With the summer heat going nowhere fast, it pays to have home decor that’s both functional and stylish. While having the air conditioning on all day is certainly one option, a modern ceiling fan could be your best bet to staying comfortable without splurging on electricity during the summer months.
In this feature, we speak to designer Alex Haggar about Hunter’s latest ceiling fans, and how they refreshed a beachfront home on Crystal Coast.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Alex found himself immersed in the world of furniture and lighting. He currently works for the Hunter Fan Company, and designs a range of modern ceiling fans fit for a variety of home styles.
Tell me about yourself; what’s your design philosophy?
I’m an industrial designer currently living in Memphis, Tennessee. I can be found hunting for obscure Scandinavian fashion labels and 80s-90s electropop artists. Inspiration and observation are very important to me. I believe that products should be as simple as possible, while having their own character and personality. It’s important for individuals to build a relationship and bond with the products they own. I want to design products that are kept for a lifetime.
How did you get into designing ceiling fans?
I started designing ceiling fans for Hunter and Casablanca about a year and a half ago. I’ve always had a passion for furniture and lighting, and an appreciation for all things mechanical. Ceiling fans are a really intriguing mix of decor and functionality, and I enjoy the design challenge that they pose.
Just recently, Alex was involved in the Crystal Coast Huntervention – a project led by the Hunter Fan Company to redesign spaces in North Carolina. He provided the design direction for different parts of the home, giving them a refreshing new look.
How did you get into the Crystal Coast project?
The event in Crystal Coast kicked off this year’s Huntervention series at Hunter Fan Company. This summer, we are refreshing rooms in five different homeowners’ spaces across the country. I had the opportunity to provide design direction for three rooms and a patio in a coastal North Carolina beachfront home. We invited bloggers, magazine editors, and home fashion influencers to see the finished spaces. Check out Hunter on Instagram to see photos of the Crystal Coast home, along with the other Huntervention spaces.
How did you design each of the three rooms?
Since the home was located on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, I wanted to stay true to that setting. Each room was coastal-inspired, but I incorporated elements of mid-century modern, glamour, and rustic farmhouse.
How did the ceiling fans play into the design of each of the three rooms?
I wanted to showcase some of our great new 2016 and 2017 ceiling fans, and I definitely created the design direction for the rooms with Hepburn, Cranbrook, and Sophia in mind. In the Hepburn room, for example, you’ll notice gold and brass elements that tie back to the brass finish of the fan.
Have you previously directed designs for rooms before?
Other than my own home, this was my first experience creating the design direction for a space. I really enjoyed it, and hope I’ll have the opportunity again!
Tell us about your experience in the Crystal Coast project?
I’m really happy with how the spaces in the Crystal Coast home turned out. It was so refreshing to see the completed rooms, and to see the media’s reaction. I’m especially thankful for our team at Hunter, along with Custom Home Staging and Emerald Island Reality who helped make my vision a reality.
What are your key takeaways from the Crystal Coast project?
The rooms that we refreshed in the Crystal Coast home were pretty big overhauls, but I think refreshing a room can be as simple as changing just a few key items. Little things like re-decorating a bookcase or replacing your wall art can make a huge difference. And of course, replacing an old ceiling fan with one that better matches your decor or style is always an option!
Early this year, we featured Alex Haggar’s innovative GRO modular chairs. Made with 3D-printing steel, GRO uses 12 unique parts to create an all-in-one system perfect for the home office.
Aside from ceiling fans, which is your favorite item or product to design?
Although designing for Hunter and Casablanca is my day job, I design home goods and accessories in my spare time. I spent almost two years developing GRO, a reconfigurable furniture system, as my thesis project at the University of Cincinnati. It was the most ambitious and challenging project I’ve ever taken on, but undeniably my favorite. Being able to show GRO at ICFF in 2015 made all the late nights worth it.
What’s your personal home design style?
I’d say my personal style is definitely modern, and I enjoy a mix of old and new. Lately I’ve been fascinated with the minimalist movement during the late 70s, and decor from the Memphis Group. My most recent lighting acquisition was a vintage Ron Rezek table lamp with a perforated metal shade. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve sought out movies like Less Than Zero and American Gigolo for design inspiration.
As someone who currently designs ceiling fans, what would be your advice to someone looking to add a new ceiling fan to their homes?
I think it’s important to keep in mind that ceiling fans aren’t permanent. If you’ve inherited a ceiling fan that doesn’t match your taste or style, you can always replace it with one that you love. Ceiling fans are also a great way to save energy. Turning on a ceiling fan instead of adjusting the thermostat can go a long way, and fans with LED bulbs or integrated LED modules add another layer of efficiency. We’ve worked hard to incorporate LED technology in the Hunter and Casablanca lines for 2017.
Still early in his career, Alex continues to create modern designs that have the potential to become timeless pieces around the home. We thank Alex for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with NONAGON.style to share his work.
What do you think? Do you have ceiling fans at home? Let us know in the comments below. Also, remember to sign up to our newsletter to receive more interviews, features and collections straight in your inbox.