Into The Woods Of Home Design
The Architectural Digest Home Design Show, which was held last weekend in New York City, featured hundreds of exhibitors who showcased the latest in kitchen appliances, flooring, furnishings and more. However, this year a strong theme materialized within the aisles of the Furniture & Furnishings section. From unique wooden chairs and reclaimed wood home accents to classic wooden cabinetry and case goods, woodworkers made their presence known.
After ogling all the beautifully handcrafted wooden furnishings, these 10 imaginative and meticulous artisans won our hearts:
STILLMADE is a design and build studio that specializes in contemporary furniture. Based in Brooklyn, STILLMADE makes pieces that are quiet, but find balance between simplicity, beauty and functionality. Paul Mignogna, the young founder and principal designer, followed his passion as a maker soon after receiving a degree in business. This gorgeous credenza, pictured above, is made of solid cherry and features a dark oil finish.
PTACEK Home, founded by homebuilder and furniture designer Thomas J. Ptacek, features handcrafted pieces made from antique beams and fallen trees. Located in the Hudson Valley of New York, Thomas and his team of craftsmen create everything from historic restorations and newly constructed contemporary homes and furniture to custom kitchens and mahogany libraries. PTACEK Home is dedicated to carrying out the natural beauty and patterns of the wood it repurposes. One of our favorite pieces from PTACEK Home is this gorgeous wall planter made from blackened white pine.
Paul J. Draine, founder of PJD Woodworks, immersed himself in the woodworking industry after 20 years as a commercial photographer. His recent career change was fueled by his longtime passion for woodworking. Paul is a completely self-taught artist who designs sleek and modern furnishings that retain the natural texture of wood. The redwood coffee table pictured above is functional art at its best.
Kith&Kin, established by furniture designer Peter Clark, offers modern furnishings with a rustic and warm touch. Peter comes from a family of makers whom he credits for his extensive knowledge of woodworking. “We grew up in homes built by our dads, under quilts made by our moms with handmade toys and clothes,” says Peter. “I grew up in construction. My dad was a carpenter and I married into a family of carpenters and craftsmen.” Peter now works with a team of craftsmen in his shop in Amarillo, Texas. He also stresses the importance of customer service at Kith&Kin, adding that their products are made to order and designed to appeal to families. The media cabinet pictured above is made up of a patchwork of hand-selected pieces of walnut, creating a unique geometric look.
Nico Yektai is an artist and craftsman who grew up in New York City. He works with wood as well as concrete and glass to create handmade artistic furnishings. Nico’s designs are unique—no two pieces are exactly alike. At his studio in Sag Harbor, NY, Nico taps into his uninhibited creativity, crafting pieces of distinct design. Nico’s floating wall console is made of walnut and features drawers that open in different directions.
David Stine of David Stine Woodworking is the fourth generation to steward his family’s land in southern Illinois. It is from this land that David sustainably harvests and mills all of his lumber. The forest is his inspiration and all of his pieces retain the natural look and feel of the tree it came from. David takes care to preserve the beauty of the wood by highlighting the grain, knots and live edges in each of his pieces. This Stephanie Cherry Bed features a naturally curved piece of black cherry for the headboard and a black cherry and black walnut platform frame.
MadeByWood is entirely made by designer Paul Wood. Paul’s collection incorporates wood, concrete and metal. His pieces are inspired by his New York surroundings, from old detailed skyscrapers to the trees in Battery Park. Paul’s studio is located in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard and he often reuses salvaged pieces from old buildings in the area. His latest design challenge has been to master the technique of parquetry. The imaginative table pictured above is a MadeByWood Parque-Tree made of Doulas fir and ash.
Using sustainable sourcing, fabrication and design, Aaron Poritz Furniture showcases a functional and modern aesthetic. Founder Aaron Poritz divides his time between New York City and Nicaragua where the wood for his pieces is harvested. His studio, which is located just outside of the capital city of Managua, uses lumber from coffee and teak plantations and old growth trees felled by Hurricane Felix. Aaron plays off of the strength of the tropical hardwoods, which helps limit the use of extra materials. Aaron Poritz Furniture features geometric joints and connections, which give it its modern look.
Mark Jupiter is a fourth generation New York builder and carries on his family's legacy with Mark Jupiter in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Mark works with mostly reclaimed and repurposed materials found locally—from the redwood of the 150 year-old New York City water towers to heart pine salvaged from an old Brooklyn sugar refinery. The sliding doors pictured above are a Mark Jupiter custom design made of reclaimed wood, steel and old-fashioned wire glass.
Brian Boggs Chairmakers designs furniture inspired by the forests of Ashville, North Carolina. Brian Boggs is a self-taught craftsman and has been designing and making chairs for 30 years. While mass-produced chairs have a short lifetime, Brian aspires to create chairs that last for generations. “I want all of our furniture to last long enough for the next generation of trees to grow,” he says. “That’s not too much to ask.” The Sunniva Swing above is made from strong mahogany that comes from a sustainably managed rainforest in Honduras near the small community of Copen.