The Portman is a perfectly compact complement to a space
Having started as a designer and manufacturer of printed products and custom artwork more than a decade ago, the gradual move by Lemon from the two-dimensional sphere into the creation of pieces that make up holistic spaces has been a rewarding and creatively exciting one for the firm.
Lemon’s philosophy of simple, timeless and accessible pieces has been consistently present throughout its evolution and is apparent in every new product it launches, and we see it in action in the new Portman side table.
Designed in collaboration with one of Lemon’s longtime collaborators and a friend of the brand, Yaniv Chen of Masterstudio, the Portman is the product of careful planning and painstaking engineering. Aesthetically, Chen and Lemon founder Kevin Frankental wanted to achieve something streamlined and understated. “When looking for our own side tables we found many of the products available on the market were either over designed or a bit bulky,” says Frankental. The objective with this design then, was to create an occasional table with the thinnest profile possible – a piece that almost disappears when viewed from a certain angle. By using steel as their material of choice, Frankental and Chen were able to achieve an incredibly svelte silhouette and slim proportions.
When designing the Portman, Frankental and Chen were drawn to the panache of 1960s Italian design and shopfitting, a niche and very specific source of inspiration. “This era is known for rich, sophisticated colours – you can see it used in all manner of design, from furniture to fashion and cars,” says Frankental. Accordingly the Portman is available in ultra sophisticated shades of Navy and Oxblood and an elegant sartorially inspired Charcoal. A sense of nostalgia prompted the piece’s naming process as well as its design provenance – Portman Road was the street Frankental grew up in in Johannesburg. “All of our products are named after places that hold sentimental value for us,” comments Frankental.