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Designcraft: A world of fabulous furniture

Wendy Johnson

“We sell furniture your grandchildren will fight over.”

This great quote comes from a Canberran who is passionate about fabulous, authentic design.

Bob Fenderson, Managing Director of Designcraft, is that Canberran and it may surprise you to learn that he is passionate for many reasons and one is the environment.

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Managing Director of Designcraft, Bob Fenderson.

“Great design is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s kind to the environment because it lasts a long time,” says Bob. “Our landfills are filled with cheap furniture and we have to get over buying products that have a limited lifespan. The last thing the world needs is more disposable junk.”

Designcraft is a hidden gem and if you haven’t been, make a point of it.

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The 1,200 square metre showroom, over two levels, features a marvellous collection of Australian and international furniture, accessories and designing objects, lighting and rugs.

Designcraft does all the hard work, bringing iconic brands to Canberra. Who says you have to go to Sydney or Melbourne to shop? Hume is only minutes away.

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Once you step through the solid, massive, fire-engine red front door at Designcraft you’re immersed in a wonderful world of design.

“People are often surprised at the extent of the range,” says Bob. “Our aim is to sell products that have intrinsic worth and that people will cherish for years to come. Furniture is a big part of our lives. That’s why we aim for quality and value-for-money.”

Bulb Fiction Blue Chair

 

Most brands in the Hume showroom are exclusive to Designcraft and Bob says his team works with some of the world’s foremost furniture companies, like Walter Knoll which is celebrating its 150th year in business in 2015, Herman Miller, which by the middle of the 20th century was a name synonymous with ‘modern furniture’, and Fritz Hansen, a Danish furniture design company that has been crafting timeless design since 1872.

But Designcraft also sources from some of the best designers in Australia, including from contemporary Melbourne design house TAIT, Adam Goodrum, who is a star in Australian design, Ross Didier, one of Australia’s must successful and original designers, and Kate Stokes from Cocoflip, a reputable Melbourne-based furniture and lighting design studio.

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“It’s a designer’s dream to produce something that is timeless and will last a long time,” says Bob. “Many designs we carry move towards minimalism and so don’t date.”

On the accessories side, Designcraft carries vases, bowls, beakers and platters from FINK, made in its Queanbeyan studio, with each object individually hand finished to form its own characteristics. Designcraft also offers products from Stelton, Menu, and Canberra Silversmith Nellie Peoples and industrial designer Sam Tomkins, including The Company Vessels. If you’re after lighting, Designcraft’s range includes Louis Poulsen.

But what about cost? Why not just buy a replica for less money?

“Replicas don’t last,” says Bob. “They soon become valueless. They also damage the industry. Designers need to make a living. If you take away their money, the industry will disappear. And don’t get me started on how replicas also harm people–labour costs and factory conditions in many countries producing cheap replicas are often unregulated. It can be a human rights issue.”

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Bob is an interesting study. He grew up in New England, Northeastern United States, an area with a strong craft tradition, and remembers, as a kid, always taking things apart and putting them back together again.

“There was a Shaker Village not far from where we lived, and the members of that community were all industrious and known for their simple living, architecture and furniture,” says Bob. “Looking back, it was an influence.”

Bob never intended to make a career in furniture and design. At uni, he studied politics and worked part-time to put food on the table at a local commercial carpentry business. Bob soon discovered a deeper ability and deeper interest in working with his hands.

“After my degree I was uncertain what to do with life,” says Bob. “I travelled a bit but then landed back into building things and eventually moved to Australia.”

Designcraft was founded in 1991 as a small furniture and joinery company in a rented 350 square-metre workshop in Queanbeyan. After a couple of moves, the company settled into its impressive showroom and factory location in Hume which sells to residential and commercial buyers.

The essentials

The place: Designcraft
Where: Cnr Sheppard St and Monaro Hwy, Hume
Open: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday.
Phone: (02) 6290 4900
Web: designcraft.net.au

This is a sponsored post.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author