The most recent evolution of boutique timber designer and maker Made By Morgen is a warm and welcoming showroom that connects the community to not only product but process too.
Since humble beginnings in 2016, Made By Morgen has championed locality, sustainability and authenticity. Made By Morgen pieces reflect a sleek Scandinavian inspired design, built with American white oak, American walnut and European beech and resolved with a soft, natural finish.
Founder, designer and furniture maker Nick McDonald works with a small team out of their workshop in Brunswick, where the new showroom also resides. “We took over a bigger premises a couple of years ago with the idea to have the showroom out the front with the workshop at the back,” says Nick. He goes on to explain the intention behind having both workshop and showroom on the one premises. “We are quite a small business, and we want to stay that way. All of the Made by Morgen products are made in house, by us, by hand, to order. I think it’s quite important for clients to see material in the flesh and smell the sawdust and meet the dog and have more of a personal connection to what they’re getting.”
The showroom itself is an airy space that conveys Made By Morgen’s signature style of light and simple design, full of character and consideration. Realised in collaboration with creative consultant Bek Sheppard, whose aesthetic is similarly sleek yet soft, the showroom enables clients to experience Made By Morgen pieces as they would feel and function within a home. A genuine sense of connection is important for Nick, who welcomes the idea of clients understanding the whole story, from start to finish, of any piece they might choose. “Just behind the sliding door we have the engine room and our assembly [area],” he explains. “It’s nice for them to be able to see the clean, finished, styled product, but then, out the back they can see the dust and the mess and the glue and the process behind it all.”
On display in the softly lit showroom are Made By Morgen pieces, arranged in domestic vignettes that depict a peaceful, functional and beautiful day to day existence.
On display in the softly lit showroom are Made By Morgen pieces, arranged in domestic vignettes that depict a peaceful, functional and beautiful day-to-day existence. There is a piece of furniture for every room and the range is growing steadily, with new pieces to be launched in the new year. The space will also soon exhibit furniture by Morgen and Sandford, a collaborative brand by Nick and local ‘timber legend’ Charles Sandford. Nick describes Charles as having been “a mentor of sorts since I first got into the industry six or seven years ago.” Morgen and Sanford combines Charles’s vast manufacturing experience with Nick’s design sensibilities and marketing input, with the first designs to launch early next year.
The aforementioned dog, Roscoe, whose chief role is to greet visitors at the door, is a key member of the small Made By Morgen team. The team of four, including Nick himself, oversee all manufacturing, and Nick’s partner contributes behind the scenes with marketing among other things. Though small, the output of the team is mighty. The showroom is the manifestation of a brand that values quality, process, creative rapport and relationships. The opening of the showroom has been softer than originally anticipated, disrupted by multiple long-term lock downs, however, the space is no less welcoming. Nick holds out hope to celebrate and share the space with the wider community, and Made By Morgen forges forward in the meantime. “When we had the initial launch of the first product range, we had a big party in the showroom with three bands,” he reflects
The Made By Morgen showroom is an open invitation to engage with the provenance of our belongings and the artisan makers that realise them. As the yawning gap in lead times for overseas products shows no sign of shrinking and small businesses grapple with new ways of working, buying locally has never been so impactful.