This vintage photo by Patricia Heal from House & Garden features a timeless interior infused with organic touches.
Produced by Sabine Rothman and Noemi Bonazzi
Recently, I’ve noticed a trend; my interior design clients are requesting more and more handcrafted items. They’re expressing curiosity about the artisans who’ve made their furniture and accessories and want to know what their creative process is really like. Sometimes, they even want to speak to them directly to discover what drives them.
Craftsmanship is not a “modern” idea, but it does fit into a certain concept of what’s modern right now. Clients want to see value when purchasing furniture—and they’re interpreting value as handcraftsmanship. It’s a trend that I first noticed during the recent recession, and it’s only getting stronger.
I often refer my clients to a couple of resources that produce beautiful artisanal pieces. First, BDDW is a company that crafts each of its made-to-order furnishings in a mill in Brooklyn, New York. Its heirloom-quality creations boast stunning modern details and silhouettes. Then there’s John Houshmand, a designer of extraordinary wood tables with a showroom in New York City and a studio upstate. His clients can personally choose their own slab of wood on-site and participate in the process through meetings with Houshmand’s fabricators. I believe this is where art, craftsmanship, and design meet. One of the greatest things about sourcing locally made products is that you can actually witness and take part in their making.
I understand that with the speed of life we all operate at today, hiring a tradesperson to create a unique piece might sound old-fashioned. As I often tell my clients, though, it’s a process I believe in, and it often yields astounding results. To be able to actually see an artisan’s hand in the objects that surround you in your own home is a special thing, and I think it’s an industry that we as consumers should support.
Interior designer Nina Freudenberger
Proceeds from the
sale of this blanket—
handmade from soft, high-quality
sheep’s wool—support communities
in the mountains of Central Mexico. Mexchic Wool Blanket “Big Sur”