decor, Interviews

Five minutes with... Anna Weylandt

Karl Rogers / Supplied
Anna Weylandt (24) is a furniture buyer at Weylandts, where she works alongside her father, Chris Weylandt, who is the founder and owner of Weylandts. Here, Anna opens up to us about her personal style, her favourite designs and what it’s like to work with her dad every day.
Chris and Anna Weylandt

You were exposed to creativity and design from a young age. How has your background influenced your career choice? I was always a creative child. Although I always knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved design, I didn’t always know that I would be involved in the family business. My ability to put things together as well as my passion for design evolved with age as I began to explore my personal creativity more. I attended the Design Time School of Interior Design and in 2013, with a national diploma in interior design, I decided to dive straight into the industry and get hands-on experience. I worked in commercial and hospitality interior design for two years prior to joining my dad and the Weylandts team as a furniture buyer. Are design trends important to your decision-making process when deciding on items of furniture to sell at Weylandts, or is the overall ethos of the Weylandts brand more important in terms of guiding your thinking? We do look at design trends, but do not automatically translate those exact trends into products. Weylandts has a very specific design language and we believe that our customers are buying into our brand, rather than buying into what is fashionable at the time. Where we do look at trends is more in terms of how and where people live and their attitudes towards products – for example, how many people are moving to smaller homes and apartments and an appreciation for the bespoke and hand made. Can you describe what your average day looks like? Besides e-mails, I like to catch up on international design blogs to start my day with some inspiration. Other than that, every day is different. Some days are purely creative – range building, fabric reviews, designing new products or spending a day in the factory reviewing final details on prototypes (my favourite kind of day). On other days I am working on costings, orders, working with our international suppliers via email and just making sure we have new product in our stores. Of all the designs that you have worked on thus far in your time at Weylandts, which item of furniture is your favourite and why? There are so many to choose from. All new product development we work on is extremely rewarding. When you see it in the store or in someone’s home for the first time, it is a really proud feeling. As a buyer you should be passionate and believe in every product you design and select, but I would have to say that my favorite would have to be the Ixina range. It took us over three months to just develop the oil finish that sets it apart from our other products. I loved designing the delicate steel and brass legs on this range. There is a lot of hidden detail in the product that makes it so elegant and contemporary.
A drinks cabinet from the Ixina range at Weylandts

What do you love most about the Weylandts brand and working alongside your dad? I love that anyone can identify with the brand and the products we offer. Working alongside my father is truly amazing. Not only am I able to pick his brain and absorb his knowledge but we really enjoy creating things together and we both find it so rewarding. We feed off each other’s energy and style, and have a very similar taste and appreciation for things so we are (mostly) on the same page when it comes to decisions. What does your home look like? Being an interior designer, I love so many different looks, so it’s difficult to explain my personal style. My apartment has a Scandinavian feel with darker colours (grey and white oak) and an eclectic mix of trinkets. I’m a bit of a collector, so I showcase my books, plants, souvenirs and art all over my home. At the moment I’m obsessed with midnight blues, emeralds and mustard. My favourite pieces in my home are very special dining chairs, which are original Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs previously owned by my grandparents. What’s your best-loved lighting design – the one that you’d like to put in your dream home? I would love an Atollo table lamp by Vico Magistretti or a rotating wall sconce by Serge Mouille.
Atollo table lamps by Vico Magistretti

You mentioned that your favourite colours right now are midnight blues, emeralds and mustard. What’s your view of Pantone’s colour of 2017, Greenery, which they describe as ‘symbolic of new beginnings’? I really love the sentiment, but for me, the interpretation is too literal. It’s not a colour I would put in my home – I prefer a real green plant – but I am interested to see how designers are going to use it. Correction: the January/February 2017 print version of this interview incorrectly referred to Anna Weylandt as the founder and owner of Weylandts. It is her father, Chris Weylandt, who founded and owns the business.