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Collectable Furniture: The Allure of Exclusivity

Harriet Stallibrass in Interior Design Trends — 08.02.2019

"Luxury is the road less travelled", Andrew Martin founder Martin Waller proclaims and when it comes to home decor this means items where exclusivity is guaranteed.
Kapow Chair Neons Cocoa Power Desk Lifestyle

Cushions made out of brass, a punchbag which feigns hitting a brick wall, a cupboard fashioned from miscellaneous suitcases. These are all contemporary design pieces you would have found at the inaugural Collectible Design Fair last March, a redefinition of the traditional trade show exhibiting unique or limited edition collectible furniture from galleries and designers around the world.

The fair, which is about to return to Brussels for its second year, epitomises the trend of 'design art' where the line between these two creative spheres is blurred and furniture is qualified by its exclusivity and sentimental worth as much as its style, material, colour and size.

What is the reason for this? The Akin Changemaker Report 2019 explains a wider shift in the relationship between the retail brand and the individual. Customers want a personal experience: make-up designed especially for your skin tone; smaller, sparser retail space that encourages a rapport with a stylist; a restaurant recommended by an online local rather than through Google hits. With the rise of environmentalism and conscious living comes the decline of fast fashion. People want to invest in a brand's identity, know a product's backstory and regain a sense of self purpose. With this entrusted emotional commitment comes a level of expected reciprocity, that the product is going to be unique or exclusive to them.

Liquorice allsorts, Kit Kats, jelly babies, digestives are part of our national consciousness, rather like a Beatles song. There is a nostalgia aspect to it but it’s bigger than that… they have become a fragment of our identity.

Founder and Creative Director, Martin Waller
The Akin Changemaker Report
Pear Tree Sunset Orange Wallpaper with Faubourg Dining Table and Bespoke Bacall Chairs in Original Andean Textiles

In interiors, we see one-off vintage Ikea products which barely sold at the time, being auctioned for £50,000 a pop and original mid-century pieces whistling through antiques fairs like the Pied Piper. At the Andrew Martin showroom, clients always flock to the strange and wonderful objets d'art which Martin has collected from his global travels and the furniture items which have been upholstered in unique patchwork woven in Indonesia or a mud cloth handmade in Mali. Over 4,000 Instagram users 'liked' the World of Interiors post of our Pear Tree wallpaper lifestyle image, where most of the 70 comments asked after the Bacall Junior Custom chairs upholstered in one-off Andean fabrics.

So it is with this in mind, that amidst our brand new Tutti Frutti furniture and accessories collection, you will find chocolate bar and biscuit look-alike tables, all limited edition to 100 pieces.

The reincarnated Digestives, Kit Kats and Dairy Milks each sport a bronze plaque, the equivalent of Charlie's golden ticket, displaying their limited-edition number and the signatures of their designers Martin Waller and Timothy Oulton.

Also very on trend, is Tutti Frutti's undeniable ability to put a smile on your face, supporting Martin's ethos: "Decoration is a building block of happiness". This, it seems, is an ideal he shares with pop-culture's current favourite, Marie Kondo (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Netflix), who's quantifiable question when deciding to keep or throw an item in your overflowing home is: "Does it bring you joy?". So if the label of 'collectable furniture' wasn't alluring enough, these cool candy pieces will stand the test of time too. Proudly cheerful in your tidy home.

AM Showroom Walton Street