"Douglas and Bec" contemporary furniture to appreciate
June 6, 2014
Douglas and Bec is a real find. It is an Auckland and Melbourne based furniture and lighting design house, which was established by family. Designer Bec Dowie started the business with her father, Douglas Snelling, in 2006, and later were joined by Bec's husband, Paul.
All of the furniture and lighting is handmade by Mr Snelling, in his Clevedon Auckland, workshop, where he collaborates with local artisans, architects and designers to deliver beautiful products for retail and commercial use in restaurants, hotels and store fit outs around the world. Materials used are oak and American ash timber and spun metals, copper, brass, linen, leather and blown glass.
Douglas and Bec have a full online store and retail outlets in Auckland and Melbourne which also all stock art and design pieces from around the world, focusing on creators who produce well crafted, thoughtful, and innovative work.
An exciting collaboration has been the marriage of one of New Zealand's leading fashion designers, Kate Sylvester, and Douglas and Bec. In the last few years, as Kate has expanded her brand's repertoire beyond clothes she has not only launched a gorgeous range of prescription glasses (of which i have a pair!), she has created a stunning range of furniture with Douglas and Bec using muted, pastel tones, metallic finishes and leather.
My favourite, the 'Cross Brass Coffee Table for Kate Sylvester' is made from solid American ash, painted in blush, and finished with solid brass legs which are polished and left raw to age naturally. They also do this style in a cute stool. Colours include duck egg blue and blush.
Another one of her pieces is a really simple, but beautiful 'Folding Stool for Kate Sylvester', which again uses solid brass legs (polished and left raw to age) with a hand-sewn leather seat which comes in black or blush.
Douglas and Bec have done a collaboration with Sam Orme-Gee to produce the Weave Chair. I love these for a dining table or bedroom chair. The seat comes in chocolate, black, or raw russet (tan) leather, and duck egg blue or white canvas. They all come in American ash or American oak and the wood can be custom stained to your liking.
The Lightning collection includes some lovely chandeliers - they are not chandeliers in the way you are thinking - they are simple, structured, yet organic as they appear to 'grow' from their centre, and extremely elegant. They are made from solid brass or copper and hand blown glass.
The table and floor lamps are made fun by using wood, coloured cords and fabric and colourfully finished metal. For a more classic, yet contemporary look, the hand spun copper and brass pendants are available polished and lacquered to keep high shine, or you can choose to leave them raw so that they age naturally.
You can even buy the 'Make Your Own Angle Lamp' which comes as a kit set in interchangeable colour schemes. You choose your linen shade, cord and base colour, then assemble the lamp yourself!
I don't love the table range - but if you are after something wood, rectangular and very simple, the tables hit that brief very well.
They also do those leather hung round mirrors we've all seen on The Block and House Rules, and their store includes a raft of cushion covers, linen, art, jewellery, colourful soups, candles, a copper bird feeder (love it) and lots more.
If you are in Auckland or Melbourne go check out the store...