A CUP OF TEA WITH: JUSTIN VAN BREDA, FURNITURE DESIGNER
You may remember a few months back I visited the showroom of C.P Hart, one of my favourite retailers of luxury bathroom accessories and furniture. Almost instantly I fell in love with a few very distinct Art Deco influenced pieces in the showroom, and when I heard they were designed by Justin I knew I just had to get in touch to learn more about him and his work.
I sat down for a quick fire interview with the man himself (and when I say sat down, I mean I emailed him), LOL!
For anyone who doesn't know you, can you give a brief introduction?
I am a South African born British designer and founder of Justin Van Breda London - a collection of furniture handmade in Europe. There are about 300 pieces in the line and its fully customisable with regard to design and finish and material used.
What is the hardest part of the journey from concept to your product retailing?
The most challenging part is getting the materials in your vision to work together in reality.
Do you design with a certain person in mind, if so, can you describe them?
Each piece has a key customer who is in my head when we design. The are usually a version of someone I have designed successfully for in the past.
What is an average day for you like?
Very varied! I do a lot of designing and sketching and a lot of admin. With team of up to 15 I try to give everyone some time with me.
Your designs for CP hart seem to have a very strong Art Deco influence, is that a favourite period of yours? (the Cleopatra is my absolute favourite by the way, it's stunning!)
Art deco was a natural lead from arts and crafts and Art Nouveau styles that broke from traditional design. CP Hart gave us a clear brief and it was an amazing way for us to design product for them as it was truly a collaboration. It has often been commented that my work takes a Deco bent.
You are also an interior designer with your design ethos very much about effortless elegance. Why do you think that decor has stepped away from being snobby and stiff to this new approach?
Design has become much more accessible and its important for people to feel comfortable in their homes, as well as their homes being an indication of their aspirations.
How did your collaboration with CP hart come about?
We launched our own line of vanities from design used in some of our projects and CP Hart came to the launch and saw a gap in the market and subsequently approached us.
Some quick fire questions:
What is JVB passionate about?
Design and service.
What annoys you?
Lack of clarity
If you could recommend one book to someone, what would it be?
Requiem Of Empire by Justin Vlok- it sets up why Europe is like it is today.
And a movie?
Mr Holland's Opus with Richard Dreyfuss- it makes me cry every time and Gone with the Wind.
What is your favourite type of music?
What is your favourite restaurant in London?
Anywhere I can take the dogs with good ice cream.
Brass or chrome?
(at the moment) Brass
England or SA?
What do you do to unwind?
Garden, walk my dogs and cook.
Thanks to Justin and CP Hart!