Q&A with Gus* Modern’s Design Team
November 7, 2012 | 0 comments
Gus* Modern’s simple designs offer a perfect mix of elegant and industrial. We asked them a few questions about their design process and aesthetic, sustainable practices, and new lines for 2013. Here's what they had to say.
KW Home: Without sharing any trade secrets, can you give an overview of your overall design process for a new line or product?
Gus* Modern: We always start the design process by asking ourselves what we’d like to see in our own homes. By approaching all new designs with that in mind, it ensures that Gus* Modern furniture is beautiful, functional, and built to last.
KW: We're excited to see that you're now designing beds! Can you tell us more about them?
GM: Yes - we’ve added beds to the collection! We’ve been working on these designs for quite some time, but wanted to be sure that we got the proportions and details just right. We’re offering two new styles. The Gardiner Bed is a modern, low-profile, upholstered design which is well suited to a minimalist interior. The shape is geometric, with clean lines emphasized by contrast piping. The Carmichael Bed takes its details from our sofa and chair of the same name. With turned wood legs and a “wingback-style” headboard, the Carmichael has a transitional aesthetic, meaning it can work in either a modern or traditional space.
KW: Tell us about color selection for your seating lines. They seem to be getting bolder and groovier! What's been your inspiration?
GM: It’s been a lot of fun adding bright colours to many of our existing sofas and chairs. Like the rich, blue Muskoka Surf on our Atwood Sofa and Chair, and the bright new Laurentian Citrine on our GT Rocker and Carmichael Loft Sofa. Although we’re still known for our more “muted” fabric options, we’ve found that the bright seating has become a popular choice for interiors that want to make a strong statement by using impactful fabrics set against neutral wall colours.
KW: You put an emphasis on sustainability. While it's obviously better for the planet, how does that mindset translate to the aesthetic and function of the furniture?
GM: In some cases the design of our furniture is a direct result of the desire for sustainability. Our UpCycle Ottoman is a great example – it’s upholstered with jute coffee bags that still have their original graphics printed on the surface. Using this unconventional material means that each ottoman is a complete original – the graphics are a reminder of the previous life of the fabric, and the bags are “upcycled” which keeps them out of landfills. The sustainability mindset actually extends beyond just the aesthetic, though – it also affects things like packaging and logistics. In addition to producing all of our upholstered furniture with 100% FSC-Certified wood, to support responsible forestry practices, we’ve made long-term changes to the way we package our designs, so that we protect the furniture during transport by using recycled materials wherever possible.
KW: While you're a modern design company, there are elements in certain pieces that transcend categories. How can someone incorporate your pieces into a transitional, or more classic, design project?
GM: Although we do think of ourselves as “modern” furniture designers, we’ve always tried to express a kind of modernism that is much more warm and more human. Some people interpret “modern” as meaning futuristic and cold, but for us it’s quite the opposite. Our furniture is designed to mix beautifully with traditional pieces, antiques, and vintage finds. Our modernism is about designing furniture that outlasts trends and is highly functional.
KW: Can you spill the beans on any surprises from Gus* Modern in 2013?
GM: We don’t want to ruin any surprises, but look out for more bright fabrics on our seating along with new accessories and accent tables!