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Made in DTLA: A Young Couple’s of-the-Moment Tiled Furniture Line

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Made in DTLA: A Young Couple’s of-the-Moment Tiled Furniture Line

May 17, 2022

Gretta Solie, 27, and Alex Cutler, 33, went vintage furniture shopping on their second date. She’s a plant stylist who started her own houseplant business in college, he’s an artist—and that was three happy years ago. The couple now live together in Altadena, CA, and they used last spring’s lockdown to launch their own furniture line, Willow, which grew out of a shared “love of tile and a desire to use it in unconventional ways.” Working in tandem and figuring out things as they go, they specialize in tiled wooden forms: side tables, shelves, and benches that have a satisfyingly bright, clean-lined look.

“We source our wood locally and spend one day batch cutting and assembling all the frames for the pieces we’re going to make that week,” says Gretta. “All our tiles come from a family-owned American company.” Alex and Gretta’s backyard served as their initial workspace; they’ve since moved into a Downtown LA studio with floor-to-ceiling windows. They design, make, and sell everything themselves from start to finish: if you’re local, you can arrange a pickup, but they also ship all over.

like most of willow&#8\2\17;s pieces, the floating shelf is made with glass 9
Above: Like most of Willow’s pieces, the Floating Shelf is made with glass tiles available in several colors; apricot is shown here.
a suite of willow&#8\2\17;s signature side tables with legs (\$5\25 each) o 11
Above: A suite of Willow’s signature Side Tables with Legs ($525 each) on display in the couple’s DTLA studio. The two hatched the idea for Willow on a road trip to New Mexico to visit Alex’s dad. “We wanted to take a medium traditionally only used in bathrooms and kitchens, and make functional pieces of furniture in beautiful colors and patterns,” says Gretta.
for inspiration, the couple say they look to southwestern architecture, ancient 13
Above: For inspiration, the couple say they look to Southwestern architecture, ancient Greek mosaics, and Italian design collective Superstudio’s 1960s tiled pieces. The latter’s work led to this 48-inch Bench, $1,000, which weighs approximately 50 pounds.
the ceramic tiled willow chess table (7650), is &#8\2\20;perfect for chess, 15
Above: The ceramic-tiled Willow Chess Table (7650), is “perfect for chess, as a table, or both.” Willow also makes Chess Boards.
a now sold out floating shelf in a tile color called mushroom; handle vase 17
Above: A now sold-out Floating Shelf in a tile color called Mushroom; Handle Vase by Kelsey Vest of Permanent Vacay. “Our color palette reflects our love of the desert,” says Gretta.
willow side tables with legs, \$5\25, work well as bedside tables. legless cube 19
Above: Willow Side Tables with Legs, $525, work well as bedside tables. Legless Cube Side Tables and Pedestals are also available. Stay tuned: Gretta and Alex say they have new designs in the works and are starting to use marble tiles. Follow them @fromwillow.

N.B.: Willow, it turns out, is one of several young companies around the world specializing in similar tiled designs. Some others to check out: Ktown Corner Store and Super Studio in LA; Ikon in Copenhagen; Poly Designs in Melbourne; Fleur Studios in Currumbin, Australia; and Bubblegum Dreams Shop in Rouen, France.

For more made-in-LA furniture, see:

And peruse our Tile archives for more inspiration, including:

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