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By Eric Heinz
Something different. That’s the theme of Ulloo Forty-Two (OOO-Loo), an artistic furniture company that has sprouted from Southern California.
Basically, whatever Ulloo Forty-Two’s creator Suzanne Currie thinks is appealing makes it onto the upholstery or the color scheme of the paint used on the furniture. Her ideas range from modern chic to Dr. Seuss-like patterns.
An ottoman designed by Suzanne Currie on display at a launch party for Ulloo Forty-Two, an artistic furniture company based in San Clemente and Newport Beach. Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Tiehen
From left, Jeremy Kirk, Suzanne Currie and Joshua Kirk, pose for a photo during a launch party for Ulloo Forty-Two. Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Tiehen
Currie, a San Clementean, has items like a camouflage-covered couch, a blue and pink chair, various modern designs and other visually stimulating designs.
“I looked at the camo couch for months trying to find something to do with it,” Currie said. “It’s kind of regal, and I like things that are edgy. I gravitate toward things that are different.”
She also described using a faux mink shall as part of one of her chairs.
Brothers Jeremy and Joshua Kirk of Kirk Custom Carpentry in San Clemente are helping their mother, Currie, and her business partner and friend of 17 years, Lise Abraham, create something out of their own designs.
“My mom does the artwork and the painting, and we build the furniture,” Jeremy said. “Some of the stuff she does is older furniture with new contemporary ideas that we collaborate on.”
On Jan. 11, Ulloo hosted a launch party in Los Angeles. This was the first time the brand of art-mix-with-furniture pieces had been on public display.
Ulloo is derived from various African languages meaning “home,” Currie said. Originally from England, as is Abraham, Currie said she spent time in Africa as a child. The meaning for forty-two combines architectural principles, and two represents the number of business partners.
Some of the upholstery used in the pieces are inspired by African designs, and the fabric Currie uses is purchased from London. The two started working on various furniture in 2015.
“I was working in a secondhand furniture store and had all these interesting pieces and had some ideas about repurposing them,” Currie said “The next day, (Abraham) and I went and started a business…and I, being an artist for a long time, started to repurpose, restructure and remodel them.”
Although the furniture items are meant to be functional, their main purpose remains as works of art.
“They’re functional and comfortable, and they’re definitely edgy and not for a lot of people, but they are fun and they really make you smile,” Abraham said. “It’s a different way of looking at furniture; you’re not going to see it everywhere and that’s the way we wanted it to be.”
For more information on Ulloo, visit their website at www.ulloo42.com.