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Discover Spinelli Kilcollin’s First Edition of Handmade Furniture
Like Spinelli Kilcollin’s jewelry, the brand’s foray into furniture was born out of necessity. “When we were renovating our house we had a really specific scenario where we wanted two tables—one indoor, one outdoor—that both had the same profile, so we could open our sliding doors and connect them to make an indoor-outdoor, California-style dinner party” explains SK co-founder Dwyer Kilcollin. “But we couldn’t find any that had the same profile that worked well in the spaces, so we decided that we could design something.”
Also like the jewelry collection, Spinelli Kilcollin furniture is all fabricated by hand in downtown Los Angeles. Though in this case, the fabricator is Chris Berkson of Berksonfab, who is known for his high-end work for top interior designers and private clients. (One notable recent project involved an outdoor retractable spiral staircase for a beachfront property in Malibu.) Kilcollin first started working with Berkson on her fine art, as he supplied the stainless steel plinths for various of her sculptures. “He's just a great person to work with,” says Kilcollin. “He totally gets it, he’s an artist in his own right,” adds Spinelli.
The tables Spinelli and Kilcollin created—which Berkson brought to life—closely echo the aesthetic of their jewelry. “The simplicity of the construction mirrors our design philosophy with the ring,” says Kilcollin. “The design itself is the function.” The indoor table is rendered in brass, bronze, and aluminum; the outdoor one is anodized aluminum and ipe wood, which comes from Brazil and is a common replacement for teak. Spinelli and Kilcollin were attracted by its walnut-esque color. But as with the rings, each of the table elements is interchangeable; clients can experiment and customize the placement of the different metals or can opt to create the indoor table with a wood top in lieu of bronze, should the spirit strike them. “You could change it out and make all three components bronze or all three components brass. You can customize the materials to suit the interior,” Kilcollin explains.
A note about that bronze tabletop—it’s meant to have what Spinelli refers to as a “living finish,” or a rich patina from its life with clients. Kilcollin recalls their personal table’s debut, which was at a Christmas dinner party, and wherein the guests were mortified to put their glasses down lest they leave the first watermark on the pristine surface. Spinelli explains: “People tend to sort of fetishize these things where they don't get the pleasure of using them because they're so nervous about scratching or damaging them. And I think true luxury is when you buy something that's great quality and you use it, and it takes on part of your life as the user and gets worn in.” He continues,
“We host a lot of dinner parties and we have a child, so we really appreciated this idea of the living finish.”
They’ve made wall sconces, too, which were also originally created for personal motives. “The mirror and the sink in our powder room are quite close to the wall and we wanted a statement sconce to go on either side of an oval mirror, but it needed to be narrow enough to not get too close to the wall,” Kilcollin explains. “We were looking at a lot of vintage sconces, but didn't find any that were quite right. But we saw a vintage-scroll style sconce that had the same idea, just super simplistic. We took inspiration from that and also from the table.” Adds Spinelli, “It's really not easy to find just a straightforward simple sconce. Everything tends to be much more designed and ornate.” Elegant cylinders connected to wall plates with a vaguely Deco feel, the sconces chez Spinelli-Kilcollin are a platinum-finished brass, but clients can customize their colors at will. “We wanted something that has a little bit more gravity to it, but still refined, that definitely has a weight and shape to it—not just a wire frame. So that's something that we've brought into our furniture and the sconces,” Kilcollin says.
The most important element of SK’s furniture offerings, however, is that they’re built to be used. “I grew up around people that would cover the furniture,” Spinelli remembers. “Plastic over the couch and stuff—I always thought that was really weird.I understand now that they didn't want the kids sitting on it so they put down the plastic. But then you don't really get the luxury of using your items. They're always stashed away like they're ina museum. It’s just not the way we want to live.”
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—by Christine Whitney