It might be her background in fashion buying, or the chicness implicit in her French heritage, but Elise Pioch has crafted her homewares brand Maison Balzac with just the right amount of je ne sais quoi. In the eight years since its initial establishment as a candle atelier, Elise takes Maison Balzac’s ooze of playful elegance up a notch every time she launches a new collection.
The Un Rêve collection is the latest addition to Elise’s cult brand. Using borosilicate glass, the Coucou range of geometric silhouettes introduces more complex shapes to the brand’s popular glassware offering, while tapered, shapely candle holders represent a total deviation from the brand’s roots in traditional scented candles. Made from sustainable palm wax, this sculptural variation on an old favourite product opens up a whole new space to experiment with colour, shape and form. Locally made perfumes and soy wax are among the other materials used, while the Japanese incense is made from tabunoki wood.
One standout piece is Monsieur Escargot, a snail-shaped incense vessel made from upcycled Italian marble that Elise cites as her favourite in the collection. ‘His antennae are incense sticks, so he’s useful and quirky!’
Translating to ‘a dream’ in French, the Un Rêve collection was conceived in response to the global turmoil experienced by almost everyone in the world this year. Elise recognised a collective need for a little bit of escapist dreaming, leading her to put an eclectic spin on some familiar favourites and push the pieces a little bit further than usual.
‘We wanted to take people by the hand and fly them into our dream world where everything is peaceful, playful and happy,’ she explains of the design process. ‘Any piece can bring a bubble of joy into a space.’
The ‘Un Rêve’ collection from Maison Balzac is available here to shop now.