When Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick put their New York townhouse on the market last September, the listing went viral. And while Sex and the City fans got worked up about the Carrie-worthy walk-in closet, design enthusiasts geeked out over the dining room light fixture, a Welles chandelier by Montreal firm Gabriel Scott. "We definitely got a boost from that," says Scott Richler, who cofounded the company three years ago with Gabriel Kakon, his brother-in-law. The fact that the steel-and-copper piece had not been purchased by the celebrity couple themselves—the home had been professionally staged for the sale—mattered not a whit. "We got calls about it for weeks," says Kakon with a grin.
Distinguished by angular forms and the use of laser-cut metal, Gabriel Scott designs are handmade in Quebec and meticulously crafted, down to the custom hardware. Both architects by training, Kakon and Richler had collaborated on high-end bespoke furniture for nearly a decade before launching the company. "With one-offs, there wasn't much potential for growth," explains Kakon. So they switched gears, embracing a strategy of what they call "smart engineering." Each piece is designed with an eye toward efficient assembly, allowing the company to manufacture in volume. Take, for example, the Welles fixtures, which are composed of a series of eight-inch metal polyhedrons. A client can buy a single unit or a complex configuration of units riveted together in almost any number of permutations to resemble something out of an organic chemistry textbook. "The modular aspect allows for incredible flexibility," says Will Cooper of design team Ash NYC, who staged Parker and Broderick's house. "But the result is something that feels like a piece of art."
"Their price point is one of the reasons clients say yes," says New York City interior decorator Nicole Fuller, who points to the sensual chain-link Kelly chandelier and marble-topped Prong coffee table as her personal favorites. "It's nice to show your clients that not everything costs $20,000." Most of the company's furniture is available in stock and ready to ship from their warehouse in upstate New York within days of ordering. Then again, there are always clients who want something out of the box. Kakon and Richler are currently fabricating their most ambitious Welles piece to date, a 30-foot-long design customized to hang vertically over a stairwell in another New York town-house. "It's not like we're going to say no to that," says Kakon. CATHERINE HONG