For Brunswick design studio Kett, the essence of 'Place' is a driving force. Connecting to place is a concept that breathes life into our spaces, connecting the exterior with the interior. This concept of 'Place' remains the main creative driver behind Kett’s designs, who have just unveiled their brand-new furniture collection titled ‘Portland.’ Crafted locally, Portland is a testament to the brand's commitment to using high-quality materials and exceptional craftsmanship, through the use of solid timers, natural materials, and soft curves. Kett's ongoing dedication to craftsmanship not only ensures a collection that is both beautiful and functional, but, driven by the narrative of 'place,' the Portland collection allows us to foster a profound sense of connectedness, creating a sense of belonging within the home.
Above: Portland photography by Nicole Reed.
As the first permanent European settlement with over 200 19th-century buildings, many constructed from bluestone, Portland, a coastal town in Victoria, holds a unique historical significance in Australia. As a collection, Portland pays homage to the rugged cliffs that embrace the sea, utilising the tones, textures, and shapes prevalent throughout the landscape to inform these brand new releases.
Above: Portland photography by Nicole Reed.
Design Director Justin Hutchinson, who has nearly two decades of experience, champions local design and manufacturing. He believes that at the heart of the Portland collection lies the reliance on local artisans, whose meticulous care and advanced techniques bring authenticity and character to each piece.
When certain items call for craftsmanship exceeding Kett's local capacity, examples like the Portland armchair are expertly crafted in Italy, receiving their finishing touches in Melbourne across two specialised workshops.
Above: Close-up detail of soft curves in a local workshop of the Portland Arc Table.
The Introduction of the Portland collection has also inspired new timber stain options and coloured lacquers. 'Smoked Oak,' a dark timber stain that mirrors charred tones seen in the natural landscape, offers something in-between Kett's original finishes—Natural, Light Walnut, and Exhibition.
The Contemporary lacquers in subdued tones, including Mangrove and Ocean, add a touch of modernity while preserving the echoes of natural grains. These new additions blend natural beauty with contemporary design, allowing personalisation in each piece.
Above: Portland Coffee Tables in Smoked Oak and City Lacquer.
Each design weaves a narrative through symbolism, offering a unique perspective on the landscape and Portland's rich history.
The design of the Portland Arc Dining Table draws inspiration from the picturesque bays in the region.Its elegant, curved legs symbolise the shelter these bays provide to tall ships navigating turbulent waters, while the tabletop shape pays tribute to the numerous vessels finding secure anchorage in Portland's harbor.
The Arc Dining Table comes in multiple sizes, with the largest being 4.2 meters long. Mirroring the Arc design, Kett has also designed the Arc coffee table.
Above: Portland Arc Table
The Portland Coffee Tables showcase a design with three solid oak legs, creating a subtle curve that provides support for a solid oak or ceramic top. Drawing inspiration from the rocky outcrops along the shoreline, they represent the connection and contours of the bays that unite land and ocean. Meticulously handcrafted, these tables, available in two heights, allow the curvature of the legs to interlink, presenting either as a unified piece or a dynamic cluster with various sizes and finishes.
Above: Portland Coffee Tables
The Portland Pedestal Dining Table honours three defining headlands in the region, with distinctive sections around its base. Inspired by the iconic lighthouse, the pedestal table commemorates its vital role in guiding ships from Adelaide to Melbourne via Portland.
Kett's locally crafted Portland collection goes beyond mere aesthetic appeal. With meticulous attention to detail, quality materials, and a fusion of 'Place,' each piece ensures longevity and timeless allure, weaving a narrative that becomes part of your space. The collection moves past the conventional constraints of design, celebrating nature, craftsmanship, and the brand's commitment to quality, making Kett a standout in Australian furniture design.