Christopher Guy Harrison, designer of deluxe furniture found in hotels and ocean liners – obituary

His involvement in furniture design began in 1993 when, inspired by ornate carved-frame mirrors he had seen at a Spanish antiques show, he and his then girlfriend, Marta Gil, founded Harrison & Gil, sourcing the best carvers in Java, Indonesia. A year later he sold his first mirror at Harrods.

By 1998 he had bought land on Java to build a factory and he went on to design and build a one million square foot workshop complex to accommodate 1,400 woodcarvers and specialist finishers. In 2005 he expanded to make a full line of luxury furniture.

Harrison’s objective was “to make uniquely beautiful decorative furnishings that appeal to an international market”. He opened showrooms in 42 cities around the world and his work featured in publications from architectural journals to trade magazines.

Details were always important. The swirly design of what became known as the Camilla mirror inspired the Irish milliner Philip Treacy to make the hat worn by Camilla Parker Bowles at her marriage to Prince Charles.

Articulate, but soft spoken, Harrison split his time Singapore, Los Angeles, New York and London, where he was delighted in 2011 to open a Christopher Guy showroom on the furniture floor of Harrods.

He was even more pleased to be invited to do the design for the 100th anniversary refurbishment of Harrods Georgian Restaurant, where he had often been taken to tea as a child, and for which he created more than 500 pieces of furniture.

“It was a project that meant a great deal to me because Harrods is a purveyor of the finest goods in the world,” he said. “It represents old-world elegance, directly tied to my heritage, and my beginnings in the industry.”

Harrison was the recipient of numerous international awards, including the British Interior Design Association’s “Outstanding Design Award”, and the Las Vegas Design Centre’s 2011 “Design Icon Award”.

He is survived by his wife Kisa and by two sons.

Christopher Guy Harrison, born September 3 1960, died August 19 2020     

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