1. Tucker Robbins- Contemporary Rustic Lifestyle with Asian Fusion Flair
On the subject of slab furniture, one of the first designer to perfect this look was Tucker Robbins who’s 16000 sq foot studio/ warehouse in Long Island City used to host many interesting soirees for friends and fans. His artful manipulation of teak, acacia, or harvested local woods boast varied silhouettes, a real material integrity and an understanding of how to juxtapose raw unfinished wood with complex dynamic sculpting.
2. City Joinery- Modern designs built in traditional furniture-making techniques
Each piece is made one at a time- and it shows. Their booth exceeded all my expectation of hand made custom furniture by adhering to some basic furniture principals: restrained combination of materials and discerning usage of solid woods. The principal and designer, Jonah Zuckerman crafts mainly contemporary, pared down forms with taut lines, unexpected and sometimes contrasting surfaces, and often combine other materials such as metal, glass, upholstery, and acrylic as a subtle embellishment to wood surfaces.
3. BDDW- Brooklyn Based Hand Made American Furniture
Possibly the most justifiably overrated furniture maker in Brooklyn creating custom American made furniture/ home decor. Tyler Hays is the founder and designer of his woody contemporary styles- mixing urban loft sophistication with a chunky rustic flair. Seemingly he still manages to stay on the cutting edge, and act as a leader in the over saturated “slab furniture” scene. Extra points for photographing your furniture with your dog!
4. Boca de Lobo- Modern limited edition furniture combining art and design
This furniture/ decor company based out of Portugal is clearly targeting the New York market with product names such as “Moma,” “Hudson,” and “Tribeca.” Judging from their 100 coats of piano finish lacquer, mishmash of different stylistic periods into one piece and seeing furniture as conversational art- I can’t detect any New York-ism or even “American Made” classicism in them…. yet, my pulse quickened, my eyes widened, and an uncontrollable goofy grin appeared, precisely because of their complete lack of restraint in combining materials, colors, and scale. Carved elements were over the top ornate and gilded, scale was teetering on top heavy on most pieces, yet luxuriously so, and EVERY finish was so glossy it looked wet- all the makings of pure visual candy, yet refreshingly cliche free!
Boca de Lobo takes furniture as art to a collectible status, packing enough visual mojo into each piece that you wonder exactly how you’re going to furnish the rest of your interior AROUND their piece. Bravo.