Usually I review objects, films and music that I have had first hand experience of, or at least websites which offer a web based experience or routes to other interesting things. This the first time I’ve highlighted the website for a shop that I’ve never been to, which sells furniture that I have not personally investigated – but that is the wonder of the world wide web, we can discover all sorts of things which we would previously have never come across.
The shop I would like to highlight is called ‘schubLaden‘, which I believe translates from the German as Drawers. It is the perfect name for a furniture shop which essentially sells it’s own unique storage solutions. Based in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, ‘schubLaden’ has an interesting slant on your average chest of draws, coffee table and sideboard. Rather than restoring or distressing old pieces, they extract the most useful and usually the most interesting elements from a variety of redundant furniture (usually the drawers), then upcycle these into new forms.
This is very now. We still have the distinction between the antique and contemporary, but the rise in popularity of retro and vintage has bridged the gap between the the two and satisfies a desire to recycle rather than simply throw out. It feels more holistic to be involved in contemporary deign when there is an appreciation of past forms as well as an eye for the new.
In their furniture ‘schubLaden’ re-appropriate parts which may be a little roughed up through age and years of use. The varnish or paint can be a bit scuffed and dented, but when transformed this becomes a lovely reminder of the furniture’s previous life. What may have been a tired old piece of junk ready for the scrap heap is salvaged, dissected and re-appropriated into a new life, ideal for the modern home. By framing the drawers in simple plain white boxes they have managed to create unique, contemporary designs with the added character that only old furniture can provide.
You may be thinking – haven’t I’ve seen this before somewhere? And in a way you’d be right. Their designs are more than a little reminiscent of Tejo Remy’s 1991 Chest of Drawers, which was made famous through Droog. But where the Droog version is an intentionally chaotic art piece (which was mainly bought by galleries and museums for their collections), the products created by ‘schubLaden’ are far more practical for the home. They combine function with thought – the purity of modernism with the cosiness of vintage.
As with any design which relies on found objects their products are continually varied and individual. This gives each piece it’s own uniqueness – a rare commodity in our mass-produced world.