Two Is Company; A Symphony In Handmade Interiors

published in: Design, Interiors By Despina Pavlaki, 05 July 2012

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© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

Vivian Philippa & Dianna Karvounis, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

Like two princesses in a luxury castle, designer Dianna Karvounis and architect Vivian Philippa are surrounded by their self-produced beauty in an elevated studio in uptown Athens, Greece. The only difference is that these two have no intention of waiting for the proverbial white knight, because they’ve already found what they were looking for in each other. Their fated meeting through a common friend led to a successful business partnership, whose origin was almost poetic: ''Our partnership was very organic,'' says Philippa, ''based on countless hours of productive conversation.'' Inspired by a sociological study on the Kalahari dessert - brought to their attention by an ambitious client – their first joint venture was to create a collection that would translate a theoretical text into a series of representative objects. The client was supposed to take her favorite designs into the next phase of large-scale production, but the negotiations broke down half way through. Not that this had any effect on their creative flow: ''We liked the idea so much that we kept working on it regardless, and once the Kalahari Collection was finished about six months later, we decided to display some of the items in our shop window,'' says Karvounis. ''Next thing you know, I receive a phone call from that same client, telling me she had seen something she wanted from our window display. As it turns out, it was the exact same thing we had designed for her, although she’d never actually laid eyes on the finished product!''

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

Taking this sign of synergy as a good omen, the two merged their business activities under the Two is Company flag in 2009 and have been complementing each other’s aesthetics ever since. Stepping into their world is a holistic experience. Dianna Karvounis, a Sarah Lawrence alumni with a Pratt masters degree in Industrial Design, has a strong New York sensibility and a personality to match. The dk studio is liberally sprinkled with her signature multi-purpose grids - which are evident everywhere from carpets and lamps, to room dividers and fireplace screens-, strong geometrical patterns and heavy precious woods that combine her primal, earthy aesthetic with a sophisticated, luxurious finish. Softly spoken Vivian Philippa on the other hand, is the kind of girl you can listen to for hours. In fact, if you don’t watch what you’re doing, you might find yourself bumping into doors and spilling a large variety of drinks while your attention is wholeheartedly captivated by her. ''Oh, I only sound like a sweetheart, I assure you,'' says the architect who has been involved  in anything from urban planning, to hotel refurbishment and landscape design since 2002. ''If I want something, I make sure I get it.'' And what she wants right now is a challenge.

With a view to the international market, the duo is well attuned to the 21st century, juggling a twitter account, a company Facebook page and a tumblr, while at the same time pointing out custom-made furniture, serving up drinks and leafing through books from favorite influencers (''Class Act : William Haines, Legendary Hollywood Decorator'' is an eccentric must-see, along with vintage photographs from the legendary Klismos Collection designed by T.H. Robjohn-Gibbings for Saridis in the 60s and photographed on location at Greek archaeological sights). In short, Two is Company is the kind of outfit that doesn’t need to be based anywhere specifically, much less in a country like Greece, where raw material is getting harder and harder to find. Their natural habitat is the hearts of their faithful clientele, which will hopefully spread across the Atlantic as they prepare for their next move…

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

© Two Is Company, photo by Pavlos Tsokounoglou

sources:

Two Is Company

  • friend
    jo hamilton | 2012-07-06 14:30:13

    I find my initial response mixed: some prices I like and find intriguing, while others I am indifferent to

  • friend
    Lafazani Maria | 2012-07-11 14:34:43

    Amazing, I want everything!

  • friend
    Δεσποινα Λασκαριδου | 2012-07-11 15:24:25

    ΥΠΕΡΟΧΑ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • friend
    Lena F. | 2012-07-12 16:45:56

    Everything is absolutely beautiful!

  • friend
    Mr Lovely | 2012-07-21 10:24:01

    Fabulous greek luxe. Elegant and sensual and I love the wood they use!

  • friend
    douglas | 2012-07-23 19:10:55

    The last two sideboards/chests are nicely done, but its all a bit derivative of 50s hollywood regency. Nothing innovative or original.

  • friend
    Mr Lovely | 2012-08-04 12:37:34

    Much more Mid-century Modern than Hollywood Regency. Plus, elements of classic Greek forms. The combination of these is what makes this collection unique, in my opinion. And anyway, what piece of furniture is not "derivative" of some other time/style these days?

  • friend
    lovedesigninspire | 2012-10-22 00:14:41

    These look wonderful, beautiful design work both elegant and modern pieces of furniture.

  • friend
    Foteini Ioannidou | 2013-04-25 11:09:12

    Exquisite!

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