In today’s a journey bespoke Home and Design feature, we meet Raymond of Jakarta-based furniture and homewares brand, Nagarey. The aesthetic of Nagarey has captured our attention repeatedly of late and in our constant pursuit of good coffee, Liz and I have noticed some particularly gorgeous furnishings in some of our favourite spots including Crematology, Ruci Artspace, Woodpecker Cafe and Mister Sunday. Coincidentally, all of these places feature Nagarey’s understated design as well as fabulous coffee.. a double bonus!
Not content to simply appreciate the Nagarey aesthetic from afar, Liz and I felt a genuine need to meet the maker – the person/s responsible for creating furnishings that are so easy on the eye and give a sense of serenity. Fortunately our request for an interview was met with a positive response and so it is with great pleasure that we introduce you to Raymond, Founder and Managing Director of Nagarey.
*Kenalkan Raymond of NAGAREY
1. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself
I was born in Bandung, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province and was then raised in Jakarta. My role at Nagarey is Managing Director.
I left Jakarta for Japan when I was about 14 years old. I did some of my high school years in Tokyo before returning to Jakarta to finish my secondary education. I then returned to Japan to complete my University studies. I studied Economics in Kyoto, then moved to Shanghai to study Chinese*. My first job was in Shanghai, China. I then accepted a position with an Australian startup company, fulfilling the position as Japan Country Manager.
(* Raymond is quite the linguist – He has a passion for languages and speaks Bahasa Indonesia, English, Japanese, Chinese and Thai)
2. When was Nagarey established and what’s in a name?
Nagary was established almost 2 years ago. The name comes from the word naga – which is the Bahasa Indonesia word for dragon. Dragons are considered a lucky charm and coincidentally the word naga also has a positive connotation in the Japanese language. I was therefore able to combine my love of Japanese design and appreciation of language in the name, ‘Nagarey’. I hope that the name will bring me luck!
3. Where does Nagarey seek inspiration for its design?
My family has been in the furniture and home accessories business for 20 years so this industry is not new to me. Our designs are built around the use of natural materials and therefore nature is a key source of inspiration. We also look to the European design scene for inspiration as we work closely with our European customers and absorb their aesthetic point of view.
Interestingly, Indonesia produces almost 40 percent of the world’s furniture, but until recently it has always exported the bulk of this.The eyes of the average middle class Indonesian are now being opened due to International travel and social media. This demographic is now developing and understanding what it means to have a lovely home and the joy of beautiful spaces. People intrinsically have a need for a nice space to live. It’s more than just a place to exist.
4. What is the Nagarey ethos?
We have a ‘Farm to Table’ spirit. Developing sustainable furniture products is important to us. We want to minimise the impact on the environment when creating our pieces and we are also interested in the wellbeing of the maker. We invest in local communities to up-skill the local craftspersons. This means that they can stay in their home villages and do not need to relocate for employment.
5. Please describe the Nagarey style
Our design is eclectic; often rustic and usually warm. I think the best word to describe the Nagarey style is the Danish word, hygge which encompasses the ideas of fun as well as the feelings of coziness, warmth and comfort. The Nagarey style is definitely not pretentious.
6. Who is the Nagarey shopper?
Currently Nagarey’s main customers are from Denmark, Sweden and Spain, however locally-speaking, young couples living in innercity apartments are an emerging customer base. Our design works well with the smaller space afforded by apartment living. South Jakarta, an area that is both popular with expats and locals, also provides us with customers who appreciate our aesthetic.
7. Does Nagarey use sustainable materials and where are materials sourced?
In most cases, the materials to create our products can be classified as sustainable. We use natural and raw materials including timber from Central Java (mainly Suar and Teak timber), marble from Borneo, rattan, water hyacinth and banana leaf from Sulawesi and seagrass harvested from across the archipelago.
Although not a renewable source, the iron used in the framing of seats and tables is also from Jakarta. We never use HPL (high pressure laminates) and any paints used are always of EU standards. To minimise waste, we use offcuts such as branches for the legs of stools and timber cross-sections as surfaces of small tables. Everything is 100 percent hand made from 100% Indonesian materials.
8. Please suggest 3 Nagarey pieces that you believe are essentials for the Jakarta home?
Seagrass baskets for organising your bits and pieces
Rodrigo loungechair (black and natural)
9. Do you feel that the average consumer’s attitude towards the use of local, sustainable materials has changed during your time in this area?
I’d say it is definitely on the improve but more education and exposure is needed. Improved education will make a significant contribution towards creating a greater appreciation for the use of sustainable materials.
The local market needs to learn to appreciate what Indonesian artisans are capable of making. People need to value sustainable materials – most Indonesian people are still more impressed by materials being ‘new’ and the notion of ‘recycled’ isn’t seen as one that is valued.
10. Where are some of the more far-flung places that Nagarey products can be found?
Our products can be found in many counties including Denmark, France, Taiwan and Greece. We actually have agents across Europe.
11. Where can we buy Nagarey products?
Online is definitely the best place to find our complete range.
Also, we have an exciting new project, Bohemian House Store on the cards. This will have samples and one off pieces. It will be opening its doors pretty soon. Follow us on Instagram to be the first to know the opening date!
12. Any projects for the future that you would like to share?
Bohemiam House -sample sales and ‘one off’ objects
Custom-made and outdoor furniture (check out online for details)
We asked Raymond to share with us his personal insights into his Jakarta. This is what he said:
15. 3 words to describe Raymond’s Jakarta
chaos, traffic jam, opportunity
Interested in Jakarta-based furniture and homeware design? Check out our following posts:
Sustainable Furniture Jakarta – #1 Ethnicraft
Sustainable Furniture Jakarta – #2 Casaka Wood and Living
Sustainable Furniture Jakarta – #3 Koi Furniture Art and Decorating
* Kenalkan – Let me introduce
Words: Jo Photography: Nagarey and a journey bespoke