We met partners, Deana and Jon Ketchum, a couple years ago, when shopping for a dining table for a client. We had already found the perfect dining chairs the client had already fallen in love with, but could not find the right table in a matching wood finish! In what is definitely a best case scenario for anyone meeting up with someone from Craigslist, we stumbled upon New Collar Goods – who can create exactly what you are picturing in your head! All without pain-staking hours of scouring every furniture website in your bookmark folder.
Deana and Jon do an amazing job of taking your vision and collection of confusing concept images – sketching and executing a design with the upmost design integrity & simplicity. Their personal twist adds those simple details that set it apart.
We felt an instant connection to their family and were excited to check out the line of furniture that they were designing and building out of their shop in Southwest Denver — we thought everything paired perfectly with our aesthetic! Their furniture features modern lines that combine wood and powder coated steel to create an outstanding focal point for any room. Characterized by simple lines and purity of form, their designs are visually calming. Take a closer look, however, and the clean lines often reveal a structural complexity.
Now, a dozen pieces later, New Collar Goods are our go-to for creating eye catching custom pieces.
It has been fun seeing how their company has grown. We wanted to know a little more about their process and how they got started:
How did you get started building furniture?
Initially, we started building furniture out of our own necessity. Our budget didn’t quite match our style.
At the time, Jon was working 9-5 behind a computer as a Graphic Designer, building branding packages for other companies. As he was getting burned out on that, his desire to work with his hands and step away from the computer grew. Jon started a membership at a place in Denver which offered classes on everything from welding to operating a laser engraver. There he learned the basic foundation of Woodworking and an appreciation for building furniture.
I had a background in fine arts and work experience in the home decor industry, so when we were both at a point to make some serious change in our careers, we joined forces to design and build studio furniture.
Where do you find inspiration around Colorado? How does living in the Colorado influence your aesthetic?
To be truthful, we find a ton of inspiration in Architecture. It’s really fun to see the wide variety of old, new and updated homes in Colorado and to build off of that creatively. We feel fulfilled when our furniture helps to enhance and showcase the design features of a home while making it a place that serves the livable needs of the homeowners.
After relocating to Colorado nearly 9 years ago, we’ve noticed that our personal style has transitioned from a relatively traditional aesthetic, to that of a more modern and minimal one. We love that so many people are engaging and contributing to the design scene here and we are often energized by the creativity that is buzzing around us.
How does your design process start for a new piece?
I would say it starts with a shape/form or technique. When we are designing a new piece for our own line, the inspiration starts with a shape that we then sketch out on the computer and manipulate to serve the purpose of a functional piece of furniture. We like to play with pitch and angles and have fun with joinery. You’ll notice that we have used wood to metal joinery quite a bit, but you’ll start to see more turned shapes nestled in to table tops and seats.
What is your favorite material to work with?
While we work with both metal and wood, we tend to enjoy the woodworking side more. Working with wood can be forgiving and also punishing. Since wood is a natural product, once a living thing, it doesn’t always move predictably and some pieces require a bit more finesse than others. Reading the material becomes an important act and a large part of our process which we’ve learned to love.
What would you most like to make that you haven’t so far?
We are chomping at the bit to make an all wood chair. It’s our goal to make time for at least one simple design this year.
What is the best part about collaborating with your partner?
We both agree that it helps to have each other there to balance out the highs and lows. This endeavor is all consuming and it’s often really helpful to have a partner who is as dedicated to it as you are. It’s the honest feedback and the yin and yang balance that helps keep our path clear and our direction moving forward.
When you are not building furniture, what do you enjoy doing?
A good friend of ours has referred to us as the oldest younger people he knows. Honesty, we really love the simplest things to recharge. We love bike riding around the city, playing cards with friends and getting to the mountains to camp whenever possible.