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wellington | designer

Tara Lordi and John Grimes of Idlewild Furnishings.

Out-Of-The-Ordinary Show Pieces With Equestrian Style At Idlewild Furnishings By Julie Unger

Idlewild Furnishings is unlike any other furniture and accessory store. Specializing in teak wood furniture and pieces from Indonesia, the treasures found at Idlewild range from plantation-style furnishings reminiscent of what would have been found in Singapore’s famed Raffles Hotel 100 years ago to tables and chairs designed by owner John Grimes and his wife Tara Lordi. Grimes opened Idlewild in 1997 after years of coming to Wellington to play polo. He saw furniture being thrown out and saw the opportunity to bring a new type of furniture that would utilize teak and recycled old beams, helping artisans who create hand-crafted works of art to introduce their work to the equestrian community. His focus is on showcase pieces that become heirlooms, passed from generation to generation. Grimes often travels to the islands of Indonesia, particularly Bali, as well as East Timor in search of exquisite teak. “You go into remote areas in the beautiful part of the archipelago of Indonesia,

that’s 6,000 miles of islands, and every island is a little unique,” he said. Grimes has explored remote areas of Indonesia for the last 20 years searching for the perfect pieces to bring back to clients. “We’re not out there chopping trees; we’re using recycled teak,” Lordi noted. Visiting the Idlewild studio, located on Indian Mound Road in southern Wellington, is like visiting a tropical oasis. The studio is situated on a tree farm featuring a home built in Bali that is used for special events. “I think it’s probably the coolest structure in Wellington,” Grimes said.

Idlewild’s work can be seen at locations around Wellington.

There are outdoor sitting areas set up with planters, garden-friendly lounges, stones and Buddha statues, fountains and seating, all set up to showcase the potential of the unique items that Idlewild is able to procure. At the studio, they place pieces together, figure out how they work, and then put them into homes, Grimes explained. There’s a large white wall for photographing pieces — many of the photos can be found on Idlewild’s web site and Facebook page — and exotic furnishings as far as the eye can see. wellington the magazine | july 2017

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Wellington The Magazine July 2017  

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