think the pieces are newly-designed styles, such is their timelessness.
Personal favourites of Sean’s include the LC4 chair, the Tizio lamp, the Arco lamp, Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost chair and the range of brightly coloured Pantone chairs, which can be spotted through a suitably design-conscious clear panel built into the shop’s ceiling. And his dream ‘real’ furniture piece to own? “A Chesterfield,” he decides, gesturing to a nearby replica of the iconic leather sofa. “It’s English and very classic, but it works in a modern environment.”
Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Lounge
Many of Sean’s customers are foreigners who live in Vietnam long-term (the short-stay expats are not as inclined to set up home, he explains). There is a demand for his furniture among Vietnamese people, “but many don’t know what they’re buying,” Sean says. Vietnamese architects and those who have studied European design are more likely to understand Remix Deco’s concept and appreciate the history behind the furniture designs, he explains.
In the future, Sean may look at expanding. “If everything’s going well I will remodel the top two floors,” he says. “I would still prefer to keep it a boutique though,” he adds. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, a strong design aesthetic and a constant eye on global furniture trends, it’s clear that Sean is onto a winning formula. And perhaps in the way image-conscious young Vietnamese appreciate newer incarnations of the classic Vespa, so too will they develop a penchant for modern classic furniture!
1 The Big Bang Wall Lamp original by Enrico Franzolini & Vicente Garcia Jimenez for Foscarini
2 DAW Eames Armchair original by Charles and Ray Eames
3 Arco Lamp original by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
4 Tizio lamp original by Richard Sapper for Artemide
5 Andy Warhol Prints
6 Eames Rocking Chair original by Charles and Ray Eames
7 Louis Ghost chair original by Philippe Starck
8 Diamond chair original by Harry Bertoia
9 Barcelona Chair original by Ludwig Mies Van De Rohe and Lilly Reich
11 Eames Lounge (670) original by Charles and Ray Eames
12 Eames Ottoman (671) original by Charles and Ray Eames
Remix Deco, 222 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3, tel: 08 3930 4190
WORDS LIZ LEDDEN