Amidst the sleek, new age of modernist revival, minimalism seems to be the dominating trend currently in style for many homes, as well as workplaces.
There's definitely aesthetics I like about this style (I'm even a big van der Rohe fan), but, for me, there's nothing quite as satisfying and heart-warming as old-school (yet stylish) woodwork!
Based out of Toronto, urbanproduct focuses on precisely that: they break the mould that few in my eyes have broken in the design scene today and focus on the materiality of their work, while still retaining that sought, sleek, contemporary look.
The Bed Bros bedside tables are a great example of what I mean.
Stylistically, the piece lightly hints at a contemporary industrial style, (often popular with lofts), with the use of plain/un-ornamented light wood and wire glass.
And yet, as simple as its form appears, the sight of its surfaces is far from plain. The high-contrast, eye-catching property of this maple is attributed to spalting.
Spalting is a fungus that grows on trees under the right conditions, damaging its strength and structural integrity. Despite this, it's often sought after by woodworkers for its unique aesthetic characteristics. Due to the unpredictable nature of its growth, it's not found or used often - especially in larger pieces - and is considered somewhat of a rarity, making this piece one-of-a-kind.
Another favourite of mine would be the Edge bed, boldly characterized by the two large live-edge slabs on either side of the frame.
What enthrals me the most about this piece is the hybrid mix of simple, suave components designed around a 'raw' and rustic-looking centrepiece.
The built-in bedside tables are elegantly cantilevered from the live-edge headboard, both contrasting and accentuating the organic form of the slab.
The design philosophy of urbanproduct is not only inspirational to me personally, but also a beautiful example of taking traditional methodology and recreating it in a contemporary, fashionable language.
For more great work like this, you can see the urbanproduct portfolio.
Photography provided by urbanproduct.
Interested in reading more about great Canadian craft? Check out these recent houseporn.ca articles:
Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University.