Behind The Design Mind: Croft HouseAuthor:Abigail Stone
In another in our occasional series on California makers, we sat down with Los Angeles-based manufacturer and retailer Croft House, which designs and creates handmade furniture and fixtures, as they begin their celebration of ten years in the business.
Croft House was founded out of a garage on Croft Avenue — hence the name — in 2010. Lauded for their use of sustainable materials, their impeccable craftsmanship, and their modern yet timeless pieces, they’ve since grown to encompass a factory in Downtown Los Angeles and a showroom a few miles away on La Brea Avenue. They recently launched Carter, their latest collection, which pushes their aesthetic forward which still maintaining the simple, clean lines that herald their work.
California Home + Design: I love the new Carter collection. The light wood makes it feel very fresh. What was the inspiration behind the decision to make light wood the focus of this grouping?
Croft House: In general, we wanted to add some airy pieces with light hues to compliment the other designs we offer. These new lighter and brighter pieces are really a natural evolution, and we are pleased to offer some new designs that are fully committed to this look. Once we got a taste, it made sense to round out the Carter collection in bleached maple.
Can you share a little bit about the evolution of your design over the years? Has your approach to how you design a new collection changed?
When we first began Croft House, we were mainly refinishing and reinventing reclaimed pieces, and the look had a more industrial vibe overall. As we delved into creating our own furniture, the Croft House-style became more streamlined and more refined. This California Modern style is the look that really put us on the map. Now, through customer feedback and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, we are able to design new pieces that expand the overall offerings of the brand, while staying true to the California Modern style that sets us apart from other furniture brands.
Some of my favorite pieces from you guys have always been the Riviera and Bronson sofas. When I look at those pieces against these new designs, I can definitely see a through line. Talk to me a little bit about the elements that make something a “Croft House” piece.
Scale and proportion is a hallmark of the Croft House look, and we always play with negative space in the shape of our designs. Croft House is known for clean lines, but also mixed materials – especially the leather detailing you see in the new Carter pieces such as the Carter Console and Bed. We love the contrast in natural textures that you see in these pieces between the leather accents and the bleached wood.
You don’t have formal training…any regrets? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about creating furniture from your years in the business?
No regrets! Of course there have been times where more experience would have made for a smoother process in the beginning, but learning by doing has worked out very well for us. It’s intimate and rewarding to learn through trial and error.
How do your team work together? Are you divided between design and sales or is it more of a symbiosis?
Everything at Croft House is a team effort. Most recently, we’ve been evaluating the Croft House collection as a whole and identifying opportunities. For example, until our latest drop this summer, we had not introduced a new bed or sofa in a few years. Since our sofas and sectionals are a favorite of designers and customers, we wanted to expand the sofa category at Croft House. Designing individual pieces, we are considering all aspects of the business from the factory in downtown LA to the retail shop on La Brea. What new shapes can we create? What are our customers looking for that we don’t currently offer? Does this new product bring something unique to the market? We consider what’s practical and possible, then push ourselves create something that elevates the brand.
Croft house describes itself as encompassing the ethos of California Design. Could you share a little bit about what that means and what being in Los Angeles has meant for your work?
The allure of Los Angeles is what drew the Croft House team together, so it will always be a core part of our brand and aesthetic. For us, California Design is about laid-back simplicity and modern comfort, always with a touch of cool that could only come out of a creative nexus like Los Angeles. This city has a very long history of furniture-making, and we are very proud to be manufacturing om the United States, but more specifically, taking advantage of the history of craftsmanship associated with creating American furniture and modernizing it with a fresh look and the latest technology.
Croft House, 326 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323.424.7743
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