You may have never thought that a door handle would rate high on your must-have list, but once you get a look at the stunning handles and plates created by Bonnemazou-Cambus, you’ll understand the meaning of the adage “good design in the details.”
The road to our door handle lust began in 2014, when Parisian design partners Agnès Cambus and Manuel Bonnemazou designed just a single door handle. They already had their own creative studio, Elements-S, and had been working as a design team for fourteen years. Their unique take on the utilitarian door handle wowed design critics at shows like Maison & Objet in Paris and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.
Both designers received solid design mentorship from two designing greats: Manuel began his career by working with Habitat, the household retail icon, and then later for British designer Tom Dixon. Agnès spent many years working with French architect Christian Biecher both on his building projects and on his furniture. Manuel and Agnès still credit Christian with their appreciation for color and the combination of simple geometric shapes.
To meet the demand, the paired formed a new company, Bonnemazou-Cambus, to produce what they call “door jewelry”. Not only are the handles spectacular in their own right, but they also can be paired with different door plate options to create dazzling combinations.
Many of the handles utilize brass, and the finish is intentionally left unvarnished and natural, allowing it to age naturally and develop a unique patina. This idea is that eventually, this will create a near perfect juxtaposition with the lacquered pieces, whose powdered coat will remain pristine and unchanged.
Their innovative attention to detail and creative way of elevating the mundane is something all their own. It’s the result of a shared personal passion for design. Which makes sense: Manuel and Agnès are more than just business partners. They’ve also designed a life: fourteen-year-old Hector and ten-year-old Iris are the products of their twenty years together. If the best design comes from loving what you do, maybe it follows that the best work must stem from love. We are certainly feeling lots of love for these beauties.
Currently, the pieces need to be purchased directly from the Bonnemazou-Cambus website, but here’s to hoping that they find a US retailer soon. (Note: Prices listed are approximate as each piece can be completely customized.)