An exclusive interview with Furniture designer Chris Weylandt

BY JESICA SLABBERT - DECEMBER 7, 2018

After a widely successful opening of their first store in Port Elizabeth, Home, Food & Travel had an exclusive interview with furniture designer and owner of Weylandt Home Outfitters, Chris Weylandt about his inspiration and drive for furniture, as well as any emerging furniture trends.

  1. What inspired you to create furniture?

“I grew up in Nambia and I think the wide-open landscapes around me influenced my sense of aesthetics. My dad opened a furniture store in Windhoek, importing beautiful furniture and travelling to source rare products. This definitely rubbed off on me and I decided, after studying, that design was my real passion.”

  1. How long have you been in the business of furniture?

"Because my father started a traditional furniture store in 1964 (incidentally the year I was born in), basically all my life. I opened Weylandts’ first retail store in Durbanville in 1999."

  1. What made you decide to come to Port Elizabeth?

“Our brand has been growing consistently and after looking at the market, we realised that PE offered us an opportunity for expansion. We also realised that building an inspiring stand-alone store in the up-and-coming suburb of Walmer will be something that locals would definitely engage with and appreciate.”

  1. What has the reception been like since you opened in Port Elizabeth?

“The response has been incredible so far. Our opening was a great success and it seems like PE customers are in tune with what we offer as a brand.”

  1. What can locals expect from your store?

“The theme of the store is ‘The Collector of Landscapes’ and is inspired by the textures and colours of a wide range of landscapes — from muted sandscapes to dark forests,”

“We see this store as the blueprint of future Weylandts stores — a store that is functional, environmentally friendly and inspiring, and the ideal setting for our unique furniture and homeware. Incorporating the giant fig tree, the new store also features a fireplace and an indoor-outdoor seating area for The Kitchen, Weylandts’ contemporary bistro-style restaurant and coffee shop. In short, a place to feel inspired in.”

  1. What separated you from other furniture stores?

“I believe it’s our ability to offer beautiful and exceptionally well-made furniture and homeware at very reasonable prices. We’re about bold design with soul, and about combining clean, confident design with the raw textures of Mother Nature. There is no substitute for good taste and quality, and we strive to make beautiful living easy and accessible to everyone.”

When asked about the latest furniture trends that have been popping up, Chris mentioned that natural and bold material; among others seem to be becoming a lot more popular as of late.

“Authentic, natural materials like wood, leather and handwoven fabrics are trending at the moment, as well as the use of concrete. It’s such a raw, durable and understated material and can be combined beautifully with other materials,” said Chris.

Bold patterns are used to create warmth and depth, and smaller furniture and clever storage solutions are becoming a lot more common.

“A move is being made towards smaller furniture and clever storage solutions for smaller, urban spaces. Our Modernist lifestyle collection is an excellent example of this,” Chris stated.

It seems that people are turning outdoor spaces into something like an extra room as more details are being placed on outdoor furniture and the boundaries between indoor and outdoor seem to blur.

“Craftsmanship and attention to handmade finishes are trending as well. In the digital era, this is becoming increasingly important as people have a need to connect with the real, tactile world. The trend of greenery also seems to be growing and growing,” said Chris.

Modular sofas keep growing in popularity due to their versatility and informal nature.

“There is a huge focus on detail lately. Embellishments, handstitched finishes, tassels and other textural details distinguish generic products from truly unique ones. Strong geometric and tribal patterns in carpets are also increasing in popularity.”

The Weylandts Home Outfitters store in Port Elizabeth can be found in 220 Main Road, Walmer.

For more information, visit www.weylandts.co.za.

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Contact Franchisee Liandé Barnard
Eastern Cape contact number 086 163 6845
Eastern Cape email address exec4@ricochetpublishing.co.za