On the Case Furniture with Paul Newman

Offering exquisite furniture from top designers including Matthew Hilton, Shin Azumi and Robin Day, Case Furniture is a brand to covet. ACHICA Living grabs a skinny latte and sits down with Case Furniture co-founder Paul Newman to talk design inspirations, Salon de Mobile, mud and mountains...
                                               

[Above and below] Case Furniture Oki-Nami Chair, Stool and round table by Nazanin Kamali and West Street Armchair by Robin Day


Paul, you launched your first designs at the Salone de Mobile in 1988 – did you always want to be a product designer and how did you get to be one? I initially started a Ceramic degree and transferred to the Furniture course as I found it more challenging. After my degree I started a small workshop and made furniture, anything to pay the bills. It was a chaotic time, but looking back I realise it was a self inflicted apprenticeship and gave me a good understanding of how things work both in terms of construction and business.


[Below] Case Cross Extension Table by Matthew HiltonWhat inspired you to set up Case with Sheridan Coakley (of SCP)? Sheridan and I had been friends for a long time before we set up Case and I respected him as a businessman and a free thinker. The way we had both gone about our businesses SCP and Aero had similarities, but also differences and the concept behind Case was to create well designed, well made furniture at competitive prices. The difference being that rather than distribute it in a conventional way we would work directly with limited retailers to cut out the interim costs.

Which fellow designers inspire you? I am interested in working with designers who understand the balance between function/aesthetics/manufacture and do not have an inflated value of themselves. Inspiration for me comes from all sorts of areas of life, but if I had to pick one artist/designer who I constantly return to then it would be Donald Judd.

What is your all-time favourite furniture piece? Difficult. I really like the Arne Jacobsen 'super eclipse' tables - simple, fantastically practical and elegant.

What influences you daily? I am not sure I get influenced daily anymore. I like travelling, especially on my own as I get time to think and I find that inspiring.

In terms of design, what style/era do you admire? I think the 50’s and 60’s were a great time for furniture, in fact, everything creative, music, art and film. Looking back there are so many fantastically innovative pieces made during this period.

[Below] Case Furniture Cross Pedestal Table with Glass Top by Matthew Hilton



What design/decorating advice would you give anyone wanting to redesign the space in their home? I am not sure I am qualified to give advice, but when I do it myself I think it is important to work out how you want to live in the space and how you could change it to improve the quality of your life, and that is about architecture rather than furniture.

Describe your perfect weekend…Motorcycles, mountains, mud, mates.

[Below]Case Furniture Profile Chair by Matthew Hilton



We have to ask…were you named after the American actor, and how many times in your life has someone asked you that?! I was born in 1961 and the actor was not really famous then. How many times has someone asked me? Too many to remember...

[Below] Case Furniture Bridge Table + chair by Matthew Hilton



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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor