The AJAR furniture collection of 15 brands, majority of which are new to Australian shores, is emphatically contemporary and original in design – suited to both commercial and residential applications.
July 8th, 2014
AJAR is the name behind the Collingwood-based design team who curate, import, custom design product for spaces and install – Spanish furniture (for indoors and out), joinery, lighting and homewares.
Directors Andrew Boddington (interior designer), Josep Vallhonrat (Spanish born and trained architect) and Richard Fanale (interior designer), joined forces in 2012 to launch the niche business. The design trio has an impressive pedigree in design – garnered locally and internationally – making a formidable sales team. All three have worked for high-end architectural firms, while Boddington previously worked with Poliform, as did Fanale who brings additional sales expertise from Top 3 by Design.
They have also pooled the letters of their first names to arrive at the clever acronym – AJAR. In a play on the definition – of leaving the door partly open, “the underlying philosophy of AJAR is to be open to new design and ideas,” explains Vallhonrat. Indeed they identified the Australian marketplace’s eagerness for something fresh and an unfilled gap for Spanish product.
“We understood the limitations we have in Australia when specifying high quality, designer European brands at compatible prices,” adds Fanale.
The product line-up is built on strong relationships. The AJAR team has visited many of the Spanish design houses that they represent and which are predominately located– in Barcelona and Valencia. “This enables us to pass on design stories directly from the makers as well as the manufacturing techniques behind each piece,” says Boddington.
“As designers we realised that Spanish design is on par with Italian design. Spanish design has always been well received and well known for creating innovative products throughout Europe for centuries.”
And while Australia has been smitten with the “Nordic puritanism” of Danish design for some time, the Australian market is embracing the “Latin flamboyance” and “quirky, playful” quality that characterises the AJAR collection of Spanish designs.
Since launching AJAR in 2012, market uptake has been extremely positive. “We are finding that the Australian A+D community and the increasingly design-aware public, recognise the detailing, the design of the product and the quality manufacturing,” says Vallhonrat.
“Quite particular to the Iberian Peninsula,” says Fanale, “is the centuries of traditions of manufacturing and handicrafts. Contemporary designers can use that knowledge to create new products that re-interpret old designs or features – to make something fresh.”
For clients who are familiar with some of the Spanish brands on offer – the dream of being able to specify the modular and customisable product for projects with ease of access – is now a reality.
Resonating with the Australian market are the very “unusual, designs, their elegance, execution, level of detailing, innovation and amazing quality control,” says Boddington.
“Spanish designs, especially emanating from Barcelona – are not afraid to do things differently.”
AJAR has curated Spanish furniture manufacturers that carry the work of both well known Spanish designers and those collaborating with designers from all over Europe.
The level of service provided, like the carefully procured collection, is unique. Not only do customers have direct access to design advice in store, AJAR get to know a client’s design aesthetics through site visits – commercial and residential settings alike. “As designers, we can assist clients with their functionality needs in a space – and draw those up and design appropriate product for their space.”
A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Natural forms meet technological sophistication to produce GH Commercial’s Pattern Perfect® Native Collection of carpets. Step inside the factory to see how local flavours inform the design.
Bidding farewell to mundane and uninspired office spaces, colour has transformed our workplaces into layered and engaging environments. So we sit down with Karina Simpson, Hot Black’s Workplace Lead, to talk about the influence colour has on the workspace landscape through the prism of Herman Miller’s progressive colour philosophy.
Australia’s leading producer of solid-engineered oak flooring has recently launched a new suite of innovative resources to support creativity and ambition in the architecture and design community.
The workplace has changed – and it will continue to evolve. With dynamism at the heart of clients’ requirements, architects and designers at leading practices such as Elenberg Fraser are using and recommending Herman Miller’s OE1 products for the future workplace.
NUDO is the latest furniture and accessories collection from Kelly Wearstler and it’s everything we’ve come to expect and love from the California-based designer.
Voom has it all with superb design, comfort and functionality. A new collection from uber Australian designer Adam Goodrum for Tait is launched and outside living will never be the same again.
With a concept that is at once strikingly new and yet familiar, Lifesize Plans offers a different angle on design. Whether it’s in the process or finished product, projecting plans at real-life scale for people to walk through is an idea with potentially far-reaching consequences.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Timothy Alouani-Roby met with Richard Francis-Jones of fjcstudio (formerly fjmtstudio) to discuss his timely, provocative and, quite frankly, necessary book on architecture. In this first part of the book review, we consider the alienation and commodification of the profession, as well as its place in society.
Materialised offer a range of performance driven protective products designed to preserve the integrity and aesthetic of interiors in a range of contexts. Materialised’s Hard Knocks wall covering collection embodies perfect balance between aesthetics and performance.
Hospitality experts Hogg and Lamb has done it again. With generous and playful ceiling heights alongside fine materials, the Sound Garden awaits.