Behind the Seams - In Conversation with Product Design Lead Milly
by Alice | April 26, 2022
Following the launch of our first locally designed upholstery range, we sat down with our Product & Design Manager Milly to discuss her approach to creating these pieces, and what's up next for the range.
Why was an upholstery range the next big step for RJ Living?
Milly: When we first began our internally designed products, we begun with timber, then expanded into rattan and metal so they’re pretty well developed categories, but were struggling to help customers complete their spaces, as we were missing our own upholstery range. After looking at the market, we found there was a real place for a range with our RJ Living design methodology and focusing on versatility and customisation.
How did you decide on the products to be included in this range?
Milly: We’d gathered a lot of feedback from customers, which helped us narrow down which pieces to start with. Items they were having trouble finding for their homes were a big focus, plus ensuring that great product ideas we’d ideated across the past years could finally become a reality.
Why is customisation so important to the upholstery range?
Milly: The individuality of a customer and their space is more important with upholstery than any other furniture category. Whether it be a large living space that needs a huge sofa to fill it, or a study where an armchair has to be a certain colour and texture to work in the room, having options is super important. As such, many of the sofas are modular, and have pieces that also can work standalone as lounge chairs. All items have a wide range of fabric and colour choices too, so it’s easier for the customer to make their home the way they imagine it
Why did RJ living launch with this range of fabrics?
Milly: The versatility of the products we’ve designed needed a range of fabrics that could do the same. We had different people and styles in mind when bringing the four introductory fabric types to life, whether it be a trendy orange velvet, or a subtle hard wearing light grey.
What are your favourite pieces from the range?
Milly: I love the Shift Bench the most, it’s a really different take on an upholstered bench design, with a funky shape that looks great in pretty much any space. The design was based off a concept I’d had from years ago, so to see it come to life was super rewarding, and especially in boucle its curves look amazing. The Doze Bed is another favourite, its chunky design is really welcoming which is a must for bedroom spaces, and the stitching detail combined with our linen-blend Siena fabric is really luxe.
What’s coming up next for the RJ Living Upholstery range?
Milly: The Jam sofa is a staff favourite already and we knew straight away we wanted a chaise version, so we’re well into the sampling process right now with our makers. It’ll add a lot of possibilities to the Jam sofa range, given it’s fully modular.
We’re also working hard on a range of throw cushions from our upholstery fabric types, which will work great with our sofas and armchairs, gifting or purchased for anywhere around the house.
Aside from that we’re already looking into expanding out our sofa, armchair and headboard range.