Co-founders Elizabeth Bennett and Mallory Robins launched Kobel + Co six years ago with an eye toward sharing their chic, sleek style with clients around the world. The duo have made waves in just a few short years with an aesthetic that blends modern sensibilities with a passion for vintage—designers after our own hearts, indeed. Shop a cut of their Chairish faves.
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What made you passionate about interior design? How’d you get your start in the field?
Being able to transform where people raise their families, find sanctuary, and share meals feels like the ultimate luxury. At our core, we were drawn to design because of how it so critically impacts the way we feel and live, day in and day out. In fact, that is how we got our start; by expressing ourselves in our own homes in a way that evoked a feeling in our guests that made them want to linger longer. Our design ethos is all about creating layered, beautiful spaces that are also grounded and approachable to the demands of real life. Now, six years into our work as a studio, the juxtaposition of the personal nature of what we do against technical demands of the work ensures that every day is both different and rewarding. The resulting transformation that occurs when we bring our clients’ vision to life and exceed their expectations is the ultimate icing on the cake.
What do you find most compelling about Chairish?
Where do we start?! We love having a diverse selection of one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, art, and lighting at our fingertips. It’s a game changer. Being able to identify those unique pieces for clients early in our design process allows us to not only identify tone-setting pieces, but ensure we have the mix of genres, antiquity, and style that is so inherent to our studio’s identity.
How does sustainability factor into your design choices and love of vintage?
The old adage of “they don’t build them like they used to” certainly stands true in our studio! The supply chain shortages and lengthening lead times of the last few years were an amazing opportunity to find vintage pieces to repurpose, resulting in an even more elevated and custom end result for clients. We love peppering our clients’ homes with pieces that have lived lives before them, and may exist well into perpetuity, becoming a part of their own family’s future history.
Shop Kobel + Co's Chairish Favorites
What are three of your favorite pieces on Chairish now?
- Vintage sculptural furniture not only makes the space, but can serve as true investment pieces to keep and re-cover as rooms evolve; the lines on this sofa are exceptional.
- There’s no bigger lighting statement than vintage Murano glass; the pink tone on this piece adds an incredible “pop.”
- It would be rare to find one of our projects without a statement piece of photography, and in general, we are drawn towards pieces that add a bit of provocation or tension to the space. This series by Cristina Rizzi Guelfi has a Hitchcockian quality that instantly elevates the most basic room.
Favorite way to create a statement-making moment in a room?
Artwork is the easiest way to elevate any space—go big, go bold, mix genres, and create a space that speaks to you and invites your guests to wonder how you pulled it all together. Our number one tip: Don’t make it too “pretty.” Pick a piece that makes you feel something, whether it be curious, playful, or even something that pushes you slightly off balance. That little bit of tension in the space allows the overall effect to feel collected and emotive.
Do you have any go-to color palettes and color combos?
In years past, “taupe” was a bad word, but it is certainly ready for its closeup once again. Earthy, cashmere-like colors are drawing us in at the moment and allowing us to create that enveloping feeling we associate with “home.”
What advice do you have for first-time clients about making their spaces truly personal?
Splurge on art that speaks to and excites you, don’t be afraid to play with scale, and buy the best piece you can afford at the time. We would always push for a vintage, one-of-a-kind piece from Chairish versus a quick win from a big retailer. Vintage pieces bring soul with them that new pieces just don’t possess, adding grit and patina that is instantly interesting.