There’s no denying that the team at Jardan are proud to be Australian. As a family-run business which designs and makes its furniture in Melbourne, Jardan is true blue, loved by locals and inspired by the Australian way of life.
“We’re not mass-produced, we’re not high-end, we just do well-made Australian designs,” says company director and designer Nick Garnham. With their products stocked by retailers Australia-wide, access to the Jardan showroom itself is a trade only affair. For this reason, it’s a rare occasion that the public are granted access to the “Jardan vibe” firsthand. Following on from the success of their pop-up showroom in 2010, Jardan is ready to do it all again in 2012 with a pop-up in Collingwood as part of Saturday In Design.
In a market that has a massive increase in offshore manufacturing, Jardan have purposefully bucked the trend. “We have a great team of local tradespeople – from upholsterers, cutters, cabinet makers and young designers – all working behind the scenes,” explains Garnham. “A lot of the trades are a dying art, so we now train up our own staff. Manufacturing in Melbourne is important to us because it means that we can customise for clients, as well as offer a fast lead time with very low carbon footprint.”
Having grown from a team of eight to a 90-person operation in the last 15 years, Jardan now sells globally, with international clients just hankering for their own little (or big) piece of authentic Australian design.
It is the muse behind Jardan furniture that has international clients abuzz and local customers feeling right at home. “Our pieces are inspired by the Australian lifestyle,” says Garnham. “They’re contemporary, have a relaxed feel, but are also a bit of fun, with colourful upholstery and a mixture of materials.”
Simply casting your eyes over the shapely contours of one of Jardan’s Errol sofas is enough to induce a relaxed state of mind. But despite being soft on the eye, Jardan sofas and chairs are truly made to be lived in. “Our products are pretty bullet proof and very robust; they stand up to kids and the Aussie life,” assures Garnham.
Striking that perfect balance between voluptuous form and structural integrity, their pieces invite even the most prudish of couch sitters to slump back into those plush folds and exert a sigh of relief. Notions of tactility are explored through the use of soft and often boldly printed fabrics matched with smooth timber details. In short, “they’re comfy and friendly,” offers Garnham.
In an event usually reserved for architects and designers, Jardan opens the doors to its pop-up showroom to the design-loving public this weekend as part of Saturday In Design (this year in Melbourne). Jardan will embellish the free-flowing space (set within the Rokeby Studios in Collingwood) with their much-anticipated new collection. “We’ve been quite prolific this year and have done a lot of new designs, producing 10 ranges that will be on show,” notes Garnham proudly.
The showroom space itself is an old biscuit factory and, in true Jardan style, they’re keeping things simple. “We’re not dressing up the space too much as it’s really all about the furniture.” Surrounded by beautiful fabrics, vibrant soft furnishings and portraits of Jardan’s friends and colleagues nestling into their favourite pieces, visitors to the showroom are invited not only to preview the collection but to take a seat (or two), relax, “have a cup of coffee and get inspired”.
The Jardan pop-up showroom is located at Rokeby Studios 1/90–94 Rokeby Street, Collingwood. Open to the public Saturday August 18, 9am–11am.
31 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
(02) 9663 4500