How Dave picks a chair

A lot of thought goes into curating Malmo’s collection

You might think selling furniture is a matter of hooking up with a supplier, filling up a storage container and waiting for the orders to roll in. But there’s a lot more to it than that, as Malmo Living’s own Dave Eiszele explains.


First up, what do you look for in a design?

“The criteria is definitely that Scandinavian contemporary modern look. It’s got to engage me at some level, either in its design features or its overall presence. If I find myself turning back to look at it a few times then I know its a good product.  It must be something which delivers in quality, but also delivers in a reasonable price tag. Finally I would say its how it presents but also how it feels – it’s a combination of both of those things. It’s that tried and true idea that it’s got to look good, but it’s also got to be functional.”


How do you determine that?

“It’s a lot of sitting around in chairs. Sounds like a lazy thing, but you’ve got to sit in a lot of chairs, and you’ve got to poke and prod them. I like picking things up, turning them upside down, having a look at them, but that's just me. I like turning chairs upside down just because you’ve got to know how the bottom is secured. If it doesn’t make sense to you, it’s not going to make sense to anyone who’s actually putting it together. And if they haven't done a good job tidying up the bottom and making the bottom part of the chair clean, then what else haven’t they done correctly? You pick up small details.”


Who are you picturing, when you’re looking at your upside-down chairs?

“When I’m upside down, looking at the bottom of a chair, I’m thinking of myself all the time. No! We are looking at people who want to refurbish, renovate or restyle one of their living spaces. To put an age range on that, to put a demographic, yeah I could do that, but it constantly surprises me people I’ve known who are out of my age group. They’re quite a bit older, people in their mid-sixties... Well, people who are established have a number of different rooms they haven’t touched for awhile. Either they’re downsizing or their kids have left and they’re going, ‘What am I doing with this space now?’”


You also have a strong stance on using original designs.

“We’re quite proud to not have any replicas. The organisation for Designers in Australia has gone out there and said, ‘Look, replicas are actually fakes.’ Which means people aren't getting awarded their royalties or artistic or design dues for the work they've created. They're essentially rip-offs.

“Obviously people can redesign things to a certain percentage, making something new and that’s innovation. Right? People take a phone like the iPhone and develop it into something new. But to make an exact 100 per cent copy, that is a replica and that is a rip-off. That’s not innovative. That’s not looking at something and going, ‘Well, I can do it slightly better.’ Innovation and development is good, but exact copying – we don’t support that. We’re looking forward to having more of these original designs out there for the Australian public to see.”