Throughout a career spanning more than three decades, Jeffery Roberts has expressed himself through fine art, interior design, fashion design, and furniture design. In April, Kindel Grand Rapids debuted its Jeffery Roberts Collection at the High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world. While Roberts has long included furniture design in his repertoire, this occasion marked its first availability to the marketplace at large.
“High Point was awesome. The collection was well received. We got great input and we even got some orders,” he says. “It’s been a real positive experience to be able to work with a manufacturer that understands luxury and high-end manufacturing—it’s American-made, it’s local. For me, those are all strong attributes of what I want my furniture to be about.”
Roberts’ residential and commercial commissions have earned him a loyal international clientele. As co-founder and principal designer of Robave, a Chicago-based lifestyle business, he provided designs to more than 200 boutique and specialty shops nationally. Roberts’ work has been featured in The New York Times Style Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and many other publications.
Roberts approaches furniture design like he approaches any other medium, from an artist’s viewpoint, i.e., creativity expressing a message through execution.
“In various ways, in furniture it shows up with the execution of finishes, the style, and design of the pieces, from, for example, an architectural point of view, a reclaimed point of view, or scale and exaggerated size of some of the components to express a feeling,” he says. “I think for me, (furniture design) is another very logical avenue of expressing my art and what I see as a continuation of my design career.”
Kindel Grand Rapids’ Jeffery Roberts Collection includes soft goods like sofas and chairs, end tables, side tables, cocktail tables, an antique-inspired library table, and a long, hall console with architectural origins. Roberts’ reverence for history and nature is inherent in his designs.
“I’ve started a collection that’s very much about emphasizing lifestyle versus pieces or individual components. It’s about expressing the Jeffery Roberts lifestyle,” Roberts says. “You can mix and match pieces or use them individually. Definitely, there’s an eclecticism that allows you to have an eccentric mix of finishes and styles that keep it from looking like you bought a ‘set’ of furniture.”
While his furniture collection is not yet available in any Grand Rapids retail locations, the High Point Market has introduced it nationally. Those who would like to purchase it locally can contact Roberts directly.
“I’m my own dealer,” he says.
Written by Estelle Slootmaker, Development News Editor
Photos and video courtesy Jeffery Roberts Design.