From customizable see through furniture to distinctive woodworking and a rose-scented, Hudson Valley-made apothecary line, here are three must-have home goods for Summer 2019.
Inspired by Plato’s writings on Socrates, artist and designer Morgan Spaulding aspires to create furniture and sculpture that takes on the soul or essence of what’s around it. The Margaretville native recently moved back upstate from New York City and is building a studio in his hometown.
He launched Phaedo Designs in 2014 with the intention that each piece be both “playful and restrained, somber and lively” and “personify the ambiguous curvatures of ethereal in-betweens: dream states, memories in recession, thresholds in passing.” As such, the polycarbonate coffee table in his Lexan series is customizable and built to last, yet it can also simultaneously have presence or be invisible, depending upon the viewer’s angle.
Available in clear or bronze- or gray-tinted plastic, each table piece has its edges painted with blue oil paint, which aids in holding them together as well as adding to the table’s mystery.
Furniture with Roots
Woodworker Michael Moran’s tables, chairs, and cabinets are utterly individual, and each piece has its own story. They begin as salvaged boards or storm-downed trees that have been cut and milled using sustainably run, family-owned mills, and then dried anywhere from three months to two years to keep the wood as stable as possible before heading to the wood kiln.
It’s the “natural characteristics, idiosyncrasies” of the wood itself, says Moran, that determines what type of furniture it will become, and drives its design. For him, each piece of furniture, built at his Gallatin studio, is a collaboration with a once-living tree.
Whether a piece is bookmatched, hand-turned, angled, dovetailed, or mitered, or it contains live edges, framed roots, natural voids, or round-barked sides, it is finished with many layers of hand-applied clear tung oil to preserve the wood’s natural beauty. Traditionally charred pieces receive several coats of water-based zero-VOC finishes.
A Rose Is a Rose Is a Soap
The idea for online organic body-care products company Hudson Made began germinating for founder William Hovard 20 years ago, when the former New York City-based creative director bought a weekend house in the Catskills.
“For many years, I’d developed brands for other people, and I’d reached a point where I wanted to do my own,” he says. “And the more time I spent upstate, the more I got interested in developing products that were regionally focused.”
Not only does Hudson Made source all of its ingredients from within a 200-mile radius but the company also partners with local farmers to grow many of the botanicals. “We’re picking organic flowers by hand,” Hovard says, “and the organic botanicals we grow benefit the farms by supporting crop rotation and bringing beneficial insects.”
Although Hudson Made began with a range of products for men, Hovard wanted to create a line that appeals to women too. Apothecary Rose was born when Hovard discovered that not only is rosewater a natural, Vitamin C-rich skin restorative, but that rose was a popular scent for men in the Victorian era. Hudson Made has modernized the rose scent and made it appealing for both men and women by adding rose geraniums, patchouli, and cinnamon leaves. The Apothecary Rose line includes body wash, body bar, hand soap, and body milk. In addition, Hudson Made will launch a limited line of products made from hand-harvested wild roses this fall.