As the adoption of personal technology in the home continues to rise, furniture designers are working hard to create modern living solutions which incorporate multipurpose features such as speakers and charging stations – take Jual Furnishings’ San Francisco Smart Range, which saw the supplier Highly Commended in The Furniture Awards at this year’s January Furniture Show. Furniture News spoke to Jual’s director, Julie Powell, about the range’s appeal …

“We were delighted to receive the Highly Commended award for a product that had taken several months to develop,” says Julie, whose business specialises in sleek, curvy, contemporary furniture.

The San Francisco Smart Range comprises lamp/bedside tables and a desk, and incorporates smart technology such as Qi wireless charging, two USB ports and Bluetooth speakers – with sound output, says Julie, rivalling that of many leading brands. The desks also offer PC connection ports, and one model features LED lighting.

Ash veneer finishes and solid ash legs give the stylish, practical range a modern, clean appearance. “The market for this item is huge,” explains Julie. “Most people live on their phones these days – we spend, on average, 24 hours a week on our smartphones and tablets – so we have brought style and practicality to our furniture to cater for the Millennial lifestyle of today. It’s extremely practical, and its sleek design means it will fit in any setting.”

The judging panel for this year’s edition of The Furniture Awards liked the range’s Scandi-style curves and finish. They said: “Each piece was flexible and multifunctional, adding layers to basic tech-enabled functionality such as wireless charging.” 

Fully tested and certified to British Standards, the San Francisco Smart Range is among a number of similar products hitting the market right now, but boasts enough innovative, high-quality touches to lift it above its competitors, says Julie. 

“Whilst the concept of building a wireless charger into furniture is not new, by adding high-quality Bluetooth speakers, USB ports and lights, we’ve given this range the edge over some of our competitors’ products,” says Julie. “You can find other desks with wireless charging facilities, but they do not have the full spec that ours offer.”

As a result of feedback from the January Furniture Show, Jual has put an extra nightstand in production which discreetly hides the wireless charger, as well as adding a new finish to the collection. 

Jual may not have quite taken the top spot in The Furniture Awards 2019’s Bedroom Furniture Category, but Julie is more than satisfied with the extra attention the range has received thanks to the judges’ commendation. “The award put the product in the spotlight, which was great advertising for a new launch,” she concludes. “The San Francisco Smart Range is getting a lot of interest.”