One of our favourite Southern California companies we interviewed during ICFF was Maku Furnishings of Carlsbad, equally for the company's modern outdoor furnishings, and also because of the company's unusual origins. There's not many stories of migrations from the world of snowboarding/surfing into the realm of home furnishings. But that's exactly what an enthusiastic Johnny West, CEO and one of the two founders, told us he did when he decided to change careers, looking to infuse his island-inspired aesthetics to modern outdoor furnishings with an underlying commitment to sustainable manufacturing. "When I looked at the home furnishings industry I saw an opportunity to share that passion for living by bringing a more relevant product and story to the consumer."
And what seems very relevant in West's mind is the stewardship of the planet. West pointed out that all their products are made of Indonesian sustainable plantation grown teak, and that Maku (like Apartment Therapy) is part of One Percent for the Planet. Some companies give the impression their eco-friendly features are derived solely for the sake of publicity, but Maku's dedication to the environment seems like a philosophical focal point rather than a marketing afterthought, and we liked that as much as their contemporary outdoor furnishings. I was particularly drawn to the Maku Limited Edition Lounge chair, its arms inlaid with Frangipani floral pattern, with a low slung profile that makes for a most inviting place to rest, enjoy the sun and sip a cool one (or so I imagined, despite being in a crowded and loud convention hall). All outdoor furniture should look this handsome, be this well built and be as environmentally sound. There's plenty more of Maku to check out on their product page, including sofas, sectionals, benches, lounges and dining chairs, with a selection available at Hollywood green furnishing retailer, Vernare.