Friday, January 15, 2010

Bobo Intriguing Objects

In my market recap post, I mentioned the showroom that I could move right into and set
up residence... Bobo Intriguing objects. "Juxtaposition" is my favorite design technique, and Bobo owners Mark Sage and Rudy Njissen are masters at it. They are so good at it, that the style they have made famous landed right onto the pages and the retail floors of Restoration Hardware. While some in the design industry cry "sellout"...I do just the opposite. I believe that great design should be available at EVERY level of the market. And... selfishly, I am happy that (yet another) design trend I was emotionally drawn to years ago is embraced and celebrated by designers and the average Joe alike. It tells me I'm good at what I do. ;-) I also know that the Bobo team is strong and talented enough to keep all of us interested for years to come. Their showroom at the January market was loaded with new-old stuff that won't necessarily be seen at the mass level...especially their antique and vintage one-of-a-kinds.

I had a chance to sit down and interview Heather Antonelli, who recently joined Bobo in product development and scours every corner of the globe to find and create new furniture pieces, lighting, accessories, art and...well...other intriguing objects. Bobo stands for Bohemian Bourgeois, and is an eclectic mix of pieces with a heavy Belgian influence. (This is based on Mark and Rudy's many years of experience dealing antiques from that country).

"Refined Earthiness" is how Heather best sums it up, and it's what I love so much about their style. (There's that juxtaposition thing again)! Classic a basic wing chair...are exaggerated in scale for impact and then covered with bleached, slightly flawed canvas. I immediately want to sit in it. Wearing a tee shirt, holey jeans and stilettos.

Scale is purposely large as some of Bobo's pieces are reproductions of cabinets from old pharmacies and bakeries in Belgium...and some of these repros are even fitted with old, leaded glass doors.

Bobo is really big on re-using and re-purposing materials, another reason why I love them so much. Mundane items (like a brick maker's palette) laying around their Polish factory might wind up as a coffee table. Reclaimed railroad ties from Europe's old abandoned railroads are being scooped up and turned into shelves and table tops. Recycled tires look and feel just like slate and are used to top delicate iron accent tables. An elegantly lined bench is topped with a cushion upholstered in old truck tarp material. Gnarled sticks from the factory yard are cut into bits, hollowed out and strung together to create super cool light fixtures!...All of this is complimented by a small spot of mercury glass, a crystal chandelier and some over-scaled fine art.

It's this interesting play of rough and refined, classic and rustic, with just a smidge of opulence thrown in that makes Bobo so appealing to so many...including me.

(P.S. I know I promised video from the Atlanta Market, but my videography skills are clearly sub-par. I will eventually master my new Flip camera...Until then, I hope the photos suffice).

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME !! I love BOBO at the Atlanta Market, great stuff ..and I agree great design elements should be available at every level of the market. And it's even better when it's not being seen on a mass level or mass produced.. Great design elements are personal! Your pictures really captured their space well, you got some great shots ..
    Thanks again for sharing !