4/17/16The Birth of the Zahra Peacock Chair
If you follow me (or @TheJungalow) on Instagram, you know that over the weekend we shared a preview of my newest collab: a furniture line with Selamat Designs (…and yes, I’m freaking out about it!). While I’ll get more into the details of the collection later on, I thought it would be cool to take you guys backstage today and show you a bit of the process and how our Zahra peacock chair came to life.
Selamat makes case goods. Case goods are furniture pieces made of hard materials: wood, metal, glass etc. Coffee tables, dressers, hard dining chairs — those are all case goods. I began thinking about the collection with chairs. So first, I put pen to paper and started to sketch.
I used the hexagon shape as a starting point because I knew I wanted the collection to have a geometric look and I wanted many pieces to modulate and fit together — the hex is perfect for that. After sketching pages and pages of concepts, I went on to look at vintage pieces for inspiration. With designers like Franco Albini, Gabriella Crespi and Hans Wegner on the brain, I pulled images of pieces with great silhouettes, cool details, and inspiring lines:
Vintage pieces can be found on my favorites page on Chairish.
After pulling inspiration, I realized that I definitely wanted pattern on the chair too, and taking inspiration from French bistro chairs, I decided I wanted woven rattan seats and details. After I pulled together my ideas, I created these composites on photoshop:
You can see the hex shape in the bottom, back portion of the seat, and the pop of pattern. I presented these ideas to Selamat and we met for our first creative meeting in SF. Shannon (one of the owners and all-around rad lady) suggested a pedestal base for this piece and I was totally on board. So after working through this design (and the two dozen others) we consolidated ideas and next was Selamat’s turn to put their spin on my designs and make sure that the chairs functioned properly.
A bit of back and forth and a few months later, this piece came back from the factory:
And the Zahra chair was born. Bringing this beauty to life was so much fun and such a great challenge. You can see how different the design looked from the original ideas, but you can also see the thread that remained from those original sketches, right? I learned a ton about materials (did you know that rattan is a vine??) and it was an amazing experience to watch my first furniture collection come to life.
So…this is happening. The entire collection will be available later on this year and I can’t wait to share the rest of the line with you all. Pinch me.