HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitor, Ashleigh Harrington of Flaunt Concepts has an uncanny talent for creating simplistic furniture that doubles as functional art. We caught up with this design maverick recently and she clued us in on what inspires her.

Ashleigh Harrington

How did you get into design?

I have a very curious nature. I’m a creative. Right-brained and inquisitive. By day, I’m an interior architect. I love knowing how things work and the process they go through to be manufactured.

Your furniture is completely unique. How would you describe your particular aesthetic?

Flaunt’s mantra is ‘Furniture is the Form of Functional Art’. Design first, followed by functionality, aesthetics and last but not least I indulge in the details. Flaunt’s true aesthetic lies in the definition of its name. Flaunt: “to display (something) ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.”

What informed the decision to use the materials in your latest range?

I do research and ask a lot of questions. Natural finished products are so much more appealing to me than anything else. Warm woods, colours, black textured metals and copper plated items are juxtaposed by concrete, and naturally beautiful plants. Hence I’m always searching for natural finishes or products which works in favour of Flaunt’s sustainability policy. I also check and control as much of the carbon footprint as I can.

What does great home design mean to you?

Creating a desirable object that is also functional or making a statement with simplicity. If a designer is able to meet the needs of the brief and have people talking, good or bad, that is great design. It solicits a reaction.

What inspires you?

Anything! And everything! Maybe not at that particular moment, but it manifests in my design process when I’m patient.

You mentioned that you take a lot of inspiration from Scandinavia. What is it about this specific design style that appeals to you?

We lend from the minimalism approach of its design principles. It’s why I think some of the most beautiful designs come from the Scandinavian region

What do you love about what you do?

I create aesthetically beautiful pieces that are functional and artistically beautiful.

If you had to choose three items that you feel are the perfect representation of your aesthetic from the your latest range, which items would you pick?

The Showstopper Closet, the 2-Faced Mirror and the Soft Shelf.

Is there anything in particular that strikes you about South African design? Particularly from Johannesburg…

It’s unique and has potential to compete with any other international competitor.

What is on the horizon for the next year?

Possibly a new home for Flaunt. Expanding on a range – our international request for shipping is quite big. Maybe the next step is going international?

Take a look at some of Flaunt Concepts exciting products by visiting their website: www.flauntconcepts.co.za