Cutting-edge contemporary furniture for outdoor spaces
The arrival of Indian Ocean on the furniture design scene in 1990 coincided with a shift in the way we use and view our outdoor living spaces.
Co-founder and managing director, Jamie Hobbs, gave up his job in the City aged 26 to start the business. At the time, his father was the Honorary Consul to Madagascar, and Jamie had acquired an insider’s view of what this island nation had to offer. After weeks of visiting factories he came across one that made beautiful oversized teak parasols. He knew instinctively and immediately that this was a unique product that would be interesting in England – and he was right. He launched as an importer of these, following up with a complementary collection of teak garden furniture and named the business Indian Ocean, in homage to its inspiration.
Elegant, comfortable ‘heritage’ pieces remain part of the core collection, as does a commitment to the finest quality materials, detail and high-spec finishes. But – over 28 years on from its simple beginnings – the brand has gone higher-octane. Today, Indian Ocean designs and produces luxurious outdoor furniture and creates design concepts for your balcony, country garden, outdoor kitchen or superyacht. Contemporary designs, including outdoor lighting and electric sunshades, now form part of the collection, which can be viewed at Indian Ocean’s two London stores (Balham and Hampstead) and at Harrods.
Indian Ocean is at the forefront of design and constantly launches products to keep the collection relevant, breaking boundaries with designs that surpass the criteria for furniture that is destined for outdoors. ‘Each piece,’ says Jamie, ‘begins with our desire to combine the pleasures of tradition with excellence in design, comfort and practicality – based on how we use our outdoor spaces today. An initial concept can take up to two years to perfect: from sketch to model, then on to the sample stage before it passes the tough criteria to become part of a new collection.’Fulfilling that criteria and new this year, the sculptural Pimlico Club Chair has solid teak tapered legs, a rounded silhouette and a formal rope design to give it a modern look. Equally striking is the powder-coated steel Olympia Sofa Collection, which has an all-weather rope frame in anelegant, hexagonal geometric pattern.
All orders are dispatched from a UK warehouse by specialised delivery teams, ensuring that every aspect of the purchase process is not just a simple experience, but also a pleasurable one. Having grown its expertise in shipping overseas, just over a year ago Indian Ocean embarked on a strategy to establish a network of international representatives; their products now have a presence in New York, Cairo and the Algarve with more locations to come. Numbering 30 staff in London, Indian Ocean is small and agile enough to be able to respond in a direct and personalised way to the special requests of its time-poor A-list client base. Someone from the design and planning service can be with you in a whisper, measuring up your garden and presenting bespoke design solutions. In other words, just what the modern sophisticate needs to be at the forefront of stylish outdoor living.
Indian Ocean, 155-163 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9DJ. +44 (0)20 8675 4808