Did you know that Ringo Starr created a furniture line? Here's everything you need to know about his stunning designs

The Beatles drummer had a second career as a wildly successful stainless steel furniture designer. Not many know about it

ringo starr on a purple background
(Image credit:  Kevin Winter via Getty Images)

You probably know Ringo Starr as the drummer for the Beatles, but in the design world, his reputation is a little different. The 83 year old musician has lived many lives, and one of them was as a furniture designer.

The line, which would go on to inspire thousands of interior design ideas, was born out of a partnership between furniture designer Robin Cruikshank and Ringo Starr. Cruikshank's small design company began working for the Beatles in 1968, which led to a partnership collaborating on Starr's home in Hamstead, North London. The pairing of Cruikshank's design knowledge and Starr's creativity was a match made in heaven. Thus, RoR, or 'Robin or Ringo' was born.

Much of the furniture designed by the pair integrated stainless steel and other hi-fi materials for an incredibly modern design look which quickly gained global attention. For instance, Starr showed off his rounded stainless steel shelves and accessories on the long-running children's television show Blue Peter in 1971.

One of their most popular designs (shown at 3:00) is the Rolls Royce table. Starr was inspired to create the table when he saw two Rolls Royce car grills displayed in a showroom in his neighborhood. He bought the grills and placed a plank of stainless steel horizontally between them to create one of the most inventive coffee tables we've ever seen. One can only imagine how cool the piece might have looked in Starr's living room.

According to the RoR website, the first major exhibition of Starr and Cruikshank-designed furniture took place at the world-famous department store, Liberty London. From there, the British Steel Corporation requested to use the pieces in an advertising campaign. This huge start kicked off a wave of positive press and opportunities for the brand ultimately leading to huge projects including the redesign of the Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi in 1979.

The complete dining set by RoR perfectly exemplifies the vision of the brand. It is fun, but functional taking inspiration from art deco design with a modern, minimalist stainless steel silhouette.

ringo starr stainless steel table

(Image credit: ringo starr stainless steel table with chairs attached)

Though the company closed in 1986, its legacy lives on. The two men remain friends, and pieces of the furniture come up for auction from time to time.

Shop R.O.R. Furniture

Ringo Starr's designs are, understandably, a hot commodity, but there are still a few left for purchase on resale sites like Chairish and 1stDibs. For instance, we found two of RoR international's beautiful smoked glass and stainless steel tables for sale.

Ringo Starr's furniture design is unique and original, just like its creator. It's proof that creativity doesn't need to be pinned down into one box, but can extend across a range of interests and talents.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture with a particular focus on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand based in Fairfield County, CT. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.