Step Up Your Furniture Game With These Pieces Designed by Andrew Mau

Andrew Mau’s striking new seating collection blends cross-cultural references to elegant effect.


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Left: the Metacom armchair. Right: the Aquinnah dining chair
Photo: courtesy of andrew mau

 

Photo: sara ossana

Andrew Mau is a details geek. It’s just a few minutes into our conversation and he’s already centuries deep into the particulars of furniture making. The bowing of chair backs, types of wood grain, scrollwork from the 1700s—you can sense him savoring the nuances, in the sort of way that only someone intensely passionate about his craft can.

 

Mau’s preoccupation makes sense when you consider his background. After studying furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Honolulu native logged three years with award-winning Studio Dunn in Rumford before taking on his current role as a designer-consultant with Rhode Island’s O&G Studio, known for its meticulously crafted American Windsor-style furniture. 

 

So it’s no wonder, then, that his latest release, a collaboration between O&G Studio and his own design label Mau House, showcases the same affinity for fine detailing. Mau was tasked with creating fresh, contemporary pieces that honored the tradition and history of O&G’s New England styling—no easy undertaking. “It was very much a puzzle,” he says; one that took him a year to work through. 

 

The solution surfaced as a page from Mau’s own history. “I’m Chinese in heritage,” he says. “I think that’s important to have in terms of a voice.” And, as it happens, much of New England style references Chinese furniture. “A lot of its details are reinterpreted Chinese motifs,” he says. 

 

Launched in 2015, the elegant, three-piece seating collection marries two styles: early American Windsor and Ming Dynasty. It includes the Metacom, a handsome armchair with a horseshoe back, and the Aquinnah, a slim-yet-stately dining chair with a graceful crest rail and a hand-faceted seat. The Athenaeum, a show-stopping, 72-inch-wide settee, features graphic arches and spindles that come together for an arresting effect. 

 

All are made from maple, ash or walnut and are built to order in Rhode Island—the state’s huge furniture manufacturing industry is one of the main reasons why Mau splits his time with the East Coast. Careful attention was also paid to functionality, which is just as important to him as aesthetics. “I’m interested in making pieces that are relevant, not just pretty,” he says, “pieces that are actually comfortable.”

 

In addition to custom furniture, Andrew Mau also designs apparel, jewelry, stationery and more.

 

For pricing and shipping info, visit mau-house.com.

 

READ MORE STORIES BY BRIE THALMANN 

 

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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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