Oakland-based Jason Lees makes wooden furniture that's pretty easy to spot. The low-lying horizontal proportions and fine handwork evoke mid-century and Japanese influences. But the work is notable for the way it brings warmth to its modern lines, and for the great attention paid to the craft of woodworking.
Although the simple, strong geometric forms of the pieces are the primary story, the materials are hardly an insignificant subplot. In fact one of the things we like best about this work is the way non-wood materials (lacquer, stone, paint, acrylic and leather) are subtly incorporated, adding surface interest to Platonically-formed cabinets, beds, and tables. For instance, the round wallscape, a grouping of white (the color is customizable) lacquered shelves playing off their backdrop, a strong, simple, wall-mounted circle of walnut.
The British Lees is based in Oakland and has a showroom there (1577 East 38th Street). Everything is made to order here in California - some of it custom and some of it production. To date, the latter comprises eight lines, and each has a selection of pieces, including coffee and occasional tables, storage units of various kinds, beds, tables, and chairs.
Our favorites include the lacquer and wood Basis line, which includes this media cabinet, a sideboard, and night table.
The modular boxes and connectors of Network 2x2 can be made into "display pieces, bookcases, room dividers, consoles, and low tables."
Lees also creates custom pieces, like this walnut coffee table. Visit him at the Oakland showroom, Monday through Saturday by appointment (510.482.4321).