We first told you about the John Robshaw + Duralee furniture collection as it was just about to debut at High Point. But, no surprise here, we’re not quite done obsessing over it. After all, each piece combines Robshaw’s global perspective with Duralee’s commitment to quality — and shoppers can customize everything from finishes to upholstery.
Since the designer has already made quite a name for himself in the textile world — including a few standout fabric collections with Duralee — we were curious about the transition to furniture. We snagged a few minutes with Robshaw to learn more:
What inspired the jump to furniture?
I have always been designing pieces in India for my showroom and a few adventurous designers, so when Duralee asked me to collaborate on a furniture line, I was happy to learn more about how furniture is made and have the opportunity to play with new materials with the snazzy team at Duralee. As a textile designer, I’m used to working with designs on a flat plane. Furniture gave me the opportunity to create in 3D, which is an interesting change.
What was your inspiration for the collection? Did you have any “lightbulb” moments during the process?
I traveled around Uzbekistan, Syria, and Turkey and am a big fan of the great architect Sinan. I wanted to create pieces that reflected the ornate structures of the Ottoman Empire, yet were functional and modest enough for the home. The silhouettes were designed to take you on a journey, be that through the Grand Bazaar or wandering around old palaces in India filled with old chandeliers and stuffed tigers.
Tell us a little bit about the materials used. How does this collection differ from other furniture lines on the market?
I think the mix of materials, shapes and styles differentiate the collection. Duralee created new metallic finishes specifically to complement this collection. The Sinan Bed, with its romantic arch, was taken to a whole new level finished in silver leaf. The Hutana Sofa is my take on a traditional Chesterfield that has been slightly scaled down, making perfect for NYC apartment living. I had a no-fear approach to design, I wanted to have some fun. A perfect example of that is the Warif Barrel Chair. It was based on a traditional cane chair found in tea houses in India. I took it back and upholstered it for a completely different look. Due to its petite size, it was dubbed the “anywhere chair” at High Point.
What are some of the stand-out pieces in the collection?
The Rafi Daybed and Mina Banquette are unique pieces in that their silhouettes replicate the Mughal arches all over India. The Najat Chaise is interesting as well. It’s exceptionally long, making it the perfect piece for reading or last minute overnight guests.
If you could only use ONE of the pieces in your own home, what would it be — and which textile would you outfit it with?
I’ve put the Majal Sofa in my house in Connecticut and covered it in my “Sata” print from my last fabric collection with Duralee. With its classic shape and nailhead design, it’s delicate and fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it perfect in an old country house.