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Susan turns heads with her tables

13 Jan 2016

Susan Robinson turned the tables on her love of interiors, creating a range of simple and stylish furniture coloured with Resene paint. Now, it seems we can’t get enough of her distinctive designs.

She tells us how her creative business venture developed.

How did you get started with your table designs, and how has the business grown?

I trained as an interior designer, but took a break from full-time work to start a family. During this time at home I started experimenting with interior furniture and fell in love with plywood as a versatile, modern and affordable medium. This led to creating my first design of a simple, stylish bedside table in a signature style. The business has grown organically from that design as the ideas have developed.

How would you describe the style you have chosen? What has influenced that?

I am influenced and inspired by mid-century and Scandinavian design. My motto is 'simple, beautiful, affordable ply', and I keep that in the forefront of the process as new ideas grow.  

Colour seems integral to your designs – how did that come about, and how did you decide what colours to use?

I love colour! There's something about it that evokes happy memories of my childhood. I'll never forget sitting on the floor as my first Lego pieces clattered out of the container and the joy that those bright primary colours brought to me. I'm now influenced by international trends as well as colours inspired by travel and architecture. When I see a beautiful colour, I want to transfer that into a new piece!

How has that colour use developed? You’re using stencils and patterns now as well as blocks of colour?

One of the joys of being a designer is the scope to develop and rework themes. I'm loving the way the use of pattern opens up new doors (no pun intended). I am having fun with the designs and that joy translates into my work. I love my new range; the patterns and colours are modern and fun-filled.

Do you have a favourite piece? 

I am in the process of making a mini-sideboard as a bespoke order for a new customer. This one is for the bold and the brave and I have fallen in love with it. I still get a kick out of getting a photo of one of my pieces sitting proudly in a customer’s home and hearing how happy they are with it – makes all the hard work totally worthwhile!

And a favourite colour?

I can't go past yellow as my favourite. From the first Lego block to a bunch of daffodils to a brand new SRD (Susan Robinson Design) side-table, yellow just lifts my mood and brightens my day. 

pictures Melanie Jenkins, styled by LeeAnn Yare (top). Other pictures: supplied.