T-Shirts to Timbers
In Melbourne recently my daughter, who knows her father well, pointed out various design galleries. At Spacecraft, an innovative artist-owned textile firm, I immediately spied this comforter emblazoned with
a large image of Dutch baroque row houses. Perfect for a good night’s sleep dreaming of European travel. Want it. Or how about this T-shirt showing St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice.
Now you see how patient my family is with someone who has AOS (architectural obsession syndrome).
Another gallery fanned my table and chair fixations: The Mark Tuckey Company designs, makes, and sells elegant modern timber furniture — often from recycled woods.
Their Melbourne showroom and workshop (they also have a gallery in Sydney) is a woodworker’s fun house. I was drawn to the minimalist geometry and flexibility of these sideboard storage and display cases.
Combine the sturdy open boxes and and drawer modules into whatever size credenza suits your space. I also liked this coffee table made from recycled American oak.
In case Australia is a little far, browse Urban Hardwoods, a company with galleries in Seattle and San Francisco that specializes in wood from urban trees — like this elm
that died and was born again as
a sculptural dining table.
The Wharton Esherick House
Speaking of wood furniture, sculptor Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was one of the most influential American woodworkers and the house he built for himself in Paoli, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia (now a museum) is an extraordinary invention in its own right and worth adding to your summer itinerary.
I toured it not long ago. From the outside it recalls something from The Lord of The Rings, with its central board-and-batten-covered tower and sunken stone-and-glass studio.
(Photo of rear-facing side with deck is by G. Widman for GPTMC). Inside, one of several dramatic surprises is the wooden stairway leading from the studio up to the bedroom, kitchen, and dining area.
It’s a marvelous architectural vertebrae: the house’s backbone exposed. The studio contains many of Esherick’s furniture and and lighting designs
along with models for larger pieces. Esherick brought an Arts & Crafts esthetic into mid century (stair and studio photos courtesy Esherick Museum). I recommend the new book that explores this house and those of two other great American woodworkers: Esherick, Maloof, and Nakashima: Homes of the Master Wood Artisans (Schiffer, 2009).
The cover shows how stairways become a fine furniture maker’s Everest: to be conquered (reinvented) and climbed!
Our New Cabin Plan
So, where to put all this new bedding and furniture, not to mention the odd woodworking book? In your new vacation getaway, of course. Architect David Wright’s cabin, Plan 452-3, one of the latest additions to our Exclusive Studio Collection, is an especially appealing example. The barn-inspired design combines a wrap-around porch
(that’s wide enough for a dining table) with a soaring light-filled interior.
The kitchen is by the stair; bedroom and bathroom are at the rear;
overflow sleeping area is in the loft. I think it’s exactly what a cabin should be:
simple, easy to secure — note the metal shutters that slide over the windows — and flexible. Browse our Cabin Collection for more plans. Which one calls you?