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Oliver Haslegrave

Published on 08 Jun 2021

Oliver Haslegrave - The Creative Director & Founder of Home Studios gives us an insight into the inspiration behind his work.

Q. What architects, interior or product designers do you admire?

A. Eileen Gray is maybe the most admired designer in our studio. I love everything about E-1027, and her commitment to custom work and experimental design are values we share in the studio. A few years ago several of us were able to tour Villa Borsani, outside Milan, which is another lasting influence - we reference details there all the time. And Casa Barragan [in Mexico City] - I was able to see it in 2015 and that made a huge impression on me.


Q. Orior furniture is hand made in (Northern) Ireland. Have you ever been to Ireland, have family from Ireland, or have any connection to Ireland?

A. I have never been but will be going in September for the first time to run the Dingle marathon! One of our clients is from there and told me about it.

Q. What city or cities has influenced and/or inspired you the most?

A. Outside of New York, Paris is my favorite city. Many of our favorite designers are French, and I try to go whenever I can not only for design, but, predictably, restaurants too. Some highlights from the last trip were meals at Le Servan, Jones and Chambelland. Also Milan - several of us from the studio have gone the last four years for Salone [the furniture fair], and those few days are amazing. In addition to the show, we tour Villa Necchi each year, and Villa Borsani was hugely inspirational.


It took 5 weeks from start to finish to make your Mula mirror, often by someone who has been with the company since its early days.

Q. What things/activities in your life do you dedicate this type of time to?

A. Professionally, all of our work at the studio is like that, with our interiors projects taking months or often years. But as a team we really enjoy the process, and it’s so gratifying to see what’s possible with all that effort.


Q. Orior furniture is hand made in (Northern) Ireland. Have you ever been to Ireland, have family from Ireland, or have any connection to Ireland?

A. I have never been but will be going in September for the first time to run the Dingle marathon! One of our clients is from there and told me about it.

(@orior_furniture)

(@instagram)

Q. What is the importance, if any, of making things by hand?

A. For one, it can be really fun and gratifying. It’s also the best way I’ve found to learn – you have to understand the nuances of each step in the process to finish. And by doing that you can enter a different headspace, and see ideas you might not by drawing or modeling. For the first four years of Home Studios we built the projects ourselves, so I have made a lot of interiors, furniture and lighting by hand. We’ve grown since then, so now it’s drawing and prototyping, and we’re going to start making scaled models as well.


Q. Do you live with any family heirlooms? If so, please describe the piece and its history.

A. We don’t really have heirloom furniture in my family but my most prized possession is a blanket my mom made for me when I was 2. I’ve never gone anywhere without it.

Q. What is the importance, if any, of making things by hand?

A. For one, it can be really fun and gratifying. It’s also the best way I’ve found to learn – you have to understand the nuances of each step in the process to finish. And by doing that you can enter a different headspace, and see ideas you might not by drawing or modeling. For the first four years of Home Studios we built the projects ourselves, so I have made a lot of interiors, furniture and lighting by hand. We’ve grown since then, so now it’s drawing and prototyping, and we’re going to start making scaled models as well.


Q. Give us three reasons you chose the piece you chose? What about it appealed?

A. I’m a big fan of mirrors – we’ve designed two for our Homework collection. I love solid wood as a material. And anything with a bookshelf always catches my eye.

Q. Was there a runner-up?

A. It was tough choice between the Mula mirror and the Andre chair.


Q. Where does this piece live now, and how do you use it?

A. In our apartment in Brooklyn. Beyond the traditional use we do keep books on it. Also it’s low enough that Bo, our dog, can see herself in it, which I think she appreciates.

Text by Rima Suqi
Photography by Jonathan Hokklo