Karl Zahn’s Simple Series Livens Up Your Foyer

I promise I don’t go out looking for products by local designers, they just seem to find me… So through some power greater than my own, here’s another post featuring a Brooklyn-based designer, fresh on the heels of my look at Gregory Buntain’s Sonderstuhl. This time it’s Karl Zahn putting his two cents into this Brooklyn Renaissance, with his Simple Series of handcrafted pine furniture. “Designed to address specific issues related to the doorway,” the series consists of a bench, stool, table, and assorted “tools”—the latter a cheery (if non-utilitarian) trio of splitting axe, felling axe, and sledge, all made of wood.

Simple Series. Designed by Karl Zahn.

The joke of wood to split wood is not lost amid the more useful of Zahn’s simple furnishings, which, in his understated parlance, “will wear into your habits and eventually tell a story of your relationship—the bench and stool are for taking your shoes on and off, the table is for collecting your mail and keys, the tools are for killing time while waiting for someone else.” Thankfully, time is all you’ll ever kill with these benign tools of the woodsman’s trade, which give the simple collection of hand-joined, hardware-free soft pine an entry into the modern age, for without them, the table and stool are just that—simple furniture designed to evoke a simpler time (notwithstanding the intriguing bisected construction that turns table into drawer).




This latter feature—though I wonder about its functionality—gives the series a novel look while also facilitating Zahn’s proposition of “stories of the doorway,” a notion I rather like, for whether you’re the side of a pair who twiddles thumbs and waits while your better half puts the final touches on her face, or the side who can’t choose a jacket or pair of shoes for the life of him, you’re sure to have your very own collection of front-door anecdotes. Zahn’s series makes these stories—however frustrating they might be—all the more palpable and all the more fun.

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