Saturday, March 28, 2009

Furnitude I Love: Paul Duffy Edition

Intrigued by what I saw on his website, I asked Paul Duffy, from Sómhar Furniture Design in Ireland, what he meant when he described his furniture, which is beautiful and even novel in its use of surface texture, as being "uniquely Irish." Paul responded that "apart from the unique Irish landscape which provides both inspiration and clarity of thought, the Irish have a great way of getting the best out of what's available."

That's a great segue into his efforts at being more responsible with the materials he uses for his furniture. He sources Irish hardwoods locally whenever possible and plans his milling carefully to get the best possible yield from the lumber. I like his view of the larger ecological picture and respect the range of his efforts, from reducing travel to meet clients by using the Internet in the design process to using scrap wood in the energy-efficient burner that heats his home. I also had to know about the word "Sómhar" from the monicker of his enterprise, which he said translates into "comfortable and luxurious." As you'll see, that is a fitting description for his work. Check out these chairs with their clean, fluid backs and the wedged through-tenon construction. I love the texture on the seat.

He uses a similar texturing technique in this beautiful hall table.

Finally, I love his Driftwood Table with inlaid curves mimicking the Irish coastline and the flow of water.

Visit Paul's website at to see more of his work and read about his philosophy of making furniture.