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3. What are some of the most interesting/challenging customized projects you've had to work on?
Jason: I like any project I am asked to design and then build. But the ones that really stick out are those that have a really specific function and I get the opportunity to really solve a specific design problem. One that sticks out is a corner cabinet that had a really specific program, and very little space. They wanted towel storage, a tilt out hamper, and his and hers drawers and cabinets. That same client also needed a valet in the men’s closet that also had a really specific program: watch storage, cufflink storage, belt storage, and even a safe. It was gratifying to take these small spaces, pack them with function, and have them look great as well!
I guess you can say I really like the extra details. More than that I like to give the client what they’ve asked for, then a little something more. Another favorite of mine was an entertainment/bar built-in where I added a bottle opener with a built-in catch that was housed in a small pullout drawer in the side of the cabinet.
We have developed something of a specialty in designing for collectors, and this has led to a series of wall-mounted cabinets that take a collection which might be repetitive or even overwhelming, and gives it a home. Our Shift series of cabinets evolved from the needs of our clients: in one case, it was to store an inherited collection of cookbooks; in another case, it was a collection of antique toys. We took that basic practical need and it evolved into a whole new furniture line.
Susan: I love the custom work for the Pastry Lab project that we are currently working on for Monroe College. It’s a place where the students at the culinary school prepare and serve food to gain practical experience in running and working at a restaurant. We have designed everything from the kitchen to wall-art to furniture, and even the graphics. We took an ordinary wooden spoon and painted it bright pink as an accent when staging the space for the opening, and now it has evolved into a series of wall panels that give the place a unique character that is welcoming for faculty and students.
4. What are some of the goals that you keep in mind when designing furniture, customized or not?
Jason: I always strive for balanced material composition that gives the piece some unique quality.
Susan: We aim for quality, functionality, and to reflect something about ourselves and our time.
5. What specifications are most important to keep in mind?
Jason: I pay a lot of attention to wood-grain patterns and cuts, to material selection, and hardware selection and location on the piece. All of these factors are important to creating the look and level of quality that is characteristic of our work.
Susan: We source environmentally-friendly materials with care, and enjoy trying new finishing techniques and exploring color options in our work.
6. What are some of the future trends that you anticipate in home design?
Jason: Many of our clients have an appreciation for the old and the new. They might love a brownstone or historic neighborhood, but they want to make it work for them and their lifestyle. Whether it’s an existing home, or a new apartment, often there is a lack of functional storage that makes people feel good about how they organize themselves. So, we have developed a lot of furnishings that enable people to be more organized in a way that is appealing and fun. This applies to basics like where to put your gym clothes or how to keep track of all of your electronic devices and their chargers. Our Fleur de Tech charging station is a unique way to integrate a place to charge your phone within a chest of drawers.
7. In your own homes, what do you find to be the most functional piece of furniture?
Jason: The closet organization system.
Susan: The chest of drawers that Jason designed when we first started working together. It has all sorts of custom features to accommodate my silverware collections as well as pots and pans and granola bars—with a custom decorative motif and eco-friendly materials! It’s a visual focal point in my dining room filled with functionality and unique character!
8. What do you think every home should have?
Jason: A convertible sofa that you can convert to a sleeper in order to relax and watch a movie with your significant other.
Susan: Our furniture!
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