Keen to break away from traditional retailing methods, Los Angeles-based designer Alexander Purcell Rodrigues sells his quirky home accessories online at Purcell Living rather than at a gallery or store. But the break with convention doesn’t stop there. Aware that his distinctive furniture designs need to be considered within the context of a home environment, he also invites online shoppers to apply for an invitation to visit his trade show-villa in Hollywood. (Custom-made furniture can also be ordered by phone, and orders shipped internationally.)
“People need to experience contemporary furniture in a space they can envision as their own,” he says. Eye-catchers include the hooded Bias high-back dining chair (from £3,040), glass-topped, rustic Log Pile coffee table (first picture, £2,190) – also available as a trestle-legged console table (£1,870) – and the magic carpet-like Stingray lounger (from £4,435).
The Cuscino foam-filled easy chair and ottoman, whose two separate elements are held together with a leather strap similar to those on vintage trunks, can be bought online (third picture, £1,110), as can an outdoor version covered in Sunbrella fabric with nautical nylon straps (£1,155). And anyone looking for unusual gifts will be intrigued by the small, yet innovative, home accessory range. There’s the ball-shaped U lamp (£99) made from hand-blown glass and wrapped in rubber bands, while the porcelain Oink bank (£47) is a contemporary, pared-down version of a traditional piggy bank with two removable cork “ears” for accessing coins.
Just as imaginative is the ceramic Sake Bomb (second picture, £62) – a pouring vessel with four beakers stored on its multiple spines. Inspired by the Fugu Fish (blowfish) and wartime sea mines, it’s certainly a conversational ice-breaker. And if future additions prove equally unusual, then this should prove a site to bookmark.