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Journal

Homegrown | Creative Upholstery

Homegrown is a series highlighting some of our local and loved creative businesses in the community who have been designing and crafting on the local and international stage.  

Today we hear from New Zealand manufacturers, Creative Upholstery who have been in the game for 30 years. Originally supplying the retail sector, they have developed their product offering to ensure the business is equipped to supply not only retail but commercial projects as well.  Chris King tells us more below.

JDT

Give us some background on your company?

CU

Creative Upholstery has a 30 year history evolving from furniture manufacturing for the retail sector expanding to the production of safe and solid upholstered pieces for the retirement home sector, hospitality, commercial builds, shop fit outs along with the original domestic lounge suites for retailers nationwide.  We also service two online stores, sofa beds (Sofabed.co.nz) and bespoke cushions (thecushioncompany.co.nz)
 
The Cushion Company creates bespoke soft furnishings such as window seats and cushions for home and garden and our sofa beds are designed and hand crafted by our gifted team.  We believe that this level of specialisation and ownership means that we can design, manufacture and supply a range of sofabeds that are second to none and offer the sought-after New Zealand Made quality desired by the New Zealand public.

JDT

What is the vision for your business?

CU

Our goal is to introduce the superiority of our upholstery to a wider market. We are renown within our current market for our quality, service and attention to detail and have a proud reputation to deliver the most robust product excellence. We look forward to finding and satisfying more customers across a stream of upholstery services.

JDT

Where can we see your work?

CU

Our latest work can be seen at upmarket establishments like the new Good George bar in Auckland's Viaduct and the recently opened New York Grill in Newmarket's rooftop precinct which boasts 19 metres of Chesterfield leather booth seating. Nothing leaves production substandard.  We are a very hands on, crafted production house with the longevity and excellence of our product being paramount.

JDT

Tell us about your design process.

CU

We listen to our customers. Our 18 retailers are in constant conversation with their customers. Fabrics, features, usability and general design are all noted regularly. What is selling and to whom - we need to be mindful of the age and needs of each demographic.   We gain inspiration from trends and the new evolving living space. We develop old designs to suit or just start from scratch.  
 
We run lean with multi-talented individuals but are scaleable with extra talent on hand when in need. Our Production Manager (and upholsterer) has 30 years experience and our framing (and sewing specialist) has 25 years in the industry.

JDT

What are the key aspects of design?

CU

Craftsmanship and quality are key. As mentioned, we are more boutique than mass produced. Each piece is created by our multi skilled and experienced craftsmen. Comfort coupled with visual aesthetics is a priority using our understanding of materials to marry space, fabric, tone with the desired suppleness. We manufacturer the wooden frames, fill our own cushions, shape the foam, cut and sew the fabric, upholster the frames and even make our own mattresses in our own factory in Auckland. It’s amazing seeing pieces take shape from nothing to a functional, beautiful, long lasting sculpture of comfort.
 
All pieces are rechecked and cleaned from top to bottom then carefully hand wrapped for distribution. We have a 15 year guarantee for our frames using quality New Zealand wood and fixings. Ten years on the New Zealand made foams and fabrics as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. We recommend long lasting quality fabrics rated Heavy Commercial, for all our suites.

JDT

Favourite fabrics?

CU

The FibreGuard range. These offer a competitive price for such good quality and the added FibreGuard protection makes it ideal for upholstered furniture.

JDT

Brands that inspire you?

CU

Disruptive brands such as AirBnb and the international Kiwi brands Xero and All Birds. The Google suite of services is also inspirational and functional as its business features have allowed me to work from anywhere in the country. 

Related

A Q&A with Circa 70, Queensland

Trend & Inspiration

Part 4 in our Buy once, buy well series - we delve into the world of mid-century design and discuss with local upholsterers and retailers who are passionate about the style and their process for restoring these popular pieces of furniture. 

Circa 70 are in Mooloolaba QLD and have the flair and boldness for colour that the state is known for. As well as providing a busy retial and social media space from which to sell their found and reinvigorated treasures, many clients also bring in their existing and inherited pieces to be brought back to life through restoration and re-upholstery. Their pieces travel Australia wide and you will often find designs from Don Rex, Fler, Moderntone and TH Brown but the roster changes constantly!

Opulently textured boucles like James Dunlop Entwine Volcanic have (briefly) found their home here, but you will also find bolder colour like Mokum Nirvana Dawn or James Dunlop Vidos Aqua, and pattern choices such as Tropicalia Coral.