When I'm walking through stands of furniture or design, whichever Fair I am at, I've become quite good a sifting through the large amounts of items on display, to find things that talk to me, perhaps finishes, materials or techniques that are new, or maybe a new take on an old idea. While there's lots on show, not everything grabs my attention or need to be explored.
Whilst walking past Apparentt's furniture stand at Melbourne's Denfair earlier this year, I saw a reason to stop, to spend time and admire more closely both the furniture and sculptures on display. Their original design and artistic qualities made the pieces stand out as unique, a story to be heard... so I'd like to share here some of their work and a little about their design journey, so far.
"Each product in our range is carefully considered, designed with restraint and produced locally using only the highest quality materials, and create exclusive products that are beautiful, simple and durable, for residential and commercial interiors." Shortlisted for the 2015 Temple and Webster emerging designer awards, Elliot joined Louise in establishing Apparentt in 2016; this husband and wife team also employs a small team of talented individuals.
"Our style is influenced by Japanese woodworking, highly regarded for its ingenuity and boasts some of the most incredibly complex and attractive woodworking joints. Traditional Japanese joinery clearly demonstrates a ‘makers hand’ and consequently, uncompromising quality. We work to instill these qualities in our own designs."
"Despite this lean towards traditional methods, we are deeply in love with modern design and continually try to inspire our customers with clever aesthetics and engaging newness. We are continually experimenting and trying to push boundaries, in order to reinterpret and create new aesthetics without compromising the integrity of old."
Are the designs the result of a team work?
"…and the occasional conflict. There has to be tension when you’re headed towards making something good, it's part of the process. We do make an excellent team though… most days."
How dod you approach creating something new?
"Discussion and sketches. Lots of drawings and getting the ideas into paper so the can be visualised and then talked about. Timber is a strong part of our identity and we also like to play with detail; exposed joinery, small accents of metals, colour and upholstery to contrast, diversify and soften where necessary."
Do you connect with other designers?
"Yes, this is essential. We are connected to designer friends and colleagues from all over Australia, who are a constant source of inspiration and support. Earlier this year we were involved in the Design Co-op as part of Melbourne Design week. The event aimed to strengthen the existing design community, encourage the growth of new networks, promote boutique local design brands and offer interactive learning opportunities for both industry professionals and the design-savvy public. It was truly a collaborative event."
How does sculpture enter your furniture business?
"Great question! We recently completed a large project supplying timber furniture for the United Places hotel in South Yarra. We had a considerable amount of American oak off-cuts left over, too good to throw out but far too small to make a functional piece of furniture. The sculptures solved this problem, as well as helping with the styling of our stall for Denfair. We needed to make objects that would complement our newest product, the Bank Credenza, a talking piece that really blurs the line between art and design. The sculptures suited perfectly and making them was a creative release for Elliot too. He enjoyed making something beautiful and sculptural, from what could have been just left-overs."
I love their description of good design as "finding the perfect balance between aesthetic and functionality". Apparentt offers furniture that is meticulously crafted, of unique design with strong and streamlined elegance. To find out more about their range and journey, I invite you check them out online or in their studio in Richmond, Melbourne.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.