Designing your soon to be home is probably one of the most entertaining things you could ever do. From the moment you’re trying to settle on the location all the way to picking spoons and forks, the entire experience is just heartwarming and pleasant. After all, what could be more fun than creating the place you’re going to call home for the upcoming years, from scratch?
There are plenty of fun aspects in the design process, and each phase has its own different flavor and intrigue. Yet, if you had to choose the most interesting segment of designing your home, it has got to be furniture selection. Looking at different designs and comparing different pieces, and how each would match with your home is quite entertaining. It’s actually relatively easy to find a furniture store in New Zealand that provides endless and quality options. It also gives you excellent insight into the design world and what the latest trends are. Still, it can rather be a cumbersome process, especially with so many good designers out there.
If you happen to be living in New Zealand, these are the top 10 furniture designs you could choose from.
Just the name Isabella Chair oozes elegance and grace, and fortunately so does the design of this wonderful piece of furniture. This is the brainchild of Simon James, which has been an active player in the furniture scene in New Zealand for almost two decades. His designs are elegant, stylish, and a must have in any modern home, and the Isabella is no exception. It’s basically a lounge chair with a small footprint and comfy seat, and it works perfectly for home and office settings as well. The great thing about this one is also the fact that it comes in different colors, each carrying the same graceful elegance of the brand and the comfy materials that are used in pretty much everything they design.
The ‘Pi’ Table
As far as tables go, there are plenty of options out there and each has its own merits. Yet, many seem to struggle with the size and flexibility of tables, and this is where Paris-based designer Roderick Fry came in with his clever ‘Pi’ tables. The idea was simple; he created a trestle leg system that can be easily folded for shipping purposes and can hold a range of tables with great stability for when you do need them. All you need to do is insert the table tops (planks or panels) and then pivot the metal legs into position, and like that you’d have a stable, ready to use table that can also be disassembled and put together at will. You don’t need any bolts or screws, because this simple and creative design allows you to personalize the table to your liking, and it can be easily adjusted or fixed whenever you want to. You can have the table tops made from anything you want, from solid wood to concrete or metal. This is why this design has been very popular with many, as it gives the flexibility to play around with minimal requirements.
Hawkes Bay-based designer David Trubridge had always had an eye for quirky designs and cool set pieces. His work is also special because it’s mostly eco-friendly and environmentally conscious, something he’s always been passionate about. His steamed-bentwood seat was his most uniquely designed piece, and it’s easy to understand why. Despite it being almost two decades old, it still has its flair and is sought after by many people for its cool design, the fact that it’s environmentally friendly, and because it’s just too comfortable! The bizarre looking chair is made out of ash and hoop pine plywood, and its curvature and layout make it quite perfect for a sunny afternoon read or a relaxing evening by the fireplace with a glass of vintage wine by your side.
‘Ballet’ chairs and ‘Ballerina’ tables
Nathan Goldsworthy created gorgeous looking pieces of furniture through his collaboration with Backhouse Interiors and Designworks. Despite the fact that the chairs and tables are made out of fairly ordinary materials –- laminated ash and the chairs are also upholstered in wool –– their design is still nothing like your ordinary furniture piece. The chairs have this stylish finish that makes them quite appealing to the eyes, while the tables have an impressively elegant design with their tightly wound waist that slowly and elegantly goes down till it reaches the floor, much like that of a ballerina’s. They’re perfect pieces for any modernly designed home, and they’d complement whatever other pieces you have as well as the general vibe of the place.
What would the most exquisitely designed chair you could ever set eyes upon look like? If you want an answer for that, you need to check out Ed Cruikshank’s elegant, classical collection. His work is mostly hand-built, which even adds more beauty and layers to an already contemporary work of art. His Club Rocker chair is an excellent example of the craftsmanship and dedication that go into his work. He says he first designed the chair for his wife when she was expecting their newborn, in order for her to have a place to rest, sleep, and feed the child. And if you look at the final product, you’ll realize that the Club Rocker is that, and so much more. The fine leather and elegant design encapsulate the chair’s occupants, making them feel at home and like they never want to get out of such a comfy piece of furniture. The chair has another feature that adds to its ingenuity; it has a rocking base that makes it perfect for cradling your kids to sleep, or even reading yourself to sleep. It also comes in stunning colors like olive and brown.
This is another piece by Ed Cruikshank, and it has his signature style and elegant touches that separate his work from most of his contemporaries. At first glance at this chair, you’d be taken aback by its peculiar design and unorthodox layout. Cruikshank says the landscapes of Queenstown and experience of moving back to New Zealand inspired him to create this piece, but it had a more in depth back story to it. “One evening we had friends over for supper with their five-year-old daughter and after putting her to bed, wrapped in a possum blanket, the grownups settled down around a crackling fire with glasses of wine in hand. Ten minutes later a small figure snuck back in dragging the blanket behind her and quietly made herself a little nest in the glow of the fire. Thumb in mouth, she gently dozed off to sleep. We all laughed and my friends said I should design a chair that makes big girls feel like that too,” he says about how the chair came to be. When you do look at it, it does feel like a little nest or a cocoon that would engulf all those who dare sit in it. But it sure is as comfortable as they come, and it looks gorgeous too, once you get past your initial shock at its bizarre design.
This Tim Webber stylish chair was inspired by duffle bags, and it was made to capture that bag’s functionality and quality. With its wool upholstering and simple rope drawstring, this practical chair/table works for big spaces and adds a certain flair to wherever it’s put. It even comes with a duffel stool that the designers say works best with the piece. The great thing about this item is the fact that it’s easily customizable and you can play around with the material and design to add your touch to an already remarkable piece.
Simon James’ style and elegance really come to life with this stunningly designed sofa. When you first look at it, it will look weird and oddly designed, and you’ll probably think it can’t hold your weight. But once you get past that feeling of awe, you will start to notice how elegantly designed the sofa is and how much it can complement any setting it’s in. It looks lightweight and can be used in either home or office setting, which makes it quite a diverse piece of furniture. It also can be used as a single piece, or you can use multiples side by side to add more elegance to your décor. It can even sit back to back or opposite another one, which adds a whole new look to the layout of the place.
This one’s another brainchild of Ed Cruikshank, and it also has all his trademarks and signature touches as you’d come to expect. At first glance, this might look like your average La-Z-Boy or traditional comfy chair, but upon careful examination, it has so much more to it than any of those. As shown by its name, this one was a result of an architectural cooperation. It came to life as the designer was completing work in a home he’d just decorated. The place had this modern vibe to it, so Cruikshank felt he needed a different piece for this particular one, and like that the Architect Chair was born and became one of his most popular pieces. The chair almost invites you to lay down your weary body on it, and just looking at it makes your feet crumble and your back pains start to fade away. It doesn’t hurt either that it comes in elegant shades of brown and fine leather, so it’s definitely a stunning addition to any house it’s put in, regardless of what other décor is in there.
Underline Workstation – Oak Top
This is another exquisitely designed piece by Simon James, and just a look at this wonderful design will blow your mind away. This is a workstation designed with a simple and minimal approach in mind, and it gives a warmth rarely found in other stations where you’re supposed to be doing work, which isn’t supposed to really feel warm and fuzzy. The great thing about this piece is the fact that each component can do a lot of things. The vertical bookshelf is also a space divider and the central spine softens the acoustic levels and is aesthetically gorgeous. The upholstery and finish can be custom designed according to your preference, and you can easily have the perfect working space as you have always envisioned it. The station also has a custom soft wiring system that works for any modern office.
Find your own style
These are just 10 furniture designs you could get your hands on in New Zealand, but there are countless others. Truth is, furniture design is not an exact science, but it’s rather a subtle art that takes years to master and perfect. The same can be said of choosing your own pieces for your own place. It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error. But what really counts is finding your own sense of style, which you’ll need to work on developing over the years. No one is born with the knowledge of what works with what, and what pieces go together. It takes hard work and experimenting. You could always find a stylist to do your own décor and select your furniture for you, but there’s just something fulfilling about doing it yourself and being able to work around with different pieces to create a space that people would know is yours. This is what home styling is all about, giving a signature vibe or touch that anyone who walks in would recognize as your own. Once you’ve achieved that, you’ll start to really love the whole furniture design and selection process. It’s actually quite enjoyable if you understand what you’re doing. And as soon as you get past the notion of finding any chair or table to fill an empty space, you’ll start to really take your time to get the job done right.