“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” said poet John Keats and he was right. It could be a battered but beloved armchair handed-down from generation to generation, or a child’s stool, handmade by grandpa as a gift to treasure forever.
Timeless furniture plays the often overlooked role of bringing people together to create memories that last a lifetime. A thoughtfully designed piece can spark conversation, create a moment or simply provide a place for you to reflect at the end of the day; and for Devon that intersection between innovation and craftsmanship is where beauty lies.
We’ve long considered our handmade pieces as special moments in themselves, with the print and legacy of the designer and craftsman stamped on them alongside the owner’s, and the intricate design process to bring this to life starts with considering function and form.
As a global brand, we’ve long competed with the influential European style of furniture that weaves itself into design narratives across the world. It’s hard not to walk into a furniture store and see a nod to minimalist or Scandinavian trends that have been popularised in homes for the past 10 years.
So where does New Zealand design and influence feature in this story?
Moving with the times
As the leading bespoke and handmade furniture brand in New Zealand, we’ve been on a journey to create the best furniture money can buy since 1976 - but as attitudes, design and manufacturing changed, so has our focus and vision for the future.
Our leading edge construction and contemporary design is complemented by a mahi that recognises the importance of sustainability and acknowledges the nature and culture of New Zealand.
Sustainable practice has always been at the forefront of the way we design and manufacture, but we want to do more - we want to set a standard and example to other brands in the industry. When creating furniture that is an investment and is as important as the structure of a space, ensuring you use the best quality product does not mean you have to harm the environment or compromise on your purpose to deliver sustainable goods.
Devon works with and uses timber from sustainably grown Teak plantations in Indonesia and we maintain a close working relationship with the initiative that maintains the balance of the natural environment of the sustainable forest, with the production of wood.
As soon as trees are felled they are replaced with seedlings and nourished to eventually become mature trees within an ecosystem that produces wood for furniture manufacturers, construction and the paper and card industry.
As we learn more about the role we play and how we can improve sustainability practices from start to finish, this will be evident in our attention to detail and the final product.
Reflecting nature’s playground
Our next collection will represent the best of New Zealand and the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis. A hand-woven chair that reflects sea fishing nets - both the delicacy and the strength, is called The Moana. We want to honour the inspiration the coastal landscapes have given us and how we tie this into our design and production.
The materials we use to hand-weave feature numerous benefits that also speak to our sustainability efforts - they can be recycled while remaining high performance.
Some of the pieces are inspired by my favourite childhood playgrounds - Nelson and The Coromandel and my hope is that you too are reminded of a special moment in our beautiful country.
As the ocean that surrounds us plays such an important role in our lives, we know it makes sense to use fabrics that are utilised for marine conditions, such as boats. Our furniture is made to withstand the elements and we were the first to recognise these benefits and translate them into stylish outdoor furniture.
These small innovative details create furniture that is made to last and that in itself speaks to our ambition to create furniture for life, not just a season. This is a sustainable act that enables us to focus on good quality rather than mass production that is thrown away at the end of the summer.