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The Bough Collection from Kalon: Sustainable Dining Furniture Inspired by Japanese Craftsmanship

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The Bough Collection from Kalon: Sustainable Dining Furniture Inspired by Japanese Craftsmanship

July 26, 2018

Michaele Simmering and Johannes Pauwen have an appreciation for everyday objects.

“We share a total love affair of tools,” says Simmering. “They have a very specific function, but they’re still beautiful. You get this wear out of them, and they have this ability to tell a story.”

The married designers, based in LA, bring that appreciation for the utilitarian to their line, Kalon, which they founded in 2007. A collection of well designed, sustainable furniture and housewares, each item has a reductive quality; a pared-back aesthetic that’s meant to blend seamlessly into a space, elevating its function and look. (We first fell for their heirloom quality children’s furniture several years ago.) Simmering and Pauwen say it’s compelling to create items, particularly large investment pieces, that are hard-working, beautiful, and adaptive to one’s evolving needs. “We always approach the pieces with a timeless intent or longevity,” says Simmering.

The latest Kalon addition, the Bough collection, is a further extension of the couple’s minimalist style. Composed of a large dining table, seating bench, and stool, the collection is made of American white ash punctuated by blackened steel details. Simmering and Pauwen conceived of the collection after becoming inspired by Sashimono, a style of traditional Japanese woodworking known for its elegance and function. The finished pieces are a study in contrasts: strong but ethereal, durable but airy, much like elegant, earnest tools.

Photography courtesy of Kalon Studios.

Before designing the collection, Simmering and Pauwen first fell in love with the materials. “Ash is a nice, durable strong wood that happens to have a wonderfully light look,” Pauwen says.
Above: Before designing the collection, Simmering and Pauwen first fell in love with the materials. “Ash is a nice, durable strong wood that happens to have a wonderfully light look,” Pauwen says.

Simmering says the collection is greatly informed by her and Pauwen’s years spent living in western Massachusetts. “Food was a huge part of our life there,” she says. “We cooked every meal together, we had dinners with large groups, friends who were farmers. The whole experience of eating together was big in our minds.” That communal ethos also lends reason to why the couple forgoes chairs, as “the benches and stools allow for a casual eating experience; it allows more people to join in.”

The collection is made to order in Los Angeles by skilled craftsmen. Each item can be customized in accordance with a range of finishes and size dimensions.
Above: The collection is made to order in Los Angeles by skilled craftsmen. Each item can be customized in accordance with a range of finishes and size dimensions.

The anchor of the collection, the Bough Table, expresses a simplicity found both in Shaker and Sashimono furniture, two craftsmanship styles that inspire Simmering and Pauewn’s work; starting at $5,800.
Above: The anchor of the collection, the Bough Table, expresses a simplicity found both in Shaker and Sashimono furniture, two craftsmanship styles that inspire Simmering and Pauewn’s work; starting at $5,800.
The Bough Bench can be customized to measure 60 inches to 72 inches and features minimalist blackened steel hardware on the cross beams. The hardworking bench can also be used as a coffee table; $1,800.
Above: The Bough Bench can be customized to measure 60 inches to 72 inches and features minimalist blackened steel hardware on the cross beams. The hardworking bench can also be used as a coffee table; $1,800.
The Bough Stool makes for a sleek end seat or side table. It’s $950 and measures 18 inches high.
Above: The Bough Stool makes for a sleek end seat or side table. It’s $950 and measures 18 inches high.

The Bough Collection is meant to be an anchor for surpassing trends or whims. “You can paint a wall, or get crazy pillows or an awesome lamp, but pieces of furniture are so big and are such an investment that I feel you want those things to do their job, and do it really well,” says Pauwen.
Above: The Bough Collection is meant to be an anchor for surpassing trends or whims. “You can paint a wall, or get crazy pillows or an awesome lamp, but pieces of furniture are so big and are such an investment that I feel you want those things to do their job, and do it really well,” says Pauwen.
Simmering and Pauwen—who are originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and Germany, respectively, and now live with their children in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood—share a passion for quiet design that’s ethically and sustainably based. “We wanted to do something, top to bottom, that we feel good about,” says Simmering.
Above: Simmering and Pauwen—who are originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and Germany, respectively, and now live with their children in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood—share a passion for quiet design that’s ethically and sustainably based. “We wanted to do something, top to bottom, that we feel good about,” says Simmering.

For more streamlined wood furniture and accessory lines, see:

Product summary  

Kalon Studios

Bough Table

$5,800.00 USD from Kalon Studios
Kalon Studios

Bough Bench

$1,800.00 USD from Kalon Studios
Kalon Studios

Bough Stool

$950.00 USD from Kalon Studios

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