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Tag Archives: Great Dane Furniture

Anton Assad – Great Dane Furniture

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Anton Assad is the owner/founder of Great Dane Furniture.
(You may have seen his pretty face on ‘The Block’ recently where they got him involved in one of the contestant challenges …)

I made my first Great Dane purchase over 10 years ago with a Brazilian Rosewood Danish sideboard. A stunning piece – which still takes pride of place in my living room. I just love it.

Anton is like most successful people … the separation between work and pleasure/down time is tough as they truly love what they do. Because their work is a passion, the two are intertwined.

Not only does Anton have a great eye for what he does, he’s just a great bloke.

If you’re in the market to add some classic Scandinavian design into your life – please visit one of the Great Dane showrooms, and if Anton’s in the house – have a yarn.

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Q & A:

1) You have a successful business that continues to see good growth and carve out its niche within the interiors/design industry … Can you give us a bit of background on how you got to where you are today? What do you love most about your job?

Great Dane formed into the ten-year reality it is today purely by building strong relationships and foundations with our designers and manufacturers.

I don’t view this as a job, this is my passion, collaborating with legendary designers to offer handmade iconic pieces for people to build their homes upon is the driving force behind what I do.

2) Did you always want to start your own business? / how did the idea for Great Dane come about?

I always had an appreciation for Scandinavian design, and enjoyed collecting second hand vintage furniture locally in Melbourne. I recognized the opportunity to offer authentic, quality Scandinavian designs to an eager Australian market. I invested my life savings in a shipping container of Danish vintage furniture, within a day of its arrival, the container was completely bought-out and Great Dane was born.

3) As an entrepreneurial person – who and what inspires you? What are you creatively passionate about? What motivates and drives you to do better?

My kids inspire me to constantly be better at what I do and who I am. I am also motivated in continuing to deliver timeless furniture with integrity. Providing pieces that reflect an effortless way of life where good design is intrinsic to the everyday while pertaining a certain air of Scandinavian luxury.

4) As a business person, what are some of the challenges that you have, or continue to face? What lessons have you learned on your journey to date, and would you do things differently if you had your time over?

Never give up, listen to people who believe and support you, and most of all, believe in yourself and your own judgment. You will make mistakes on the way, learn from them, suck it up and keep pushing forward.

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5) You would have seen some pretty amazing properties over the years – do you have a special design project that you’ve worked on that stands out?

Being apart of the refurbishment of the Opera House’s Western Foyer, our Nanna Ditzel’s ND83 chair being the hero of the room.

Nanna’s work has a lovely feminine touch to it – soft yet clean – so of course, I was thrilled to have the chair placed in one of the most renowned pieces of Danish architecture in the world.

6) Who are your favorite designers? / what are your favorite pieces that you’ve personally collected (or indeed still have your eye on)?

I had the privilege of sitting down for coffee with Kai Kristiansen in Milan earlier this year to talk about our passions. Kai was a plethora of information and inspiration and shared tales of the old days. His most celebrated work The#42 chair is one of my favorite pieces. Its details speak not only timeless design but also harmonious and understated engineering; Kai is a true artist and outstanding man.

7) You have been collaborating with an array of talented designers and creating your own Great Dane furniture pieces. Can you tell us a bit about these colabs and how they came about?

I had always admired the work of Arne Vodder, a retired Danish architect and furniture designer whom many people assumed he was no longer around. His designs made an impact and he carved a significant influence with his work. I somehow tracked him down, and told him how I wanted to work with him. Vodder was retired and his work hadn’t been in production for over 50 years. Together we re-produced the Vodder Tall Boy, No.26 Sideboard and the Vodder Low Boy, ensuring the pieces were produced in the same manner they were originally.

Vodder passed away two years after we met. He was a very humble and understated soul. It was a great privilege and honor to meet him. He is kind of a piece of history for this era.

8) Having spent a lot of time in Europe/Scandinavia on buying trips over the years – what are some of your favorite (or the best) countries for sourcing amazing furniture pieces for the stores?

Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, and Finland.

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9) What do you think are the secrets to being a good business operator or creating a brand (whether it be yourself or your Great Dane product range)? What in your opinion is great design or the methodology behind great interior styling?

Great Dane was founded on values and traditions of influential design paired with a reputation for quality, service, craftsmanship and knowledge, which have remained true and consistent to Scandinavian design.

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/future goals you are yet to achieve?

We have recently launched ‘The Great Den’ an event space nearby our Fitzroy show room, a unique entertaining space for private dinner parties, cocktail events, launches and tailored events. The Great Den exudes the Scandinavian luxury that Great Dane lives by, incorporating a diverse mix of rare 20th century treasures that I have collected over the years.

There are a number of projects in the pipeline, Great Dane is forever evolving… watch this space!

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