Inside Kett Studio: Australian Designed and Made03.05.21
Founded in 2017, Kett is a design studio focused on furniture with a timeless quality for both indoors and out. The Kett indoor collections are designed in Melbourne, and are predominantly made in Australia, with supplementary partners in Italy.
The Kett studio team on the Abbotsford Convent Grounds. Views of the historic architecture and natural surroundings.
Kett is headed by leading Australian designer Justin Hutchinson. Justin's furniture career has helped define some of our most loved landmarks and has been recognised both internationally and locally in exhibitions such as Melbourne Now, presented at the National Gallery of Victoria. His experience spans almost two decades from production hand, in house designer, lecturer and business founder into a highly experienced Design Director who with the support of his team looks to execute on every detail.
The Kett team work from a design studio in the historic Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. The Convent is a multi-arts precinct, surrounded by the tranquil, natural scenery of the Yarra River, Collingwood Children’s Farm and winding walking trails. The precinct houses many studios and workshops within it, a hub of creativity and collaboration.
Justin and Theo at work, details of the studio work in progress board.
The Australian landscape has always been the primary inspiration for the Kett team. Beloved locations on the Victorian coastline were the starting point of Kett’s very first collections, and remains at the heart of their current releases. Engrossing themselves in the landscape, Kett distilled the essence of these regions into distinct lines, shapes and colour palettes that capture an unmistakable Australian sensibility. From the understory of the giant forests of Cape Otway, to the coastal grasslands of Johanna beach, each collection becomes a story of place.
‘Inside Looking Out’ is one of Kett’s core concepts. It speaks to the products enduring connection to the surrounding environment, as well as to Kett’s commitment to designing spaces that are considered across the boundaries of indoors and outdoors – so they flow seamlessly throughout the home.
“The act of drawing upon place to inform the collection allows us to bring the outdoors inside. From place we gain a sense of the importance of colours, shapes and form that are akin to a sense of our own identity.” – Justin Hutchinson
In the studio, the Kett team work across a range of mediums to develop and refine their concepts. In the studio you will find hand-crafted scale models, sketches pinned on idea boards, samples of timbers and fabrics, 3D product renders in various stages of development. Their creative process reflects experimentation and a comprehensive attention to materiality.
Vignettes in the studio, sketches and small furniture models.
Kett focus on creating collections that are honest in their use of materials and united in their craft. Justin and his team maintain close relationships with the local makers who produce their furniture collections to ensure the quality, durability and beauty of the materials in each piece.
Many talented craftspeople across Melbourne contribute to the construction of one Kett sofa.
From those who create the timber frames, to the stainers, to the fabric houses and upholstery team, numerous expert hands are involved in the process.
“It is one of the most important things about buying Australian furniture, buying local. You aren’t just supporting the Kett brand, but you’re supporting the incredible array of local businesses that work together to achieve the end result. It’s a network of artisians that rely on each other, and one that Kett are proud to be a part of.”
Samples & working prototypes, exterior of the Abbotsford Convent.
Each Kett design is the result of many small innovations, producing an uncompromising level of honesty and precision. Kett endeavours to translate materials and form into a strikingly considered and timeless design.
‘Otway’ is a long treasured collection by Kett. Spanning across sofas, dining tables, dining chairs, lounge chairs, storage pieces, beds and coffee & side tables, the Otway has consistent details that echo through the range. Rounded corners and simple lines combined with durable porcelain, rich timber frames and tailored upholstery helped to establish the Kett aesthetic – soft in profile and refined in approach.
Furniture by Kett is designed with the goal not just to be loved for one trend cycle, or for one home - but designed to be passed down and cared for by future generations to come.
“In a world crowded by poorly made things; it is a pleasure and a privilege to spend each day working on products that are designed to last”. - Justin Hutchinson
The Otway sideboard, dining chair and table, by the Otway sofa and side table.
In 2019, Kett investigated modular storage systems, to provide seamless furniture for the home or office. The result was the Frame Living System, an innovative set of modules that offers a personalised solution to furniture and joinery needs.
Hanging effortlessly from the wall, Frame Living integrates storage and technology – no messy cords or powerpoints in sight, and plenty of room to exhibit treasures and store everyday essentials. Completely made in Melbourne, the materials are free of formaldehyde, phenols, solvents, PVC or melamine. Shortlisted in one of Australia’s most notable design awards, IDEA – the Frame Living System is another development in the Kett story that is evidence of their commitment to considered, thoughtful design and local manufacturing.
The Frame Living System, completely designed and made in Australia.
What's next for Kett? A new Kett sofa collection is due to be released in September 2021, stay tuned for details!
Kett is exclusively available through Cosh Living. Experience the furniture in our beautiful showrooms across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
All images of Kett studio & the Abbotsford Convent by Haydn Cattach.
Explore the Kett Collections