The ANDRE JOYAU STUDIO is a small cooperative of designers and cabinetmakers located in Brooklyn, New York that have come up with some of the most interesting and creative sustainable furnishings I have seen in a long time. The studio focuses on modern hand crafted furniture that is executed with exquisite form and detail  and with great originality. They have many marvelous pieces that I want to write about in the future,  but today I am going to focus on their extensive interpretations of the classic piece of furniture, THE BENCH.

The Entrée Bench pictured above is one of my favorites, especially because it is covered in a  classic fabric designed by Gunnar Aagaard Anderson   for MAHARAM. Made completely out of reclaimed lumber with all of the original markings left in tack, it is simply perfect in my eyes. The contrast of the rough unfinished wood with the chic contemporary fabric makes it a ten in my book. Here is another version of the Entrée Bench using  a curly lamb hide for the seat covering…still cool, huh?

The studio has designed many different interesting and way out definitions of what a bench should look like, all of them incorporating wood in a simplified but dramatic manner.  Here are a few other examples:

SPALTED MAPLE BENCH: This is a type of wood I am unfamiliar with, but never mind, it makes a stunning rough sawn bench, and successfully combines the rustic cuts of wood with the sleek finish of the seat.

The BEAM BENCH: Made of reclaimed hardwood with concrete legs it takes two plain materials and combines them into a dynamic seating space for a room.

TUBE BENCH: This simple  open ended  wood form made in a polished finish contrasts dramatically with the deconstructed leather seat.  Just love it!

MASSIVE BENCH: Made entirely of reclaimed wood that has been sanded  and stained, it still retains its rustic look. Think the cut off corner of the seat adds just the right touch!

YASUMI BENCH: Black steel tubing are the legs which support a piece of reclaimed wood. Again, simplicity of design creates a beautiful piece of furniture.

TURO BENCH: This bench is sized according to found material and comes in a variety of finishes including my very favorite, cerused.  Wish I had a picture of it in ceruse to show you because I know it would be quite beautiful.

Believe it or not,  the studio has more benches , equally as stunning as each one of these.  Once again, it shows you how green design need not be ugly or boring. Each of these benches has a striking look and would be dynamite in a room…think vacation house anywhere, or a transitional room needing a little oomph or unpredictability. Plus, I certainly hope I have expanded your concept of what a BENCH could look like, i.e., it doesn’t have to have 4 legs and an upholstered cushion,  and added some dezign food for thought for the future!

Ciao, ciao ’til next time!