Designer interview: Warren Twisleton

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Owner of Lujo, Warren Twisleton.

Owner of Lujo, Warren Twisleton.

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Kyoto outdoor bean bag crafted by Lujo.

Kyoto outdoor bean bag crafted by Lujo.

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Striking a balance between work and play has led the owner of furniture brand Lujo, Warren Twisleton, to design a range of contemporary furniture that creates a sense of holiday at home.

We’ve taken a few moments to pick his brain about his design inspirations, what’s new and what we can expect to see next.

Urbis: From bean bags to sun loungers to hammocks, you have created furniture that you sink into. What inspired you to design lounge-worthy furniture?

Warren Twisleton (WT): I’ve always appreciated good design, and have also always been driven to run my own business and create the freedom and lifestyle that I desire. Being a big fan of relaxing outdoors during my travels over the years, I decided there was a gap in the market for a range of relaxation-inspired furniture that stood out from the mass-produced, stock-standard products in terms of quality, comfort and aesthetic appeal. Our goal is to create an opportunity for our customers to take a mini-holiday right in their own backyards or homes. 

Urbis: Where do you draw your inspiration?

WT: I tend to get inspired when I am actually relaxing myself – that’s when I tend to be most creative. I do keep an eye on trends in the market, but often I will try to improve on a tried-and-tested product that has been around for a while, but needs to be modernised or improved in some way. There’s always room for improvement and adding a modern edge to an old classic.

Urbis: You have two new collections that have launched this summer, tell us about them.

WT: We’re really excited about these new collections. The first is our Taj collection of hammocks and stands. After bringing our original free-standing hammock to market over 10 years ago, it’s been exciting to re-invent this range and create something that is both modern and unique – we’re really pleased with the result.

And then our new Kyoto collection of indoor and outdoor bean bags has stemmed from the success of our original Tulum bean bag collection, this time adding a more traditional bean bag design with a contemporary edge, along with a matching footstool and ottoman, using premium fabrics from Textilia and Sunbrella.

Urbis: Was it important to you that Lujo furniture be made in New Zealand?

WT: It was important to maintain a really high standard of quality and craftsmanship across our range, and manufacturing in New Zealand allows us to keep a close eye on this. Our craftspeople really take pride in their work, and it’s also nice to be supporting local industry.

Urbis: You have been in business for 10 years now, what has been your proudest moment?

WT: We’ve had a few proud moments recently, supplying products for large companies abroad such as Pinterest, Shopify, Uber and Tesla Motors. It’s amazing to think that we are a small New Zealand-based operation getting picked up by large overseas companies. We’ve also had a couple of high-profile Hollywood celebrities purchase product, which is a bit of a buzz! 

Urbis: You’ve collaborated with the guys at Think & Shift on your Taj hammock, are there any other collaborations in the pipeline?

WT: We’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline this year. We’re currently working with Tim Webber on an outdoor setting to launch next summer, and have a couple of personal projects I am kicking off in the next few months.

To be into win a Kyoto outdoor bean bag by Lujo, click here.


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