You might think that the name of LA-based design team MFEO, an acronym for Made for Each Other, refers to its married co-founders, Claire and Aaron Van Holland. And you’d be right. But there’s another important coupling that also defines the company: good design and sustainability.
In today’s bull-market of sustainable design, where “eco-conscious” products are often promoted using ambiguous claims and pedantic messages, MFEO’s mission is refreshingly straightforward: to foster balance and mindfulness when it comes to how we use and interact with our environments.
The duo makes good on these objectives through a process they refer to as “handREcrafting.” In their mission to breathe new life into things broken, discarded, and/or otherwise unused, the stories behind their raw materials have become inextricable from their repurposed creations. Much of MFEO’s furniture, for example, uses Douglas fir sourced from Aaron’s grandfather’s barn—a dilapidated, 120-year-old structure in rural Oregon that the couple dismantled themselves. Knowing not only who designed and built the bed you sleep in every night or the chair you sit in every day, but also the histories of the materials, changes how you think about the bed and the chair. Such knowledge restores a sense of intimacy to our relationships with objects that have for so long been mass-produced and mass-consumed.
While it’s impossible not to appreciate the stories that make MFEO, it’s also impossible not to appreciate the modern, industrial aesthetic that makes MFEO. The rolling Operator Task Chair is the perfect solution for the hum-drum home office, while the Fir & Chrome Occasional Chair masterfully pairs a vintage chrome club chair frame with a seat and back made using the team’s signature polished slatted wood construction technique. Other gems include the Noguchi-inspired Slatted Cyclone Wood Table, the Reclaimed Wood Platform Bed and an array of rustic wall sconces. MFEO’s raw, clean-lined jewelry, especially the leather and brass ID bracelets, is also not to be missed.
In 2013, MFEO will focus on expanding the scope of the materials it repurposes to include more metals. There’s also talk of moving into a larger studio, participating in more local events and consigning out to Southern California shops. In the meantime, you can find MFEO’s uniquely sustainable wares via its Etsy store and at various outdoor markets around LA, including Melrose Trading Post, The Venice Meet and the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
All photos courtesy of wearemfeo.com.