Growing up together in the Ivory Coast, design duo Studio Ebur drew from sense memories of coastal water for an inaugural design collection, Le bruit de la mer
Designers Dahlia Hojeij Deleuze and Racha Gutierrez first became friends when they were carefree teenagers growing up in Côte d’Ivoire. Often, they frolicked on the beaches of Assinie-Mafia, a resort town on the coast some five hours south of the capital, Yamoussoukro, and before long they were summering together in Italy, Lebanon, and the South of France. These dreamy settings, all of them backdropped by glimmering waters, beckoned when the duo conceived of Le bruit de la mer, their inaugural 20-piece range of furniture, objects, and accessories.
Instinctively, we first made everything in Côte d'Ivoire, with local iroko wood. The workshop was in the center of the city, and it was easy for us to be there. But the shipments were very complicated and there were delays, so we moved the production to Europe and use oak and walnut now
A mutual affinity for designing layered, meaningful spaces led Hojeij Deleuze and Gutierrez to both study architecture in Paris before founding Ebur—that’s ivory in Latin—their own creative studio in the city, in 2020. Since then, they’ve crafted plenty of apartments in Paris, Nice, and Beirut, as well as a Côte d’Ivoire cabin, with materials running the gamut from polished concrete to Burgundian stone. The custom furniture they buoyed those projects with became the springboard to Le bruit de la mer.
“We were already designing products for our interiors, but we wanted to create a new collection with a distinct identity that told a story,” says Hojeij Deleuze, “and that story came from Côte d’Ivoire and our travels around the Mediterranean.”
Le bruit de la mer captures Hojeij Deleuze and Gutierrez’s fascination with the oeuvres of such talents as Jean Dunand and Mariano Fortuny. Take the decidedly Art Deco Vagues screen fashioned out of lacquered wood, its ripples redolent of dramatic waters, or the Coquillage wall lamp, a graceful seashell rendered in stoneware and enamel. The petite Coco lamp, melding a jute shade and glazed sandstone base, conjures Côte d’Ivoire in the 1940s and 1950s.
Beyond the aqueous theme, the patio-perfect Reine armchair is distinguished by a frame that mimics an undulating royal crown. There is also the neoclassical-inspired Qudarata table, octagonal Otto nightstand, and chenille-swathed Calisson ottoman balanced with a slew of smaller items ideal for gifting, including the Ora box—ripe for housing treasures unearthed from the sea—lined with Pierre Frey velvet, and sculptural solid wood handles and candlesticks that draw from ancient African patterns and symbols.
“Instinctively, we first made everything in Côte d’Ivoire, with local iroko wood. The workshop was in the center of the city, and it was easy for us to be there,” explains Gutierrez. “But the shipments were very complicated and there were delays, so we moved the production to Europe and use oak and walnut now.” Collaborating with skilled craftspeople was important to Hojeij Deleuze and Gutierrez, and so they sought out the likes of artisanal Lebanese and Portuguese cabinetmakers and iron and upholstery ateliers in France and Italy.
They are knee-deep in residential work and delightfully tackling their first commercial project, a coffee shop in Paris’s 20th arrondissement, but Hojeij Deleuze and Gutierrez are already considering their next furniture lines—drawings and models are underway—and hoping to embrace more marble, glass, and metal. Like the ones in Le bruit de la mer, the designers want those new pieces, as Hojeij Deleuze puts it, “to reveal our memories.”