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Made in DTLA: A Young Couples’ New Tiled Furniture Line

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Made in DTLA: A Young Couples’ New Tiled Furniture Line

April 1, 2021

Gretta Solie, 26, and Alex Cutler, 32, 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.

Willow&#8
Above: Willow’s Floating Shelf, from $220, is available for pre-order (delivery in June). Like most of Willow’s pieces, it’s made with glass tiles available in several colors; apricot is shown here.
A suite of Willow&#8
Above: A suite of Willow’s signature Side Tables with Legs ($500 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 Greek mosaics, and Italian design collective Superstudio&#8
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, $900, which comes in six colors and weighs approximately 50 pounds.
The ceramic-tiled Willow Chess Table ($650), is &#8
Above: The ceramic-tiled Willow Chess Table ($650), is “perfect for chess, as a table, or both.”
A Floating Shelf, $
Above: A Floating Shelf, $220, 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, $500, 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.
Above: Willow Side Tables, $500, 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, both 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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