Eastvold Furniture merges hand craftsmanship and eco-friendliness with some seriously high quality designs that can be passed down to future generations. Matt Eastvold, the founder of Eastvold, talks sustainability, inspiration and trends from his workshop in Minnesota.
What's the genesis of Eastvold?
Eastvold started as a custom woodworking shop that did work with a number of architect firms in the Twin Cities area. It was a great base and allowed me to develop my skills in design as well as get valuable experience in efficient production and project collaborating.
Eastvold talks of being eco-friendly and sustainable. We know this is often an abused concept so what does this actually mean in how Eastvold crafts its furniture and functions as a company?
These are phrases and concepts that definitely get spun and misused and I have been conscious of this as I assess the values of the company. All of our lumber is sourced locally, except on the rare occasion that we are working on a project using exotic wood, in this case I try to investigate the company importing the material to make sure they are ethical. Another way is that our shop is a newer building built in 2006 with efficient utilities and heating. A couple of the guys in the shop heat their homes with wood burners, so most of our scraps are burned for that purpose. The most important issue for me has been to keep the production within an 80 mile radius. Our metal production is done in Minneapolis and the powder coating shop is close by too, so transportation is minimal and the work is employing local people, including the woodwork that is done in our shop.
How does this stance limit and benefit design?
I think the only way that it limits design is cost of production when trying to reach a larger audience. The benefits are too many to mention but at the top of the list would be forward thinking, being creative with materials to keep costs down , creative material sourcing, these also benefit community and contributing to our community because it allows other local businesses to generate an income.
"I love the Elko Credenza Small (at left) because it has a strong presence, it uses space efficiently and I feel that it is a piece that is very versatile, and appropriate for traditional, modern, small and large spaces."
From where do you get your inspiration?
This is going to sound weird but I learned to pare down content in my college writing classes and I feel that those practices transfer to design the same way. Professors would ask me to condense a paragraph into a sentence and I feel that is how I view design. I want to boil down function and form into simple, efficient pieces.
What trends are you seeing in furniture design that you love?
My favorite trends are bright pops of color, reclaimed materials, an awareness of who is making the products that we purchase, creative marketing and self promotion.