The Local Design Philosophy Behind Kett’s Indoor Collection

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    Kett Studio Melbourne-based designer Justin Hutchinson draws on his experience to prove that when it comes to crafting furniture, a connection to the environment and a considered, local approach ensures a lighter footprint.

    Designers and brands have become increasingly conscious of how the products they create impact our planet. As we move to a world where buying less is more, consumers are also tuning into the many benefits of supporting locally sourced, designed and made products – especially when it comes to furniture.

    At the helm of Cosh Living’s own in-house brand Kett, we spoke with multi-talented Australian designer Justin Hutchinson from his Abbotsford workshop in Melbourne. Justin Hutchinson’s symbiotic relationship with Cosh Living over the years has been foundational in developing an indoor collection of furniture that speaks to the contemporary Australian lifestyle. As a result, Kett’s range of furniture reflects the Cosh Living brand and philosophy. It elegantly articulates a vision that emphasises Cosh Living’s celebration of contemporary design through collaboration and local craftsmanship.

    In partnership with Cosh Living

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    The simple shape of the Kett Johanna Elliptical Table makes a strong statement when paired with a marble top and black stained legs, while the surrounding Kett Johanna Armchairs make for a modern yet comfortable dining companion in this Sydney home by Innovate Architects.

    Designing for longevity defines Kett’s indoor collection of furniture, and Justin’s focus is on sustainably produced craftmanship where pieces are as functional and beautifully hand-finished as they are positive for our planet. Kett’s latest collection by Hutchinson captures a timeless collection of indoor furniture, inspired by the natural Australian landscape. “Beloved locations on the Victorian coastline were the starting point of Kett’s very first collections and remained at the heart of our current collections,” Justin explains.

    Kett has always captured the essence of these regions and moulds them into distinct lines, shapes and colour palettes that capture an unmistakable Australian sensibility. From the giant forests of Cape Otway to the coastal grasslands of Johanna beach, each collection becomes a story of the place. “The act of drawing upon a place to inform the collection allows us to bring the outdoors inside. From ‘place’, we can begin to understand the importance of colours, materials, shapes and form that are akin to a sense of our own identity,” Justin says.

    Keen on both storage and design-led innovation; the Kett Frame Living System is a standout piece from their indoor collection. With mountable and customisable options available, its clean, contemporary lines and ability to maximise any living, office or bedroom space build a modern backdrop for a layered and timeless aesthetic. As most furniture pieces from Kett’s indoor range, the Frame Living System has been through a rigorous and highly considered manufacturing process. “People’s health was at the core in the development of Frame, with materials free of formaldehyde, phenols, solvents, PVC or melamine,” Justin says. “We want people’s homes to have visual clarity and breathability,” he adds.

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    The Kyneton House by Edition Office features the Kett Otway armchair and Kett Otway Dining Table.

    As well as craftsmanship and a focus on a healthier environment, credibility for Kett’s indoor collection also comes from being completely designed and made in Australia in a collaborative effort with different local artisans. “When it came to finding a suitable manufacturing partner to help bring Frame to market, we looked no further than Cantilever, who share the same level of attention to detail and a reputation for producing beautifully crafted kitchens for Australian homes,” Justin says.

    Kett’s focus on crafting honest collections in their use of materials and united in their considered process mean Justin and his team maintain close relationships with the local makers and craftspeople who help produce their indoor furniture collections. Clearly, this ensures the quality, durability and beauty of the materials in each of Kett’s pieces. For example, many talented craftspeople across Melbourne contribute to constructing one Kett sofa; from those who create the timber frames to the stainers, fabric houses and upholstery team – numerous expert hands are involved in the process.

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    Tecture‘s Vista Townhouse reveals a living space complete with the low profile of the Kett Johanna Occasional Chair which draws its inspiration from the Australian natural landscape and cosmopolitan cities.

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


    Justin Hutchinson

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    Local craftsmanship aside, there are many other benefits to purchasing locally made furniture. While shorter lead times play a pivotal role, shorter shipping trips mean a reduced carbon footprint. Accessing local services direct from the manufacture to have a furniture item refurbished or parts updated only solidifies that investing in a timeless piece for life pays off. Take the Frame Living System; it’s made of many modules, none of which requires single-use glue to bond parts ensuring the modules can be demountable and can transition from one home to the next while allowing for refurbishment, repairs and updates along the way.

    In buying locally, we’re also advocating for our local design and manufacturing industry at the same time. “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.”

    Each Kett design results from a collaborative commitment to designing considered pieces that stand the test of time. ‘Inside Looking Out’ is one of Kett’s fundamental concepts, which speaks beautifully to the indoor collection’s enduring connection to its surrounding environment.

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