A picture may tell a thousand words but if the trees could talk then dinner party conversations would certainly become a touch more interesting. Contemporary, rustic or antique – buying furniture that lasts a lifetime, or more than one – means the stories that form our memories are held in the objects we surround ourselves with.
Somewhat of a tradition in Europe, Tree tables as they are known, are made of two solid lengths of timber laid side-by-side and always cut from the same trunk. The result is the grain, colour and the features of the timber match and as any furniture maker will tell you – to create a table top with just 2 slabs requires finding a tree of substantial size so to have those planks match means these tables are definitely worth their weight.
The 3 metre long Tree Table no. 1003 – comfortable accommodates 10 guest and tells stories that are hundreds of years old. Photograph by DesignConsigned.com.au
Danish designer, Jacob Plejdrup, founded dk3 in 2009 and has reinvented the Tree Table tradition for a new generation. Shipping tables across the globe, connoisseurs can visit their factory to select their perfect match and finish though we’ve discovered a beautiful smoked-oak, three-meter long version here in Australia complete with an inlayed metal stamp that reads Tree Table no. 1003.
Custom made by master-craftsmen, this is a rare-find for its timber and design that can comfortably seat 10 with a level of quality that will ensure it carries the conversation onto the next generation.
Made from birch branches, the 'twiggy' Birch bed by Greg Hatton helps keep the sustainable dream alive. Photograph by DesignConsigned.com.au
Speaking of rare finds, and making matches – we’ve also discovered a double-set of kind sized ‘twiggy’ Birch Beds by Victorian designer / maker, Greg Hatton. Fondly known as ‘twiggy’, Hatton creates his pieces with materials found on country walks and suggests these discoveries “tell me what they are to become.”
A little more rustic than the Tree Table but no less romantic, each bed is unique in that the timber is hand-picked but also left very close to its natural state. Made in a heritage listed butter factory, Hatton describes his work as “practical environmentalism” and clears the way for more natural timbers by removing introduced species such as birch from the surrounding natural waterways.
LEFT: The set of TV series Offspring, filmed in the warehouse of artist Adrianne Strampp. Photograph by Armelle Habib, Styling by Julia Green.
RIGHT: Oil on canvas by Adrianne Strampp available through DesignConsigned.com.au
And on the topic of romance, and conversations we may or may not want to remember – here’s an interesting fact. Hit television series Offspring was predominantly filmed in the Fitzroy warehouse of artist, Adrianne Strampp, with one of her stunning works hanging above the sofa in Nina’s apartment. Combining some pre-loved furniture with one of Strampps’ oils on canvas is not a bad way to find yourself on a similar-set, but hopefully without the drama.
The Flynn dining table designed in Melbourne by Jardan. Photography by DesignConsigned.com.au
Another story made-in-Melbourne is the Flynn dining table by local legends, Jardan – designed by surfer, Nick Garnham. Again, we’ve found one that comes pre-loved but seemingly untouched and is perfectly offset by a set of 8 Jardan Maggie chairs.
The more we dig into the world of pre-owned objects the more we realise that not so long ago we would buy furniture for life, well made with an enduring aesthetic. Tables, chairs and cabinets were handed-down or sold-on – often outliving their original owners. A bit like your parent’s finest silver or porcelain, they were objects that become part of our lives and yes, if the trees could talk we reckon they would be happy that we can continue to sustain the beauty of their existence.
For more design rarities or to find out more about the ones we have discovered head to DesignConsigned.com.au
WRITTEN BY HouseLab