Objects of Desire

The debut of the season’s most talked-about new furniture collection—courtesy of designer Robert Brown and MacRae Designs—beautifully translates Brown’s sophisticated vision into tangible treasures worth collecting

Call it fate. Good fortune. Or simply perfect timing. “My firm was having a hard time finding things that were clean-lined—very simple furniture silhouettes that were made really well,” says designer Robert Brown. “Then Mary Prillaman approached us. She wanted to do a series of furniture collections by Southern designers for MacRae Designs; Bobby McAlpine was the first and she approached us to be the second.”

It was the perfect solution; Brown had just been handed the opportunity to design the kind of quality pieces he’d been searching for. “The silhouettes are so simple that they have to be impeccably made; they have to be perfect,” he says. “For example, there’s a very simple Parsons writing table, which you can find all around. But we can’t find them done in beautiful woods and beautiful finishes that will last a lifetime. And that’s what we’ve done in our line.”

“The Robert Brown ‘lifestyle’ is about things that are refined but not overly so,” says Brown. “Given my fashion background, I love textiles, I love the menswear influence; I still read Vogue and GQ every month just to stay on trend. And that’s certainly reflected in our interiors as well as our line of furniture. Each piece is simple, refined and functional—the embodiment of casual elegance.” The 18-piece Robert Brown Collection by MacRae is available through Holland & Company.


Man of Design 

Robert Brown’s Favorite Things

CAR: My Range Rover is so comfortable and practical; it’s perfect for hauling chairs or children  ARTISTS: Paul Cezanne and Robert Motherwell for their masterful, bold brushstrokes of color  CHAIR: An antique Klismos  RESTAURANT: Jean Georges in NYC  COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Yves Saint Laurent by David Teboul  COMFORT FOOD: Key Lime Pie  WALLPAPER: Phillip Jefferies Sateen Club, especial­­ly in mink, French grey and inkwell  PAINT COLORS: My go-to color is Duron Tinderbox 8693W and my “color of the moment” is Pratt and Lambert Obsidian 33-17  COCKTAIL: Gin Gin Mule at Bemelman’s Bar, at The Carlyle in NYC  CHAIRITY: Half the Sky Foundation, which enriches the lives of orphaned children in China  WAY TO ENTERTAIN: Very casually—hors d’oeuvres and red wine set out on the cocktail table on Friday night with my neighbors  VACATION SPOT: Sea Island is where my children are happiest


FURNITURE COLLECTION By McRae Designs, available to the trade through Holland & Company, (404) 233-2091; hollandandcompany.com designer Robert Brown, Robert Brown Interior Design, (404) 917-1333; robertbrowninteriordesign.com