Sustainably Crafted – JD.Lee Releases New Furniture Collection
Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia

Photography J.DLee Furniture
Words Katrina Trinh

Designing for good defines Byron Bay-based furniture designer and craftsman Jeremy Lee’s work. Heading into his sixth year of trading under his brand JD.Lee, his focus is on sustainably produced fittings that are as soft and generous as they are positive for the planet.

JD.Lee’s latest collection is filled with streaks of walnut and oatmeal colours, undulating forms and traditional joinery that call to mind the calming influence of nature. The brief was bringing in a handmade aesthetic and combining it with the Australian coastal lifestyle, where simplicity seamlessly merges with interiors.

The works have clear connections to the natural environment – its sculptural forms celebrate the stateliness and texture of the raw, dense and open grained woods.

Natural robust materials, a refined neutral palette and a serene ode to minimalism are considered when it comes to the meticulous handcraft of traditional woodwork where everything is made to last. Jeremy explains: “handmade is a dying art, it feels really important to be giving life to any craft that is slowly becoming forgotten by way of larger automated workshops.”

The works have clear connections to the natural environment with sculptural forms that celebrate the stateliness and texture of the raw, dense and open grained woods. The collection focuses on many of the same touchstones: nature, craftsmanship and the power of what endures, steering away from conventional modes of making in their process.“Buying less is more when it comes to our impact on the environment. We hope to help facilitate a greater relationship with our clients and help guide them through a more thoughtful experience of selecting furniture that is right for them,”he says.

From the design process to the sourcing, machining and finishing, a holistic approach is taken to ensure minimal environmental impact.

From the design process to the sourcing, machining and finishing, a holistic approach is taken to ensure minimal environmental impact. This resourcefulness lays the groundwork for the prolific practice in Byron Bay Hinterland. Working first with humble design principles and durable materials then with any scrap wood, Jeremy developed a style that celebrates nature’s works. Wholly cohesive and realised, the collection draws towards subtly accented, curved lines and intricate, grounded bases. This elegance is enriched by the expansive and intuitive translation of intention, scope and space.

An overlay of all these elements has created a series of timeless furniture pieces, juxtapositions of style, fusions of proportions and a calm mood that is enhanced by its many considered placements that reflect a wild piece of the earth – its ancient timbers and rich dark-caramel toned hardwoods. Bringing depth and energy through vibrant colours, sensitive grained textures and shapely silhouettes, these creatively sourced objects lift the ambience of spaces and re-enchants the everyday in an effortless peaceful manner. Nothing jars; it neither feels conscious nor forced.

There is a balancing act between traditional features and modern design.

There is a balancing act between traditional features and modern design. With its clever integration of utilitarian drawers, vertically formed bases and levelled mid-structures, the console represents the balance between the past and present, hovering between historic and contemporary. Jeremy’s keen insights on designing for a higher purpose can be understood and seen through the elegance of the earthy walnut frames and hand-woven cane panels that brings a natural rustic texture into the space.

Meanwhile, shapely forms like recessed, half-moon-shaped headboards of American walnut wood adds uplifting colour to energise any bedroom. The same species is sourced for the rest of the collection’s surrounds, panelling and bases evoking an all-encompassing soothing organic feel.

Published 27 April, 2021
Photography  J.DLee Furniture
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