About

AJAR is the name behind the Collingwood-based design team who curate, import, custom design product for spaces and install - Spanish furniture (for indoors and out), joinery, lighting and homewares. The collection of 15 brands, 80 per cent of which are new to Australian shores, is emphatically contemporary and original in design – suited to both commercial and residential applications.

Year Founded

2012

Founders

Andrew Boddington
Josep Vallhonrat

Location

15 Johnston Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

 

Founders and Directors Andrew Boddington (interior designer) and Josep Vallhonrat (Spanish born and trained architect), joined forces in 2012 to launch the niche business. The design duo has an impressive pedigree in design - garnered locally and internationally – making a formidable sales team. Both have worked for high-end architectural and Interior design firms. 

In a play on the definition - of leaving the door partly open, “the underlying philosophy of AJAR is to be open to new design and ideas,” explains Vallhonrat. Indeed they identified the Australian marketplace’s eagerness for something fresh and an unfilled gap for Spanish product.

“We understood the limitations we have in Australia when specifying high quality, designer European brands at compatible prices,” adds Boddington 

The product line-up is built on strong relationships. The AJAR team has visited many of the Spanish design houses that they represent and which are predominately located– in Barcelona and Valencia. “This enables us to pass on design stories directly from the makers as well as the manufacturing techniques behind each piece,” says Boddington.

“As designers we realised that Spanish design is on par with Italian design.

Spanish design has always been well received and well known for creating innovative products throughout Europe for centuries.”

And while Australia has been smitten with the “Nordic puritanism” of Danish design for some time, the Australian market is embracing the “Latin flamboyance” and “quirky, playful” quality that characterises the AJAR collection of Spanish designs.

Since launching AJAR in 2012, market uptake has been extremely positive. “We are finding that the Australian A+D community and the increasingly design-aware public, recognise the detailing, the design of the product and the quality manufacturing,” says Vallhonrat.

“Quite particular to the Iberian Peninsula,” says Boddington, “is the centuries of traditions of manufacturing and handicrafts. Contemporary designers can use that knowledge to create new products that re-interpret old designs or features – to make something fresh.”

For clients who are familiar with some of the Spanish brands on offer – the dream of being able to specify the modular and customisable product for projects with ease of access – is now a reality.

Resonating with the Australian market are the very “unusual, designs, their elegance, execution, level of detailing, innovation and amazing quality control,” says Boddington.

“Spanish designs, especially emanating from Barcelona - are not afraid to do things differently.”

AJAR has curated Spanish furniture manufacturers that carry the work of both well known Spanish designers and those collaborating with designers from all over Europe.

The level of service provided, like the carefully procured collection, is unique.

Not only do customers have direct access to design advice in store, AJAR get to know a client’s design aesthetics through site visits – commercial and residential settings alike. “As designers, we can assist clients with their functionality needs in a space – and draw those up and design appropriate product for their space.”

 
The ajar story

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