Mac+WoodMac+Wood

By Mac+Wood

Dekton Tables: the ultimate high-tech tables

Dekton Tables: the ultimate high-tech tables

You need a table made tough for family life, you need a unique Mac+Wood Dekton table.

The revolutionary product Dekton launched in 2013. This completely inorganic substance is made from complex raw materials, used in glass, porcelain and quartz surface production. Before its launch the company that created it, Cosentino, invested $172 million into the new product, including 22,000 hours of research and development and the construction of a new state-of-the-art factory in Spain.

Dekton is a material with unique characteristics and seemingly endless applications from tables, countertops, flooring, siding, facades for both inside and outdoors.

Dekton is made in a process that combines technologies from three different industries; glass, porcelain and quartz. This process lead to the development of a new production method called Particle Sintering Technology.

This process is like an accelerated version of the natural metamorphism that rocks and stone undergo when subjected to heat and pressure over thousands of years. To manufacture Dekton, Cosentino has reduced this process to four hours with extreme heat and pressure resulting in an entirely new ultra compact material. The press used in the ultra-compaction can bring 25,000 tons of pressure to bear.

All of this highly scientific process has lead to a product with unique properties, which can best be taken advantage of in the form of a Dekton table.

The properties of a Dekton table that make it so useful fall into four categories.

Firstly, the table is non-porous and this means it is highly stain resistant. Hosting a party with a Dekton table? All those glass rings which could ruin another surface can be wiped away easily with no lasting marks, even the morning after.

In a video demonstration of the stain resistance of Dekton tables, they spray the table with a large X in red paint, dry it with a hair dryer and then remove it with little more than a cloth and water.

Secondly, the tables are highly UV resistant. Normally surfaces are affected by UV light and the colours become washed out and faded. However, a Dekton table will hold its colour permanently due to its UV resistance. This means the beautiful colour you spent time choosing from the myriad of options will really last.

Thirdly, Dekton tables are pretty indestructible. The enormous pressures Dekton tables are exposed to during production means that they can resist any scratch, abrasion, or mechanical attack. This makes them perfect for hard use and preparing food on, without fear of chips or scratches. In another demonstration of the Dekton table’s surface, the table is attacked with a screw driver and rather than scratch or chip the tool is repelled showing a few sparks in slow motion!

Finally, Dekton tables, like a good chef, can stand the heat. Dekton tables are completely noncombustible. They can be blowtorched and abused by pots and pans and never show a mark. Forget using pot stands or trivets, you can place anything hot on a Dekton table without worry. Dekton tables also resist temperature at the other end of the scale and are resistant to ice and thawing.

Dekton tables come in a wonderful array of carefully created colours and patterns. These colours make the surface of a Dekton table suited to any room and style. At MAC+WOOD we finish the job by creating the perfect bespoke frame to pair with the surface and style. We make these frames in any colour or in brushed steel and in any one of our beautiful designs.

 

By Nicolas Gordon

Luxury Furniture in the House of Wonders: A tour of Aynhoe Park

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Cotswolds and cunningly disguised as a seemingly normal Georgian country house – pulling it off with convincingly natural flair no less, sits Aynhoe Park – the surreal, luxury furniture filled, off-the-wall anomaly amongst Georgian country houses.

Home and passion project of veteran music-mogul James Perkins who happens to also moonlight as a restorer of historic houses, Aynhoe Park is a surreal carnival of rockstar chic, Palladian grandeur, and the plain outrageous. As in, there is literally a 12-foot taxidermied giraffe named Gerald suspended by giant silver balloons in The Orangery, (what’s The Orangery you ask? Read on my dear reader).

I had the pleasure of experiencing Aynhoe Park while attending a wedding last year, one of the principal events that sees people, champagne in hand, gawping at the otherworldly interior of the eccentric venue. Numbered amongst the attendees of past events are Mick Jagger, Christian Louboutin and Kate Moss to name a few – clearly I missed my chance to infiltrate the inner circle of timeless British music and fashion royalty – but all thoughts of lost opportunity were well and truly forgotten by the end of a wedding weekend spent in awe of Perkins’s collection of avant-garde curiosities. Without further ado, let me present some of my top picks of the luxury furniture and furnished luxuries of Aynhoe Park.

Patriotic Polar Bears

Standing out amongst the vast collection of taxidermy present throughout the house and giving Gerald a run for his money for the winner of Most Memorable Stuffed Animal – are two polar bears, nameless as far as I’m aware, but what they lack in denomination they make up for in patriotism. Both sporting Union Jack torso-wear/capes, they cut a striking pose, sparing no expense on accessorising, complete with a top hat, British flying goggles and an admiral’s cap. Two testaments to James Perkin’s love for effortlessly blended grandiose quirkiness.

Hercules by James Perkins Studio

Having “slain the beast”, the towering figure of Hercules leans on a club draped with the hide of the lion. One of the most iconic pieces of James’ collection, the sculpture is actually based on a much smaller marble version by one of the greatest Hellenic sculptors in the Fourth Century Bc, but the current incarnation, need I even bother saying it; of course stands at over ten-and-a-half-feet tall and has a golden clock around his neck and is holding a matching golden balloon behind his back. Demigod meets party-boy, Hercules is personal favourite of mine as well as being another well documented conversation starter at Aynhoe.

Hammered Copper Pendulum Chaise

Would this really be a Mac+Wood post without mentioning copper luxury furniture at least once? No. Thought not. So feast your eyes on the latest burnished statement piece featured on our site (and in my opinion one of the most eye-catching). Hand crafted with highly polished materials and coated in a lustrous copper finish, the sculptural design making a striking and functional garden installation that can be hung from a tree or attached to a free-standing swing frame for interior use. If you’d like to read about more ingenious uses of copper furnishings, we wrote a whole article about it! /blog/copper-tables-in-london-bars-and-restarants/

Gerald

And now for the star of our show, the one constant in this turbulent world, the giraffe, quite literally, above all others – Gerald. Not much is known about the inspiration behind his conception but at this point in its important to realise that at Aynhoe Park, too much “why?” will stop you from appreciating the wonder around every corner. Suspended by monumental glass balloons, Gerald lives exclusively in The Orangery, the principal wedding room. When he’s not officiating weddings, Gerald is enchanting children and adults alike with his fairytale appearance and generally making the world a brighter place.

Hats off to Mr Perkins for his tireless devotion to filling such a grand space with the weird, wonderful and original, it made for an unforgettable weekend as it has for so many others choosing to throw their party of parties there. To tell you more about Aynhoe Park would be to ruin the first-person experience of, well, all the above – so you’ll just have to go and see it for yourself!

http://aynhoepark.co.uk/

By Nicolas Gordon

Film fables to Coffee Tables: Furniture on the Big Screen

Film fables to Coffee Tables: Furniture on the Big Screen

As the curtains come down on another summer of blockbusters with plenty of both hits and misses making their way across the big-screen, we’ve decided it’s time to look beyond the star-studded casts and questionable reboots to celebrate a whole different class of talent. The unsung heroes of the film industry, the humble saviours of style, the beautiful set pieces responsible for a positively cult-like following of furniture geeks and movie nerds – the iconic interiors behind some of our favourite works of cinema!

  Read more

By Mac+Wood

Icons of Wood Furniture Design

Great wood furniture design is at the heart of what we do. You might say we’re aficionados. In today’s blog, we continue our tribute to the greatest and most iconic wood furniture designs in modern history. These are the pieces that set the bar for design: they innovated the home, the office and, as you’ll see below, even the shopping mall. These are the icons of wood furniture design – and we can’t get enough of them.

The Nelson Platform Bench

The Nelson Platform Bench is timeless in mid-century furniture design. You could spot its practical, slatted shape a mile away. It’s a visual representation of Modernist ideals – the unison of beauty and function – with pure-and-simple common sense built right in. Yes, we think it’s beautiful, but its sparse design is made for serious business: it can multitask as seating, shelving, or a table in all sorts of environments.

  Read more

By Mac+Wood

De Stijl: Masters of Modernist Furniture Design

De Stijl: Masters of Modernist Furniture Design

The best wood furniture is a combo of incredible style and stunning function. That’s what furniture design is all about – and that’s why we love it so much. So here’s a question for you: is it possible to achieve perfection in furniture design? The absolute apex of style and function? For most designers, creating the perfect design would be the ultimate quest. It’d only be slightly less exciting than finding the Holy Grail.

For members of the De Stijl design movement, achieving the perfect combination of style and function was their whole raison d’être. They become a powerful ancestor of modernism in furniture design – what was it about their ideas and their products that had such a lasting influence?

First things first. What was ‘De Stijl’?

It’s Dutch for ‘the style’ and the name of a radical minimalist art movement founded in The Netherlands in 1917. Co-founder Piet Mondrian was probably its most famous member, but others include its other co-founder Theo van Doesburg, Gerrit Rietveld, Vilmus Huszar, J. J. P. Oud and Bart van der Leck.

Much of our modern love of open-plan living and geometric furniture comes straight out of the experiments of De Stijl. It was highly influential in furniture design, architecture, painting, sculpture and even literature – which is as well, because they advocated close collaboration between all art forms – and it inspired many well-known 20th century designers, including Miles van der Rohe.

What’s Mondrian got to do with furniture?

De Stijl furniture looks like a Mondrian painting in three dimensions. If you know the famous paintings – the grids of black and white lines, with rectangles of red, blue and yellow – you’ll recognise Gerrit Rietveld’s famous 1918 wood chair, a perfect example with its rectangular red back and accents of yellow paint.

This sort of design was typical of De Stijl. Rietveld reduced his furniture designs down to the most simple forms, using pure geometric shapes, straight lines and circles, and stuck to a limited palette of black, white and primary colours.

Why was it considered so radical?

They rejected any attempt at representing visual reality as it seems and instead explored ideas of strict abstraction, what can be, using only straight lines and a limited palette of colour.

They forced the designer to think about proportion, geometry and colour and achieve some kind of harmony. The result was a new simplicity of imagery, something that was revolutionary at a time when fussy still life paintings or landscapes were still very much the norm.

Are their chairs…actually comfortable?

Not massively! These pieces were experimental and sculptural. They were not primarily designed for relaxation, but as part of a wider idea of open-plan living. In these idealised spaces it was hoped there were more important things to do than just slump in a comfy wood chair all day. They were a bit elitist like that.

I like open-plan living rooms.

So did they – they were obsessed with them. Rietveld designed revolutionary houses with sliding doors and wide open rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. In these rooms, his minimalist furniture was deliberately designed to ‘float in space’ and allow the viewer to look right through it to other parts of the rooms, unlike the heavy wooden Victorian furniture of yore which blocked sightlines and broke the space up.

Right. Where do I buy?

Well, we’ve got bad news for you there. Pieces sell at auction for tens of thousands of pounds, sometimes more. On the bright side, major museums such as the V&A in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York have important pieces in their collections.

If you love colour, did you know…

All our furniture is available in a number of finishes including Colour Lacquer tops and Powder Coated Colour Steel frames.
To explore our finish options click here, or to design your own table visit our Table Configurator – click here.

By Mac+Wood

Icons of wood furniture design

Icons of wood furniture design

Great wood furniture design is at the heart of what we do. You might say we’re aficionados. That’s why we’re launching a new blog series that pays homage to some of most iconic wood furniture designs of modern times. We’ll look at the pieces that innovated the home and office environment, moved the bar for design, and really walked the line between art and the everyday. These are the icons of wood furniture design.

The Eames Lounge Chair

“The chair of the century.”

In today’s blog we take a look at the Eames Lounge Chair. This icon of modern furniture design is so distinct, so well-known, that its form is a registered trademark. There are even examples of it in museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

But this fantastic piece of furniture is not just a design statement. The Eames Lounge Chair is still in production and still used in homes today. It was designed to be supremely comfortable, offering a much-needed respite from the daily grind of life.

Creators Charles and Ray Eames were known for their democratic, mass-produced, affordable pieces. This chair was their first luxury item. Despite that, its pared-down design consists simply of three curved rosewood veneer plywood shells: the headrest, the backrest and the seat.

As Charles Eames said,

The details are not the details; they make the product.

Why is it so iconic? For a start, just look at it. It’s a beautiful mix of old-school comfort and sleek modernism. It had familiar echoes of traditional design even when it was first made, and yet it was something totally new and fresh. Its modernist curved wooden elements rejected the fussy, decorative styles of the Victorian and Art Deco eras while its chrome feet spoke of an industrial age.

Secondly, it’s as comfortable as it is stylish. It’s incredibly inviting to sit on with its leather upholstery, reclining back, and body-hugging form. The rosewood veneer and black leather are a nod to the cosy, comforting world of English gentlemen’s clubs. Charles Eames famously said that he wanted it to have “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first-baseman’s mitt.”

Finally, it straddles the line between luxury and affordability. The Eameses struggled for many years to perfect a way of mass-producing the complex shapes involved in producing this chair, and they pioneered ways of bending plywood so it could be manufactured at a reasonable price. The original was half hand-crafted and half machine-made.

Who made it? Husband and wife design power couple Charles and Ray Eames. Production on the chair began in 1956, but it took many years of trial and error to get the design to production stage. Herman Miller still manufacture the classic in their Michigan factory and the Eameses still oversee production today.

Charles and Ray worked together on hugely influential design and architecture projects in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, developing new ways of moulding plywood into sculptural curved modern forms. They learnt some of their early techniques working for the US Navy on the design of glider shells, splints and stretchers.

The Eameses referred to the lounge chair as the 670 and its accompanying foot rest (often called simply “Ottoman” today) as the 671 after the parts used in their construction.

The couple’s design philosophy is best expressed by this pithy quote from Charles Eames:

The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.

http://www.eamesoffice.com

By Mac+Wood

Masters of wood furniture design

Masters of wood furniture design

We’re passionate about wood. Sculptural, architectural, ornamental: we love wood in all its forms. But it’s safe to say that our first love will always be wood furniture – it’s what made us! So we’re starting a new series that pays homage to some of the greatest woodworkers ever to put pen to, er, wood. These are the masters of wood furniture design.

George Nakashima (1905-1990)

The woodworking poet who carved the soul of a tree

We’re ardent lovers of eco-friendly wood furniture design – that’s why we take wood that has been used elsewhere and find new life for it. It stops still-useful wood from going to waste, but it also allows us to put something special into our furniture design. We embrace the imperfections in our reclaimed wood and love every knot and groove for the story they tell. It means that every table, every bench we make is completely unique with its own woody fingerprint.

So when we say we feel spiritually close to the great George Nakashima, this is what we’re talking about. Nakashima was one of the pioneers of eco-friendly furniture design. His hallmark was re-using parts of trees, sometimes leaving whole logs virtually intact, so that the story of the tree was frozen forever in his furniture.

The tree was Nakashima’s most important muse. He believed its purpose was to become function. In fact, he once said: “Each tree, every part of each tree, has only one perfect use.”

Who is he? The Japanese/American designer George Katsutoshi Nakashima was born to Japanese parents in the US, Washington, in 1905. After studying architecture and travelling through Europe, India and Japan, he became one of the leading American furniture designers of the late 20th century. His unique pieces are inspired by a mixture of Japanese traditional crafts and American modernism, known for their beautiful smooth grains and natural organic forms.

A simple woodworker. That’s how he described himself, and it’s the key to all his design. An almost mystical love of wood and the organic power of trees is what drives his unique work. He had huge respect for his materials, allowing the form of the tree to dictate the design, such as walnut coffee tables made of a single horizontal slice right through the base of a tree, with gnarled elements of roots and growth becoming key parts of the form.

He said: “When the trees mature, it is fair and moral that they are cut for man’s use, as they would soon decay and return to the earth. Trees have a yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man, even to become an object of great artistic worth.”

The roots of his later genius. Because of his Japanese ancestry, Nakashima was interred during the Second World War in a camp in Idaho. It was here he met Gentaro Hikogawa, a master of traditional Japanese carpentry. Hikogawa taught him to use traditional Japanese tools and joinery techniques that used no nails or glue. Philosophically, he learnt the Japanese belief in working in balance with nature; and the importance of simplicity in design.

What made his work different? He went against the grain and rejected the usual tall straight trees and preferred the unusual side branches and less perfect specimens. He particularly favoured walnut trees for their unusual slow growth, gnarled side branches and thick heavy buds.

He perfected ways of sawing the wood, saying: “There is drama in the opening of a log: to uncover for the first time the beauty in the bole of a tree hidden for centuries, waiting to be given this second life. Cutting logs entails a great responsibility, for we are dealing with a fallen majesty. There are no formulas, no guidelines, but only experience, instinct and a contact with the divine.”

http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/

By Mac+Wood

Why we love bespoke furniture production (and you should, too!)

Why we love bespoke furniture production (and you should, too!)

Bespoke furniture production is the action of making or manufacturing from components or raw materials, or the process of being so manufactured.

The definition is simple and clear. That is the reason why we love the production of our bespoke furniture. The design part of the process is over and we can finally get hands on with what the three dimensional product will be.

Starting by sourcing the raw materials for our tables and benches, we aim for quality. We say quality and not perfection for a precise reason. The raw materials have no need to be perfect, especially when you deal with reclaimed wood. Each imperfection is a story to tell and finding the most interesting stories is part of our production process. They will have a chance to be refined later on during the process.

Quality is the next most important item on the checklist. All the reclaimed wood we source is of the highest standards and meets the strength and durability we strive to achieve with our products.

Having designed our amazing modern dining tables and other items with you in mind, we get excited when it comes to production. As soon as we get to work on the physical parts of the tables and benches, we immediately know that the feeling we have at that moment will be the same as when it is delivered to you.

During this step of the process, we finally get to see our ideas and the results of all that time spent working on sketches and paper come to life.

Production is truly one of most exciting time in the life of a designer. Watch everything come to real life, smell the products being crafted in the workshop and touch them with your hands. It is a chance to be connected with your ‘creation’.

As we mention in the title, we love production and you should too. You may be asking why, so let us explain. The difference between a piece of furniture made in series and our unique and handmade reclaimed wood bespoke furniture is exactly the production. We are emotionally invested and connected when producing these works of art (trust us they are) that is why production is important. Furniture made in series doesn’t get the same treatment, therefore, the quality is not as high.

We love production and you should too!

If you want to find out more about the story of our dining tables and the love we have for them follow this link or enquire here to request any additional information or to order your bespoke dining table today.

DESIGN YOUR TABLE
Delivery day meeting tables
Dekton Tables: the ultimate high-tech tables
Luxury Furniture in the House of Wonders: A tour of Aynhoe Park
Film fables to Coffee Tables: Furniture on the Big Screen
Inside the Studios of 5 Iconic Woodworkers
Icons of Wood Furniture Design
De Stijl: Masters of Modernist Furniture Design
Icons of wood furniture design
Masters of wood furniture design
Why we love bespoke furniture production (and you should, too!)