Ross Hamilton Englisbe

Hamilton Conte is a brand that executes their passion through their outstanding ability of making furniture collection. We felt privileged to have Ross Hamilton Englisbe, Hamilton Conte – co-founder of Hamilton Conte on the successful journey of the company, concept and more. Excerpts:

FAE: If you can share with us your idea behind the establishment of your company? What motivated you to execute such a brand like Hamilton Conte?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: The idea behind Hamilton Conte was to create a customisable furniture range to accompany interior designers in the products and make highly tailored solutions for their clients who want something different from the norm. For us, interior designers are storytellers and every interior tells a story of the person who lives in it, so creating pieces that were rather original and in which we could imbue emotion was important to us. Producing in Europe was really important to us as we saw the European market as our prime market. We really wanted to create a range that was different from the norm, working with highly curved upholstery, different material combinations and have a very artisanal approach. From our base in Paris, we found that Portugal gave us the ideal conditions to do what we wanted. Ten years later, we are still here and enjoying what we are able to do.

FAE: HC has delivered outstanding collection of designs. Tell us, how does HC manage to create extraordinary design concepts?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: Thinking out of the box a bit is of course key. Keeping an eye on what which concepts for which clients can be sensitive is crucial. I suppose we could call that “trends” but I think we should be more involved in emotional responses to design concepts rather than pushing trends. Furniture, upholstery and lighting should above all be practical and comfortable in our daily lives rather than being slaves to fashion, so it all comes down to addressing functional and aesthetic needs in a practical way while enjoying what we do. If no one on the team likes a concept, it is doubtful you will get a great design. Whereas if we have positive emotional responses and motivation, we think we will be on the right track.


FAE: What are the primary advantages customers get from HC products?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: I would like to think that clients are attracted to our products because they are not your ordinary piece. We try to focus on details that make a difference in terms of design, comfort and practicality. True luxury is not about having a show off piece for someone else to admire, it is about having a piece that you truly love and that makes you feel good, happy, at ease. We try to bring forms, textures, materials that are not seen everywhere on top of this, but I think there is an emotional attachment with the things we chose to surround ourselves that needs to be there.

FAE: How has been the feedback for the concept of merging design movements from 1950s and 1970s from design lovers. What are the uniqueness you offer through this special concept?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: We tend to look into 20th century design movements with a lot of interest. So many things happened in the last century that are interesting from a creative point of view. When we started out, we were working a mild 1950s vibe but quickly moved into the 60s and 70s. The 70s particularly were a rather ebullient time that brought in some very interesting lines and curves that we eliminated in the 80s when the predominantly geometric aesthetic took hold. The curve is really a competitive advantage that we provide more specifically through our upholstery collection. It is a more time-consuming industrial process, but we think what results in terms of product is very special. I will say that we are not limited to this time period and are in no way working in anything of the “total look” genre. For us, eclecticism is our watchword and we enjoy watching our clients combine our style with others for really unique interior concepts.

FAE: What are the materials you generally utilize for the production? What are the advantages can customers get from your featured products?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: The materials used in Circu’s pieces are diversified and range from wood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), brass, stainless steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and resin. We use the material depending on each piece and concept and by thinking which one will have more quality to execute each project and piece. The finishes of each material are also very exclusive, ranging from the gold bath, gold leaf silver and copper lacquered high gloss.


Besides that, our products are handmade. And for that reason, we can guarantee that all of our pieces are made by the most experienced and skilled craftsmen. That’s what makes our products even more unique. These overall aspects offer to our client exclusive pieces with a high level of design that can not be found anywhere else.

FAE: What has been the most focused section of HC among the wide range of product offerings? In regards to this, tell us something about ‘Anouka’ bar stool?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: As I said, I think our upholstery collection is something very special where I personally invest a lot of my time. As we do have this upholstery focus, it has encouraged us to play with more material combinations and specifically work on metal structures. Anouka is one of our pieces that integrates metal and specifically brass. We’re very gold centric as you may have noticed and the idea of having gold chairs was something that mattered a lot. The barstool concept grew out of the chair concept. There seems to be a lack of cool barstool concepts on the market and higher seats are really quite comfortable to play with for kitchen dining for example. More barstools are in the works FYI!

FAE: What has been Hamilton Conte’s most favourite project till now? ‘Biscornet’ looks very unique. If you can brief us on that.

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: Well beyond our particular affection for upholstery, working with cast metals has been a really interesting part of the business. We are working with cast aluminum and brass specifically. It allows to work on really organic textures and add sculptural elements to interiors, giving interesting layers and a more “curated” look. Our Nymphéa tables have specifically been a big hit as has the Manolo collection which brought us into casting handles for our products. Fabian has a personal obsession with the hinges on the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral doors which were attributed to a man called Biscornet and having quite some lore related to their creation. The idea of the Biscornet Cabinet was to showcase the beauty of the cast handles on a simple and elegant cabinet that allows for a high degree of customisation, be it through color options, upholstered doors or interior organisation.

FAE: There are other luxurious brands that have been ruling the furniture industry more than twenty years. Where do you find your brand?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: We are a small player that is more related to personal luxury that to showing off to others. We like to work very closely with designers as well to help them interpret their visions along with their clients. Our sole purpose is to do a good job, leave people happy with their choices, and of course work repeatedly with our same partners.

FAE: What are the upcoming and latest projects you are working on? New Year is coming in few months, what special can we look forward to?

Ross Hamilton Englisbe: We are celebrating ten years in November since the founding of the brand. With every year we add new products to the collection to keep things fresh. Most of what our current focus is related to making sure everything that we have in our collection is living and evolving. Certain ideas that we had ten years ago still remain perfectly pertinent whereas others are called to evolve. Most of our focus is making sure clients realise that our range is a canvas on which they can explore their own interpretations and visions through customization. Between our clients and artisans, I feel as though we are constantly pushed to pursue new ideas and innovations which is to say the creative process never sleeps, and I think there is always something to which we can look forward and anticipate. We are next showing at Maison & Objet Paris in January and will have plenty of surprises as usual.

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  • 02 IMOB 2021
  • 08 WMF 2021