Here is a collection of companies that offer beautiful furniture made with a focus on fine craftsmanship, contemporary style, beauty, and environmental responsibility. Most of the furniture is made of wood — much of it reclaimed wood — but you’ll also find effective use of concrete, metal, fabric, and other materials as you browse the offerings.
For more than ten years, Seattle’s Urban Hardwoods has been rescuing trees lost to disease and transforming them into beautiful furniture. Judged in 2008 by Sustainable Industries Magazine to be one of the nation’s top ten green building products, Urban Hardwoods has led the way in urban tree salvage. Their furniture is made in Seattle from massive slabs of Pacific Madrone, Black Walnut, Chinese Elm, and other trees that spent their lifetimes in Seattle. Each piece is unique, each has a story to tell… When you’re browsing their website, be sure to click on the Slide Show for an informative and inspiring view into how these one-of-a-kind pieces are created.
“I build furniture for the pleasure of creating beautiful objects. The message of my work is simply one of beauty and harmony. Through comfortable proportions and clean elements my work exists quietly and peacefully within its surroundings,” says Douglas Thayer, who combines wood and concrete for his creations. His benches, tables, and other furniture pieces will be featured at various 2009 home shows and in a growing number of publications. This contemporary line works indoors and outdoors.
For “modern furniture that hasn’t forgotten where it’s come from.” You’ll feel the joyful celebration of nature when you link to this website and go for an imaginary swing on the sleek, suspended bench in the opening slide show. The founders of Woodia La Piccolo, Jeremy Sisto, Eric Michael Cole, and Bruno Acalinas have spent their careers in the arts. Their passion for “functional art” has brought them together with the shared intent to create a unique and distinct line of home, office, and commercial space furniture that is subtle in design but strong in its point of view. Their “aesthetic derives its inspiration from classic concepts, and is instilled in the world of modern design.”
This beautifully crafted product line falls into these categories: “Slatt, Skin, Slab, Spice, Scrap, and Strays.” Those names give you an idea of the creativity at work at Bevara. Here’s a snippet from their website that gives a view into their big-picture approach: “In the fall of 2007, we teamed up with Wal-Mart.com to sponsor a “Sustainable Furniture” course at CCA (California College of the Arts), taught by Oblio Jenkins. The purpose of the class was twofold: to design environment-, space-, and cost-conscious furniture, and then assess how well the pieces would fare in the marketplace, with Wal-Mart.com lending its knowledge and expertise on the latter.” There’s also a section about sustainability that provides an extensive “A-to-Z guide of all things environmental.”