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.
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.”
For more streamlined wood furniture and accessory lines, see: