American Design Hot List 2018
Los Angeles, cuffhome.com
Partly a residential and commercial interiors firm, Cuffhome was founded in L.A. a decade ago by Wendy Schwartz and Kristi Bender. Yet the pair didn’t catch our attention until this year, when they released a furniture collection full of simple yet contrasting geometries (soft curves, sharp angles) and textures (velvet, powdercoated metal) — with more to come in 2019.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
For us, American design is defined by our accessibility to both resources and to a creative freedom to make up the rules as we go. This, coupled with a relaxed and unpretentious approachability. We thrive in and are most excited by a climate of collaborative opportunities, so we elect to surround ourselves with artists and artisans we respect and admire. More than anything, collaboration broadens the possibilities of our process, allowing us to design products that in the end are an elevated amalgamation of influences, perspectives, and capability.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We’ve got substantial residential and hospitality projects on the horizon, including one with two seasoned female restauranteurs who have partnered on the first Los Angeles location of the vegan Toronto cafe Fresh. For the next year plus, we’ll also be hard at work on a dream project specifying all finishes and furnishings of a 10-bathroom and 4-kitchen home in Hancock Park. Simultaneously, we’re developing new products to launch in the spring or summer, all informed by new partnerships, color palettes, and sourced artisans.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
The practicality of client’s needs, customer feedback, and observed market voids drive our creative process — kind of a business-minded, look-backward-to-see-forward approach. That said, we garner tons of inspiration from the intersection of color with shape, form, and texture. The recent launch of our collection Where Angles Meet Curves articulated our gravitation toward shades of green and terra cotta, along with a combination of the edge and softness that define us both. (Cuffhome photos by Daniel Hennessy)