As we mark this winter 2015-2016 season by celebrating a decade of A+R, it’s telling in this age of Amazonian retailers and “boutique” brands backed by VC’s, that there are always clients surprised to learn that there really is someone behind the “A”—Andy Griffith—and the “R”—Rose Apodaca. (Yep, and we count on an amazing team of individuals in-store and in HQ devoted to design, too.)
So, by way of introduction or even re-introduction, we’d like to observe our 10th anniversary and this latest roll-out today of our 9-year-old online shop, by sharing a bit about ourselves that you won’t find on the “About” page of our site (although we do encourage you to visit it). And even as our blog undergoes a few tweaks in the coming weeks, we urge you to return again and again and especially after it relaunches to get the scoop on everything happening at Planet A+R, in-store, behind the scenes and in our life. Thank you for being a part of it these extraordinary 10 years!
How would you describe your personal style?
Our personal style is not unlike our public style showcased at our A+R store or online: we embrace vibrant color, new design and unexpected perspectives. Whether it’s a table or a drawing, we especially appreciate a small detail of quirkiness. It doesn’t have to be blatant. We love a tiny twist. For Andy, it might be his penchant for striped Paul Smith socks. Rose likes a cat eye liner in blue or lavendar with her brown eyes. We recently acquired a work by Mattia Biagi in which he re-purposed an antique print of a soldier by giving his head a spray of black tar, a signature medium for this Italian artist who lives in LA with his equally talented wife Valerj Pobega. Furniture-wise, it can be the bright yellow pop of the regal Raw Armchair in our living room, which was sawed into shape by Jens Fager for Muuto.
What do you collect?
Since we met in early 2005, we’ve been developing 2 collections: one in ceramics; the other photography. Of course, each has a focus. The first interest comes in part because of Andy’s mother, who was an accomplished ceramicist. While we cherish the smaller pieces we have throughout the house, we hope to some day bring back a couple of the oversized gems in her dreamy cottage on the Welsh borders. We’ve since added several pieces by our friend Adam Silverman, some in collaboration with wood turner Alma Allen, and another rare piece of clay “stitched” in bright yarn by Adam’s wife, the artist Louise Bonnet. Adam surprised us with a pot made from the ashes he collected the morning after the beach bonfire raging the night of our wedding in Mexico in 2007. On our anniversary annually, we try to add another ceramic or photograph to our slowly growing collection of images involving food and drink (2 activities we engage in heartily!).
What was the first piece of art you bought?
As a couple, the first piece of artwork we acquired was a drawing by London artist Nicola Tyson at a LACE fundraiser auction we attended. We’d only started dating a few months before, but we were already on the path to going into business together as A+R.
What was the first piece of modern design you bought together?
Make that modern as in Mid-Century. It was a Milo Baughman sofa with a solid dark wood frame that we picked up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. We re-upholstered it in a Tord Boontje textile for Kvadrat that was bright blue with a crazy floral pattern that looked like it was scribbled on the fabric in a darker blue and bright white. It was a thick wool and we live in L.A., so we usually covered it in a soft cotton throw to survive a movie viewing! We sold it about 3 years ago when we started selling furniture and we ordered a modular Mags Sofa by Hay—in the same bright blue color, but this time in the Steelcut Trio from Kvadrat. A version in this color and fabric is now on the front page of our new site, although it sold a week after our photo shoot with one of our fave photographers, Ramona Rosales. Our blue Mags remains across from the TV in our media room—no cotton cover required.
What was the first piece of new design you bought together? A group of white glazed and terracotta jugs by young Portuguese artists inspired by the traditional water jug. We bought the 5 of them on our first trip to London together. Three of them now are now atop a cabinet in the kitchen, and the other 2—including one with a bottle opening in the shape of voluptuous lips—are in Rose’s home office.
Favorite host city to shop the design shows and design?
Rose: Milan (specifically, Salone del Mobile), London and Mexico City. Do I have to chose one?
What reading is on your bedside table right now?
We both have a habit of alternating between books and an endless heap of magazines, and we’re now nose deep in…
Rose: Gods and Kings by Dana Thomas and A Story Lately Told by Anjelica Huston
Andy: Slade House by David Mitchell and Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
Nightly, what’s on the other end of the remote control?
Rose: The Daily Show and whatever news clips, lame or good, are on rotation on Roku
Andy: The Walking Dead
What dish do you think the other excels at in the kitchen?
Andy: Rose likes to say she’s not good in the kitchen, but she can assemble a really great sandwich.
Rose: Andy aces at anything in the kitchen. Seriously. As I met his friends during our first few months together, among their first questions always, “Did he cook for you yet?”
Ten years into your personal relationship and your business partnership, what keeps you together?
Never being bored. An appetite for good food and a well-made cocktail. Maintaining a reality check in what matters in life—and that includes our incredible 5-year-old daughter, Nina. Never going to sleep for the night without a kiss.
Photo by Ramona Rosales for A+R