Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Things Mean a Lot

To wrap up my discussion of the Architectural Digest show, I'm going to kind of go full-circle. I had talked about Brad Ascalon when I started, and it seems he's also collaborating with designer, Angel Naula for Brooklyn's Naula Workshop. They had a large and beautiful booth at the show, and I spoke with Ascalon about this project. The two only met less than a year ago, but they started talking and realized they had much the same vision in mind for what they could do. Naula's custom furniture shop was already going strong, mostly taking commissions from local interior designers. Ascalon was working with high-end furniture companies on an international scale, but without much hands-on contact with the overseas manufacturing of his pieces. They decided to pool their talents and rebrand as Naula Workshop.

Unveiled at the show was a sophisticated custom line of furnishings. The work is extremely classy and interesting. Each piece has a distinct character, but there is a stylistic thread that ties them together. There's nothing terribly ostentatious about the work, but it is quite refined, and the impeccable craftsmanship is obvious almost immediately.

I think it was first clear to me looking at the "Station" sectional sofa:
It's a really wonderful, vaguely mid-century profile, upholstered in a perfect grayish-chocolate-brown fabric, but the wonderful detailing is in its black leather buttons and piping:
So these pieces show the stylistic direction Naula Workshop is going, giving one a starting point, but all the pieces are custom made to order. Their turn around time is remarkably quick; it's only about six weeks. Here's a similar loveseat in gray:

Possibly the most impressive thing on display at the show was their "Plaza" bed, which is really stunning:
So simple but so dramatic, it could instantly become the focal point of any bedroom.

I think my favorite pieces, though, were the "Plus" dining set:
Now the profiles are exquisite. There's a certain casual, eat-in-kitchen sensibility to the lines, but the materials are rich, warm, and classy. And again, it's in the details. The wood is walnut with black stained oak inlays. So look at how the inlay matches up perfectly to be continued in the stitching of the upholstery:
For my money, it's subtle little moments like these that prove without doubt these people know exactly what they're doing.

©2009, Ryan Witte

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