Every night, all night, as I pin away working on the design of the new house I keep coming back to some of the same furniture makers/designers, desperate for their (master)pieces in our home. These are people/pieces that are super high quality, made locally, refined obsessively and because of that, they ain’t cheap, but they are so incredibly beautiful. I may never buy these pieces, but you don’t have to be able to afford them to glean inspiration from them. They remind me that the finish is essential, that simple details go a long way and that craftsmanship is worth the dough.
My goal with this post is to applaud those that make the furniture, congratulate those who can afford it, and inspire those of us who love to look at beautiful things. Because, man, even though they are simple they can surely make a room.
Here it goes:
1. BDDW (above and below) I’ve been a massive fan of their work for a decade. They have been ripped off (especially that table) but they continue to innovate in a completely classic, shaker inspired way. To be innovative, while being still ‘shaker inspired’ is truly a feat. Here are some of their pieces that I want very badly.
The Deck Chair: A true piece of art and wonder. I don’t now where you are supposed to use it or if you are allowed to put anything except the most artisanal of frothy beers on that side table. If only our courtyard (and toddlers) could handle such beauty.
More importantly, this chair …
The Abel Club Chair: Everything about the Abel is great and beautiful until you notice the arms and feet. You have to catch your breath because that shape in that wood is just so refined and yet has a bit of whimsy in it. I have no idea how much this chair is but I would assume at least $3k and it may be something I save for. I LOVE it.
The Ladder Chair: Don’t get me started on this ladder back chair. It may look boring, but it’s high quality and tiny proportions are what makes it so beautiful and interesting. I keep thinking that we should get them for our new dining room but we don’t have the right table yet, so we are waiting. But man, I love these simple chairs (although I wish they came in a maple or some lighter finish options).
The Grane Sofa: If you wanted a sofa version of the able chair, here you go. It’s absolute perfection. For our new sofa I wanted extreme comfort and I wasn’t able to sit on this beforehand (they only have a showroom in New York) so I couldn’t take the risk, but man, that is my spirit sofa.
The Square Guest Chair: Leather, wood, and a tiny bit of brass make this chair a combination of my dream materials. We want more comfort in our dining chairs otherwise we would have pulled the trigger on this guy.
Chall Side Table: A modern take on the classic iron bistro table. I think this is the piece i’m going to splurge on. I’ve loved it forever and it’s kid friendly (heavy on the bottom, round on the top). Hopefully its not $5k. (We emailed for pricing on all of their items but haven’t heard back yet).
Next up is my friend Amber (interiors), who you all probably have heard of. She is a designer in LA that has absolutely mastered/coined the “California Modern” look.
I look to her for inspiration all the time (and so do our clients). But maybe you guys don’t know that she has a line of furniture. Please note these totally perfect nightstands.
The Anderson Side Table: They are handmade in LA by an amazing furniture maker and because of that, they are $3800 each. It’s the opposite of fast fashion and while it’s absolutely inaccessible for everyone, I love seeing these more aspirational pieces hit the market, sell and inspire the rest of us.
The Topanga Ottoman ($995): I myself will be making a version of this – and crediting Amber, don’t worry. It’s a simple ottoman but with such detail and interest.
Ozzie Dining Table ($7,950): So beautiful. So, so, so beautiful. I know that when we’ve had custom pieces made we often make a mistake the first or second time and I know that it’s true for most prototypes. So while it may seem like these are absolutely overpriced, I’d say that they aren’t. They are expensive, but buying the best always is.
Like this bed:
Penny Bed ($4,950): This bed has inspired me to put a cushion on every hard headboard I ever buy. Thanks for the inspiration, Amber.
Coffee Table (3,950): Everyone at my studio wants this coffee table. In case you are bored by it and think it’s Ikea, I assure you that the quality of the wood, the grain, the tone, the finish, and the scale is so perfect that you are stunned in person. They have a dining size, too. So good.
Classic Tufted Sofa ($7,150): It’s the Michelle Obama of sofas – so beautiful, comfortable, strong, feminine, inviting and conversation making. I love this lady.
Farm Table ($6,950): After shopping for months for a farmhouse style dining table, I’m always excited to see one that is being made now that is so beautiful and authentic. I went to the store over the weekend and man is this table beautiful in person – it is so simple, refined, and classic.
So those are my fantasy brands with my fantasy pieces. I consider them works of art. They are the Milo Baughman and Paul McCobb’s of our time.
We’ve designed a decent amount of custom pieces for our clients and so much goes into it. First off the YEARS of training, experience building, getting paid for nothing, losing money and sleep while you practice/hone your craft. People seem to forget about that. Then each piece has hours and hours of drawing and rendering, sourcing of the perfect craftsperson, sometimes three different craftspeople per piece (wood worker, upholsterer, welder). Then sourcing of the perfect materials – especially with pieces that are simple you have to make sure that the material is stunning. Then the prototype making (where you lose money) and another round of tweaking and rendering. Plus the time obsessing over it. I know that I promote super budget-y, extremely accessible pieces from larger retailers as well and I truly believe that both those and these high end artists have a place in the world, my blog and my home.
So who else am I missing? I know there are a TON of talented, innovative makers out there. I stuck to these three because of the classic/traditional yet modern style of our new house, but if you know of any others that I’m missing, please leave in the comments. I always meant to create a column on our resource guide (do you guys even use the resource page?) of makers that I love, so maybe your comments will inspire this list.
P.S. I’m also shopping a lot at Lawson Fenning, Big Daddy’s, Cisco Home (so much inspiration) and HD Buttercup. Lawson is still pretty spendy but Cisco and Buttercup both have more affordable/great pieces. We are getting our new sofa from Cisco and I’m VERY excited – there collection is so high quality and designed for comfort, first.
WHERE ELSE?? Who else??