You need to know
Behind the friendly home decor brand, the founders of California admire the know-how of generations at every stage of production and add value to timeless furniture.
January 25, 2022
Stephen and Jordan Neman know how difficult it is to stand out. The founder of Los Angeles’ House of Léon’s identical twins is determined to make the brand lineup familiar and undoubtedly unique. Chairs and sofas in muted tones. Beds, mirrors and side tables in warm wood tones aimed at graceful aging. A work that reflects a design language rooted in simplicity and functionality. Whether the collection consists of a small number of works or the entire house, its neutrality ensures cohesiveness.
It is an aesthetic acuity with early familial roots. Nemans’ mother is a sculptor and his father is an enthusiastic woodworker. The brothers cut the teeth of their designs and helped friends and relatives rethink their space. When the House of Léon became the main focus, they partnered with a family-owned atelier now in Istanbul. Their craftsmanship instills as many craftsmanship as their children and grandchildren in the House of Léon’s ever-growing collection catalog. exchange.
Below you will find out about the two founders and the leadership spirit behind the House of Leon.
Please tell us about the origin of the House of Léon. What had twin brothers from Los Angeles to set up a furniture design company for everything?
Since childhood, we’ve always been passionate about design, whether it’s a childhood bedroom, the first apartment, or now a home. It didn’t take long for friends and family to notice the advice to conceptualize the decoration of their home and start asking us for advice. Our design business started there and turned into a more or less full-time job. As I enjoyed designing homes for friends and family, I quickly realized that there were gaps in the market. I found it difficult to find well-designed furniture at a reasonable price. For example, many brands focus on practicality and affordability at the expense of design and self-expression, but high-end alternatives are not practical or affordable for most people.
So we created the House of Léon to bridge the gap between aesthetically enhanced furniture and accessibility. As twins, we have spent our entire lives learning to prioritize and express our individuality. At the House of Léon, we want to help design-minded people bring back similarly selected personalities.
Both parents understand that they are creative with experience related to brand offering. Can you tell us a bit about them and how they affect your product line?
When we were young, we were exposed to creativity, art and sculpture from our mother and father. They foster a sense of creativity, which extends to interior design and ultimately furniture design.
Our father, Leon, is a woodworking hobby and he definitely inspired us because he is the origin of the name of our brand. It makes sense for us to pay homage to her in some way, as the art and sculpture of our mother played a major role in inspiring us to establish the House of Léon. Later this month, she will release a candle collection inspired by her sculpture. Impressive, slightly abstract, anthropomorphic person. She celebrates the woman who has made her art more widely available by making candles inspired by her sculptures and continues to play such an important role in our inspiration and design. can do.
House of Léon’s first collection, Ojai, was inspired by Ojai’s entourage in California. Here, parents built their homes and have been a special place in our lives for many years.
You emphasize the importance of “simple and beautiful”. How do you strike the right balance between simplicity and novelty, super-functional yet absolutely recognizable?
There are two approaches to this. While prioritizing comfort, you can focus on details that enable maximum functionality and beauty, such as importance, weight and dimensions. For example, Ojai’s sofa has oversized arms, creating a monolithic atmosphere in her work. Side tables use simple materials to create complex pieces. Geometric angles, shadows projected in interesting ways, and stepped levels draw your eyes up and down. The teddy dining chair has very simple oversized legs, but when you line it up for dinner, you’ll be intrigued by how it repeats like a pillar. A pillar candle with a simple concept becomes a statement piece just by exaggerating the size.
By designing the entire collection, we not only focus on one piece when considering these elements, but also on how the pieces in the collection speak and interact. Ojai sofas and lounge chairs have a soft, comfortable yet monolithic look, the exact opposite of the Sofita coffee table. The thin stone blocks are sharp in character as opposed to the Ojai sofa set, but the balance all works.
How many iterations did House of Léon’s debut Ojai collection have? Did you have a product that you wanted to include but had to wait for a future release?
Each piece was repeated many times. Some were as simple as a mirror, others were as many as the sofa series. Playing with proportions to get that look took a lot of attempts. Our bedroom set has taken a little longer to design and produce and is currently underway.
We are playing with Douglas fir wooden beams for a sculptural pedestal. Organic wood continues to shrink and expand when exposed to elements until the final shape is found. It took the longest time to try those works. The charcoal version is now on sale and we are still trying to complete the ideal brown shade.
Tell us about the Turkish atelier where all the products of the brand are manufactured. Why them? What kind of production control will be possible by working with them?
The atelier is located in Istanbul and is owned by three brothers who learned woodworking from their father. Their customs are inherited by their families as they continue to teach their sons and grandchildren meticulous crafts. It remains family-owned and continues to produce beautifully crafted furniture.
They don’t expect us to place hundreds of orders to work with them because they are a very small atelier. This gives you more flexibility in your creative process, seizing opportunities in experimental products and designs, and even creating limited edition productions. I was very fortunate to meet and grow up near this family with the atelier who made the journey to start this company such a rewarding adventure.
What kind of relationship do you want to have when you hear the House of Léon?
We want people to connect the House of Léon with the creative freedom and free self-expression and quest of the home. The House of Leon’s first collection is close to the house, showing simplicity and beauty, but future collections continue to stand out from what is commonly found on the market.
In addition, we have specific principles that adhere to each part of the brand: timeless, quality, and integrity.Our goal is to build characters as we get older and eventually create a coveted piece with a story to share that goes into the vintage stage.
What’s next for the brand? What can you expect from the first collection in 2022?
I don’t want to give too much, but the second collection (scheduled for release in early March) is an elegant minimalism exercise, inspired by the local design language, like all collections. In particular, two global regions known for their organic minimalism.
Alongside our furniture collection, we are excited to release ornaments that will help bring warmth and further personalization to people’s homes. These are based on Jordanian pottery. More than coming soon.
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