Collingwood-based design team AJAR has introduced a new design collection to the Australian market.
AJAR curates, imports, custom designs and installs Spanish furniture, joinery, lighting and homewares. Consisting of 15 European brands, 80 per cent of which are new to Australian shores, the collection is emphatically contemporary and original in design, and suited to both commercial and residential applications.
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. AJAR, a clever acronym of their first names, which also plays on the word’s definition of ‘leaving the door partly open’, also reflects the underlying philosophy of this unique collaboration – about being open to new design and ideas.
The design trio has an impressive pedigree in design garnered locally and internationally. 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.
Fanale explains that AJAR understands the limitations in Australia when specifying high quality, designer European brands at compatible prices.
AJAR’s product line-up is built on strong relationships with the design team visiting many of the Spanish design houses that they represent, predominately located in Barcelona and Valencia. This also helps the team pass on design stories directly from the makers as well as the manufacturing techniques behind each piece.
Explaining the rationale behind their focus on Spanish design, Boddington said they realised Spanish design was on par with Italian design, adding that Spanish design has always been well received and well known for creating innovative products throughout Europe for centuries.
While Australia has been smitten with the ‘Nordic puritanism’ of Danish design for some time, the Australian market is now embracing the ‘Latin flamboyance’ and ‘quirky, playful’ quality that characterises the AJAR collection of Spanish designs.
Since their launch in 2012, AJAR has been received very well in the market; according to Vallhonrat, the Australian A+D community and the increasingly design-aware public are recognising the detailing, product design and quality manufacturing aspects of their collection.
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.
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.
AJAR’s level of service, like their carefully procured collection, is unique. Not only do customers have direct access to design advice in store, AJAR gets to know a client’s design aesthetics through site visits in commercial and residential settings alike.