Five minutes with Dan Eagle of Mr. Bigglesworthy

We caught up with Dan Eagle, one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Mr. Bigglesworthy, as the pair celebrate five years in business and launch the New Zealand Modern Collection: a rare and unique collection of early works.

What do you think it is about mid-century design that appeals to so many New Zealanders?
In our complex world there is something enticing about simple, beautifully crafted design that functions really well. Mid-century furniture has a lightness of form and a refined elegance that is very captivating. It also ties into important values like sustainability and a respect for the past.

Tell us about some of your most memorable moments from the past five years.
Our most exciting moments usually involve finding a rare piece of furniture or organising a store event to share our passion for design with other people. Opening our Ponsonby store has been a real highlight as the previous space was about a fifth of the size!

What was the idea behind The New Zealand Modern Collection?
It’s basically the culmination of several years collecting rare and unique local design. We’ve always wanted to showcase some of the great pieces produced here in New Zealand but it’s been difficult to get enough good examples for a dedicated collection. Early this year we managed to get a very rare John Crichton mosaic table from Gisborne and on the drive home we decided the time was finally right.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite pieces from the collection?
The suite of pieces designed by Tibor Donner for the Auckland City Council in 1949 is definitely a highlight. These caused a major scandal when the mayor had them produced. A New Zealand Herald article from 1949 reads “Renovation of Mayoral Office described as ‘a monstrosity’ and ‘something that might have been produced by a member of a tribe in darkest Africa’ by members of the City Council”. They were just a little too ahead of their time for most conservative New Zealanders to appreciate.

Tibor Donner Council Chair, Executive Chair and Council Meeting Table.


Where do you see the next five years taking Mr. Bigglesworthy?
At the moment we’re in a reflective stage. It’s been awesome to make it to five years in business and it feels like it’s gone very quickly. Going forward we plan to stay true to our core values, plan more elaborate projects and photo shoots and continue to expand the narrative and awareness of great design, both from here in New Zealand and internationally.

Five Minutes With James Said Designer Bethany James

What is the James Said design philosophy?

We are all about the glamour. We love luxurious interiors however we do them in a very different way.  We describe our  look as ‘Modern Glamour’ and to achieve this it’s all about layers, creating a luxurious feel in an edgy but elegant way.  All of our sales staff are qualified interior designers and our services are complimentary. We are here to help our customers create amazing spaces and we can be involved as little or a much as they would like us to be.  Given that we are a new style we find that some customers are unsure how to create our look and like us to put together whole rooms for them and it is our pleasure to offer this service. But we are about more than just fabulous furniture.  We want our customers experience to be special with us. When we deliver we also unpack for our customers, place the pieces in the home and take away all the packaging. We offer this service Australia wide.

Tell us about some of your current collections

With over 3000 products on offer our products are changing all the time. At the moment we have a large range of new releases in black marble. Some of our new releases break all the rules and mix gold and silver and we love that.  Sputnik chandeliers are right on trend and we have a selection of these available coordinating with furniture and accessories with a meteor theme. It all sounds a little out there but they are incredible.

How is James Said distinctive from other furniture/homewares stores?

Everything we sell has a nod to the past. As you browse through our site you will notice that many pieces have a mid-century feel, some retro, some Hollywood Regency and Art Deco.  We have stayed true to our style and we love that our look is different from most other stores.

Where do you source your collections from?

Our products come from all over the globe. We have products that come from over 20 countries. Many of our products are also sold in stores likes Harrods in London so we are literally sourcing some of the best products in the world. I am seeing some of the most amazing pieces coming in from Portugal. They certainly have an edge on design and manufacture at the moment.

If you could sum up James Said in 5 words, what would they be?

Modern, Glamorous, Edgy, Elegant and Beautiful.