The New Zealand way: locally-designed furniture

New Zealand furniture and cabinetry manufacturers have historically had a hard time competing with lower-priced imported pieces. For many businesses, this stiff competition has meant their hand has been forced and they’ve eventually closed their doors.

For Waikato-based designers and manufacturers Ezi-Rest, they’ve also faced an ongoing struggle with cheaper imported furniture particularly. “What we provide is customised and bespoke bedroom furniture that has a real point of difference, and people appreciate the ability to choose pieces that create a unique element in their homes,” Ezi-Rest Furniture’s Fiona Neville says.

Ezi-Rest also design and manufacture kitchens locally, and Fiona says people are becoming more interested in locally-made customised kitchens for the same reasons as furniture – they’re unique, personal and they’re a more sustainable option.

“Our pieces are made to last a lifetime. The furniture in particular stands the test of time; they’re pieces that can be passed down through the generations and will still look contemporary in years to come.”

That’s because, Fiona says, they’re made predominantly with Rimu and are in stark contrast to many of the cheaper imported beds and bedroom furniture that may be on trend. “Those pieces are throw-away items though; they’re designed to last only short periods of time and their price reflects that. We don’t believe in the concept of throw-away furniture because it’s not sustainable and more and more of the market is realising the issues with this type of consumerism.”

Ezi-Rest Furniture is quite distinctive; each piece has a point of difference no matter how subtle. “They’re well thought out with designs taking lots of time to get right,” Fiona says. “That could be, for example, the float bed where the legs have been concealed in order to avoid people stepping on them, or unique headboards or simple lines. Each piece has something that you won’t find on other furniture; these are designed by Kiwis for Kiwis.”

For Fiona and the team at Ezi-Rest, the recent evolution into manufacturing kitchens was a logical step with people looking for more original, timeless designs of a higher quality than is possible to achieved from standardised imported options, she says.

“When you buy a piece of furniture or invest in a new kitchen, you want it to be something you’re proud of and something that adds to the house. In the case of kitchens, they are the heart of the home and a place where you’ll no doubt spend a lot of time so it’s important to be able to achieve something unique as well as functional and of a high quality that works with your needs.”

Ezi-Rest Furniture is based in the Waikato but works nationwide both with architects and designers as well as directly with clients.

If you’re interested in the benefits of locally designed and made furniture, get in touch with Ezi-Rest Furniture on ARchiPro here to peruse their latest work.