In New York, IRP Designs Contract Collection

Federico Martin was born in Spain and started working in the Italian design industry in his 20s.

Now he owns a pair of showrooms for his contract collection called IRP Designs – on Madison Avenue.

It’s a business based on solving problems for architects and designers. “More than inspiration, it’s a passion for the solution,” he says. “Being able to find it is a very nice feeling.”

Clients often call with a design concept or arrive with a few photos or ideas – and he gets to work.

“I’ll bring in samples to match what they’re looking for, like a metal mesh door in bronze for a residence,” he says. “They give me a little piece of bronze and say they wanted it made out of that – and in four weeks we’ll have four doors for the kitchen.”

The options for materials in his catalog are basically endless, he says. Among them: leather, bronze, copper, pewter, wood veneers and laminates, all used in a variety of ways. “The point is for architects to use them the way they want,” he says. “There’s an amazing quantity in the catalog – they use it like you use one for buying a car.”

He designs the total concept for every material. “We give designers the opportunity to be creative and be exclusive without breaking the bank,” he says. “The results are 100 percent exclusive and 100 percent custom.”

Sometimes the biggest challenge lies within budget restraints. “A designer might come up with a beautiful idea for a kitchen and there’s a certain budget,” he says. “So, to keep the design and fit the budget is a challenge – but it will become a high-end project with a low budget.”

That’s one reason why 95 percent of his clients are architects and interior designers.

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