Visit our other brands: danishdesignstore.com, adogslife.net

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Designer Interview: Darin Montgomery of urbancase

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
2 Comments »

Today we’re having a chat with Darin Montgomery of urbancase, to find out how his company came to be and to take a look at some of their work, from the design of a shelf to the interior design of an entire restaurant. Without further ado…

Sidebar in Walnut

How did your company get its start? What led you here?
I had a sculpture studio in South Seattle and was building custom furniture on a limited basis when I met a couple of cool guys who had a design/build firm across the alley. We immediately hit it off and started collaborating. It was a particularly interesting time in Seattle because quite a few restaurants and coffee shops were opening and we were able to work on a number of cool projects. The experience pushed me further towards designing functional objects and the idea of a furniture studio grew from there.

What was the first piece of furniture you remember making?
I was somewhere around 8 or 10 and made a wine glass rack for my Dad. I used scrap material found in our garage. I took great care assembling it but had no idea it should be clamped together until the glue dried. My Mom picked it up by the top and it fell apart. I was crushed. I repaired it, but it was known as Frankenrack from then on.
How does being in Seattle affect your design sensibility? What inspires you?
It’s difficult to specifically define how Seattle affects our designs but I believe everyone is influenced by their environment and we’re no exception. Seattle is a great city…pretty laid back, comfortable, easy to manage. I feel it’s reflected in much of what we do.

I’m inspired by thoughtful design (of any type) and a simple life.

What is your workspace like?
Our studio is in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle. It’s a working class community with a mix of light industrial and residential areas. We have a modest but efficient shop space set up primarily for building prototypes, mock-ups, etc., which also includes a product display area where we keep a few pieces on hand. We’re lucky because we have roll up doors so we can bring the outdoors in and we’re very excited about our upcoming studio remodel.

1.2 Chair

What’s your favorite material to work with at the moment? We’ve been experimenting with Corian recently and have been having great success. But…walnut usually makes its way into the mix.

How does your team work together? What does each one of you bring to the table? One of us will generally come up with an idea or concept and throw it out for consideration. We’re comfortable sharing ideas without fear of sounding ridiculous even if something doesn’t come directly from it. And we’re honest and direct in our opinions. We each have different skills and backgrounds that seem to complement each other, but I believe it’s what we don’t bring to the table that is most important…ego.

Tell me a story about one of these pieces of yours that we sell. We were setting up at ICFF and I received a phone call from a gentlemen who, after he identified himself, I recognized because we shipped a Ledge to him the week before we left.

The conversation went like this:

Customer: I have a crate from urbancase sitting in my office and I have no idea what it is.
Me: It’s the walnut Ledge you ordered. We shipped it last week and sent the                           tracking number to your office.
Customer: What the @#%+ is a Ledge!?
Me: It’s our wall mounted desk.
Customer: I own a textile company, what do I want with a wall mounted desk.
Me: You’re asking the wrong guy…I didn’t order it.
Customer: (Laughter)…I guess you’re right.

We spoke later and had another good laugh. Someone in his office ordered the Ledge for display and a photo shoot and he wasn’t aware of it.

urbancase Ledge – Walnut

You’re also a design firm; please share a few portfolio shots from your projects with us! 1) Tilikum Place Cafe in Seattle. This used to be a print shop. Worked with the chef/owner on a full interior design:

2) All City Coffee – Seattle. A collaboration with Steve Withycombe on interior fixtures:

3) Residential railing – Seattle. Collaboration with NY based architect Mallory Shure:

Thanks so much to Darin for taking the time to share a little of his history and his work with us today! Personally, I would love to see a new, ridiculously sleek wine rack named Frankenrack that would redeem him from his early failure with glue.

See all urbancase products

Share

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

A Quick Way to Spruce Up Your Bathroom

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
9 Comments »

Santa brought me a creature from the deep blue sea this year, and yesterday I gave my bathroom a great makeover in about 20 minutes (hanging a shower curtain is a real pain; I highly recommend dragging out the stepladder for this task or your arms will feel like they are going to fall off by the time you are done!).

Whoopsie, looks like I need to paint the side of the door black (see right side of photo above). Isn’t it funny how you don’t notice these things in person but they show up in a photo? Looks like I could have moved the toilet brush and the bathroom scale to style this a little better. Oh well, at least I remembered to put the toilet seat down!

Santa also brought me some tea towels, which I’ve decided to use as bathroom hand towels. My bathroom doesn’t have a towel bar, and I’m not crazy about them, so I used over-the-door hooks instead.

I’m not too big on too much matchy-matchy, so I’ll probably move the lacquer box to another room, but I thought I’d try out being matchy-matchy for a few weeks and see if it sticks! This box is great for stashing all of my everyday makeup in one place.

Share

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

DP in the News: Baby Storage Bin and Baby Soft Blocks from DwellStudio on Today Show

Nicole

Posted by Nicole | View all posts by Nicole
Leave a comment!

Today Show aired a segment on furniture and other items that can grow with your child. Two DwellStudio products were featured in that segment: Baby Storage Bins and Baby Soft Blocks. They’re not just for kids anymore!

Share

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Outfitting a Minimalist Kitchen with Erin from Unclutterer.com

Ali

Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
32 Comments »

Erin, Unclutterer.comErin Rooney Doland is Editor-in-Chief of the home and office organizing blog Unclutterer.com.

I live in a mid-century modern home designed by the architect Charles M. Goodman. It is a quirky house with two perpendicular walls made of glass, and the other two walls made of concrete. My friends lovingly refer to it as “1960′s vision of the future.”

Twenty years after the house was built, the then-current homeowner decided to do away with the beautiful metal cabinetry in the kitchen and replace it with plywood and laminate cupboards. To add insult to injury, the redesign included Read the rest of this entry »

Share

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Deciding Where Things Go

Ali

Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
Leave a comment!

Blu Dot Chicago Media Center

You’ve got a potato peeler next to dog treats next to a magazine collection next to your 1996 tax return documents. Is this the best flow for your things? Um, probably not. Our organizing coach, Emily Wilska, has some great tips in Read the rest of this entry »

Share