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Grason Kira is the creative mind and muscle behind the Kira & Kira furniture masterpieces that you’ll find sprinkled throughout their Miami showroom and throughout the homes of their stylish clients. haven spoke to Grason about his inspiration, furniture trends and why we all need his dining table in our lives.

When researching up and coming trends, which countries do you look to for inspiration and why?

This is an interesting question as there are many sources for inspiration. I find there is certainly a general design aesthetic that can be found across different countries’ cultures. The clean Scandinavian and Japanese interior architecture and designs are especially attractive for their general paired-back style and unfussy nature. Personally I look to individual designers both current and from the mid-century era so not necessarily to countries per se. I am enjoying the ‘no rules’ interior interpretations of the ‘new elegance style’ at the moment which is really a mix of old married with new glam which includes a touch of gloss, metal and natural materials with a slight emphasis on patterns and textures. The key to this style is making a hero of just a few great pieces rather than cramming the home with a multitude. Scale, originality and quality are the keys to this look.

You visited Salone del Mobile in Italy earlier this year – the biggest international trade fair of its kind. Can you tell us about your Top 3 favourite pieces that you saw at the event? Any other emerging trends that surprised/excited you?

The annual Salone del Mobile in Milan is a furniture and interior design feast and also featured EuroCucina this year which highlighted kitchen design and technology. There are too many designs to select just three so I found myself attracted to certain emerging styles of furniture. I personally love the use of woven materials in furniture and this was certainly prevalent and continued to be on trend at the fair in Italy this year, from open weave cane right through to industrial marine rope and upholstered tubes for sofa backs right through to rugs and chair seats. 

Curves, curves, curves! there is definitely a trend away from the strong straight sharp edges that we all associate with the popular minimalist interiors, with more emphasis on visually soft lines to downright over-accentuated round anything from table tops right through to chair legs, this was lead by many of the individual European designers pushing new ideas forward for the big design houses.

Do you look up to any particular Australian furniture designers? Who and why? 

Australia has some great furniture designers but I think access to design-orientated manufacturing and innovative fabrication technology has limited the potential of furniture design in many ways. I personally enjoy the work of Jon Goulder, especially in his pieces that play with shapes on multiple planes such as his ‘Amore Mio’ chair. The design is just beautiful and timeless to boot.

Tell us the story behind the Kira & Kira ‘Slightly’ table and where the design inspiration came from?

‘Slightly’ is our latest dining table design that is inspired by those curves so prevalent in Milan this year. The design does away with the classic square table ends and legs, displaying visually interesting elements with accentuated curves both in the table top and also the legs that are reminiscent of an ice block stick. The curved top is reflected in the legs lending a complimentary element throughout this design. 

You’ve had great feedback on the ‘Slightly’ table so far. Why are people loving it? Why do we all ‘need’ it?!

‘Slightly’ is really one of those hero pieces that stand out and challenges the notion of the traditional dining room table that we are all use to. ‘Slightly’ makes a statement and expresses the individuals desire to be ‘a little different’.

When you see a raw piece of timber on a rack in a timber yard or in a hardware store, what goes through your mind?

Raw timber is beautiful in its own right. When I see raw timber it is similar to a sculptor viewing a block of marble for the first time and imagining the form that lies within. It’s the potential that I see in raw timber that stimulates the creativity in me.

Do you have a preference for one material over another? What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

I predominantly work with timber and woven cane. I design in timber because it’s beautiful to work with. It is a soothing material to have in your environment and the process of shaping, joining and moulding is rewarding.

What’s more exciting: Making the very first cut into a raw piece of timber to start a project, or handing over the completed piece to the client?

Both! But I must include the making process as well. It can be exciting but also a test of your skill and creativity when working on prototypes and custom pieces. Realising a vision or idea and watching it come to fruition is most definitely an exciting but nerve racking experience.

Kira & Kira enjoys consulting with clients on their interior spaces and designing custom furniture to help fill those spaces. Tell us about that process?

Our client consultations start in the home. There are so many elements to consider when designing custom furniture for a client’s home. Colour, complimentary materials, scale, space to move around those individual pieces, heights, lighting, visual aspect and outlook when using furniture, ease of communication between people when using the furniture. We always consider blank space around pieces and especially the over all look and feel of that space when everything is complete.

Which is your favourite Kira & Kira furniture piece to manufacture? Why?

I must admit, I do not specifically have a favourite piece of furniture when it comes to making. The ‘making’ process is a result of all the other elements of design coming together to produce the final piece. Like all work, there are pleasurable moments and laborious moments but if I had to pick one element it will always be working with solid timber and specifically oak regardless if it appears in a dining table, console or our pendant lights. It is difficult for anyone to not reach out and touch a beautiful piece of timber furniture and there is a reason for that – there is a calming effect it seems to have that we can all relate to.

Visit www.kiraandkira.com.au

Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.