Philosophy | Design

Our Design Process


Design has always separated the transcendent from the mundane. The finest architecture, from the Parthenon to a white clapboard New England meetinghouse, the greatest examples of cultural icons, and the best furniture all have one thing in common. Design. Design, working hand in hand with craftsmanship, is what makes our furniture pleasing to the eye and gives it comfort and durability. We live and work in a place and a culture that historically has placed a high value on small villages with simple, understated, but well-designed, structures that inform our aesthetic sensibilities. Rather than being bound by these influences, we look for a fit between this tradition and our time. Our furniture speaks of our value for economy and elegance; it is born of an appreciation for what is essential and what endures. Beneath it all, we attempt to bring spirit and humanity to our designs.

Though it's not a strictly ordered process, we generally begin by considering larger and more vague aspects of the design and move through the specifics of function, joinery, construction details and so forth, toward a unification of the piece. Our intention is to create practical furniture that is well conceived and is based upon simple designs that feature the nature of wood. We start with an idea or concept. Those concepts are developed in freehand sketches, then refined in a 3D computer modeling program, and finally with full-scale mock-ups. If it's a new chair we're working on, we need to quickly get one standing, look at it all the way around and sit in it.

We work on the mock-up, changing an angle, altering the gesture of a leg or the sweep of a part until we feel it's right. Changes are captured in the 3D computer model. As we proceed, we consider the shape of each part and the angles and specifics of the joinery. The scale of individual parts must accommodate the mortise and tenon joints, be strong and relate to the form. Relationships of parts and the spaces created between them are carefully considered. The piece should develop a sense of rhythm and balance. Proportion may be the most important and the most elusive design element. If it is right, it goes unnoticed, but if it's off, there is no escaping the awkwardness. At the end, we look for a resolved piece that is purposeful, a character that is engaging and a touch of our spirit. We want to make furniture that is honest and warm and will wear well, furniture our customers will become emotionally attached to, furniture with integrity, furniture worthy of respect.

Read about our Philosophy


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