Design Details | Celebrating Australian Made Furniture

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    We celebrate Australian craftsmanship and connection through furniture designed and manufactured by local brand Kett, exclusive to Cosh Living.

    From the rugged coastline to the ancient forest, an inherent appreciation for Australia’s unique landscapes has defined Kett Furniture since it was established by Melbourne-based designer Justin Hutchinson in 2017.

    Six years on and having distilled a distinctly Australian identity throughout each of his furniture collections, we explore how Justin has been an advocate for investing in locally produced designs and how, when it comes to crafting furniture, a connection to the environment and a considered, local approach ensures a lighter footprint.

    In partnership with Cosh Living 

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    In the foreground, a Kett Erskine sofa creates a modern silhouette while the Kett Otway trestle dining table takes centre stage within the communal dining space of the Cape Schanck house by Cantilever Interiors. | Photography by Martina Gemmola

    Justin’s symbiotic relationship with Cosh Living has been foundational in developing furniture collections that capture the contemporary Australian lifestyle. In turn, Kett’s range directly reflects the Cosh Living brand and philosophy. Creatively articulating a vision that punctuates Cosh Living’s celebration of contemporary design, Kett designs through collaboration, human connection, and local craftsmanship.

    Colin Kupke and Shane Sinnott founded Cosh Living in 2008 to address Australia’s narrow premium furniture offering. In 2016, building on their vision to honour Australian design, they approached Justin with a new brand, Kett. Established to focus on furniture exclusively designed and made in Melbourne by a small yet skilled team of local craftspeople, Kett has the added advantage of being backed by the Cosh Living team, who offer their fifteen-year foundation of luxury furniture experience.

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    Designer Justin Hutchinson sketching out new designs in his Melbourne studio.

    “What you buy feeds into what the industry is able to produce. When you buy locally, you’re employing numerous people throughout a production chain. I would hope that people would start to understand the value of investing in Australian design.”

     

    – Kett Designer Justin Hutchinson

    Kett’s mission to design and manufacture furniture locally using authentic Australian materials has always been at the forefront of their brand, but as we move to a world of buying less and investing in ‘better’, Australian consumers are genuinely appreciating the longevity and value of supporting locally sourced, designed, and made products.

    Focusing on crafting honest collections in their use of materials and being united in their considered process allows Justin and his team to maintain close relationships with local makers and craftspeople who help to design, develop and manufacture their furniture collections. This closed-loop process ensures that each material’s quality, durability, and essence are distilled into each Kett piece. For example, one of Kett’s Erskine sofas takes a number of craftspeople across Melbourne to contribute to its construction; from those who create the timber frames to the expert stainers, fabric houses, and upholstery team – several specialist hands are involved in the process.

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    Wye barstools powder coated in a eucalyptus tone by Justin Hutchinson for Kett sit at the granite kitchen island bench alongside ceramics crafted by local Melbourne maker Ghost Wares in the Elwood Home designed by Fieldwork Architects. | Photography by Derek Swalwell

    As well as supporting local craftspeople, there are many benefits to purchasing locally-made furniture. While reduced lead times play a central role, shorter shipping trips also mean a lower carbon footprint. Accessing local services direct from the manufacturer to have a furniture item refurbished or parts updated only solidifies that investing in a timeless piece for life pays off across generations.

    Kett’s Frame Living System, for example, is constructed from modules, none of which requires single-use glue to bond parts which means the modules can be demountable and can transition from one home to the next while allowing for refurbishment, repairs, and updates along the way. “We continually improve on every product. No one product is the same as it was when it was first released. Nothing ever remains static; everything is forever changing. So, you’ve got to constantly have people that are custodians and want to improve on the design so that it remains relevant and has longevity,” Justin explains.

    “From a sustainability point of view, the best thing you can possibly do is design something that has maximum appeal for the longest period of time.”

     

    – Kett Designer Justin Hutchinson

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    Designer Justin Hutchinson sketching in his studio space.

    When investing in furniture produced on a local scale we’re also simultaneously advocating for our local design and manufacturing industry. “It’s one of the most important things about buying Australian furniture, buying local,” Justin says. “You aren’t just supporting the Kett brand, but you’re supporting the incredible array of local businesses that work together to achieve the result,” he adds. “It’s a network of artisans that rely on each other and one that Kett is proud to be a part of.”

    Designing considered pieces results from a collaborative commitment that helps to ensure Kett’s designs endure across generations. “From a sustainability point of view, the best thing you can possibly do is design something that has maximum appeal for the longest period of time,” Justin says.

    “It’s pleasing that people are now more aware of Australian design,” Justin says. “When people go to spend, that’s a very powerful moment in time because what you buy feeds into what the industry can produce. When you buy locally, you employ numerous people throughout a production chain.”

    Justin hopes that people are starting to understand the value of investing in Australian design. “The money in your pocket is powerful in making and defining how the world works.”

    “We want our furniture to have a light footprint. Furniture that has a ‘closed loop’ philosophy.”

     

    – Kett Designer Justin Hutchinson

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Design details | Australian made furniture