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Hear from our team about what's coming later this year.

Special Edition: “A Peek Into What Floyd Designers Are Working On.”

07 19 22
 

The Floyd HQ is located in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Detroit, a few minutes from downtown Detroit. Eastern Market is most well known for its Saturday farmer’s markets, which have been running for over a century, as well as a historical epicenter in the development of jazz. Our HQ is located within a former meat processing facility and sits adjacent to the Dequindre Cut (a railway line converted into a greenway over the last decade). Inside the Floyd R&D lab, you'll find a space sprawled out with the latest prototypes, fabric samples, and product tests. This is where our product team over the last two years has been developing the future of our product line.

 

 

Problem solving through design has always been at the core of what we do. The first Floyd Leg in 11 gauge sheet steel was born out of a reaction to disposable furniture by finding an easy way to make a table out of any flat surface material. The 250+ pounds of solid plywood needed to construct the first Floyd Bed Frame finally got our mattress off the floor. Although our product line has evolved a lot since our first products (and we have a lot more room to prototype than we did back then!), this practical design philosophy has led to a range of products living in more than 70,000 homes around the world.

As we move into the future, we continue to build on what has made Floyd, Floyd. You’ll see us continue to develop modular systems built to grow, evolve, and adapt with you over time. But you’ll see us also push into new directions. This can take the form of bolder experiments in color; finding innovative materials from nature and through recycled means that reduce our carbon footprint; putting out products in the world that may unexpected from what you’ve seen from us before. Regardless, one thing remains true: we will continue to design products of lasting value for you.

This way of doing things is carried forth today by our talented team, who, combined, have decades of experience previously working for some of the most renowned furniture brands in the world. In this special edition of Lived In, we asked a few of the Floyd product team members about what they’re working on. Here's what we heard:


 

“I am super excited about our new dresser system. It will offer a really unique purchasing experience for the customer — allowing them to arrange and change their storage to fit their needs and offering a wide range of finish options. It’s also made in the USA!”

– Robert, Senior Engineer

 

“We’re working with a Michigan manufacturing partner on prototyping the new modular dresser system. It’s nice having them a short drive away to see prototypes in person and to be able to produce many variations to ensure we’re getting the best product possible out into the world. As Floyd is well known for one of the best modular bed frames, it’s going to be exciting to pair this with an equally compelling modular dresser offering to complete the room.” 

– Andre, Senior Product Designer

 

 

“We’ve been working over this last year on an unorthodox seating product that we’re adding to our mix. From the form to the fabric, every detail has been researched and thought out to bring wild comfortability to our customer. We think it’s going to catch people by surprise. The team has been working really hard to perfect this one, and we’ve seen it go through many iterations, so I’m super excited to get this out there.”

– Lauren, Product Manager

 

“After a successful year and response to The Sectional, it was a priority to add even more options: both colors and textures. We have curated really intentional choices, most recently a textured boucle with incredible real-life cleanability in a lighter, softer color palette. More to come!”

– Jenna, Product Manager

 

 

“I’ve been working on expanding products for the bedroom, including a Bed Side Table Add-on. Initial development began with a few handcrafted cardboard mock-ups and then transitioned to several sheet metal prototypes. We had more than six design iterations manufactured before landing on the best one. The product met requirements for static load performance testing in our R&D lab. The Bedside Table Add-on is an absolute game changer for every Floyd Bed on planet earth.”

– Tiberius, Product Engineer

 

“I am really excited to start to build out the Floyd flooring assortment alongside the team. Every piece we bring on needs to have a Floyd furniture piece in mind. It’s considering the patterns that will work with our new upholstery, to fitting with new color introductions. It’s been a blast working through that puzzle with the team and really building it from scratch. More recently, I took inspiration from a trip to Paris and some Josef Frank wallpaper to start laying out what colors could support our current and future furniture assortment, bringing in warmth, color and dipping our toe into pattern.”

Julie, Product Manager

 

 

“I’ve also been working on the Floyd color palette and focusing on the relationship between colors, materials, light, and how colors should resonate within our product line. With the introduction of vibrant and expressive colors for effects and details through our accessories in a meaningful way.”

– Michele, Designer

 

“Comfort first — Working to grow the Floyd family of comfortable seating. Pillowy, organic, sensuous, safe! Form and function are not mutually exclusive — be it a lounge chair coming later in 2023, a sectional, or floor cushion, comfort is top-of-mind. Striving for beautiful, timeless design is a given; creating a piece that’s restorative and safe — a place of refuge from our wild world — should be as well.”

– Andrew, Product Design II

 

 

 

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The designer believes great, minimal design makes everyday objects more enjoyable.

Raul Diaz Brings Simplicity to His Work and Home

05 19 22
 

Raul Diaz describes himself as an "all-treprenuer" — businessman, creative, designer, and architect. Half of the duo behind KUARTO in Long Beach, California, Raul brings a modern and minimalist design aesthetic to his work, with functionality the ultimate goal. Raul's work reflects the simplicity he looks for in life. And it's this same simplicity that you find in his home.


What was the journey that led you to where you are today? How did you land on design?

Long story short, I tried the traditional route of going to college and getting a job, but that didn't work out. So I ended up dropping out of college and working in construction. I learned strong skills that enabled me to start designing and building my own pieces and, eventually, full-on design/build projects. Design has just been something I've always been keen on; it comes from curiosity and wanting to see the world in a "better" place.

 

 

How did you and your brother land on the concept for KUARTO?

KUARTO started off organically with an idea to create products for home and life. Things we just vibe with. The word "cuarto" means room in Spanish. So the idea was to design products that fit into any room.

From KUARTO to KUARTO Construction, tell us about that journey.

It was an eventual natural evolution. We started off with a curated retail store, and we gravitated toward making our own branded goods and furniture. KUARTO thus became KUARTO Construction. It just makes sense to have it all under one roof.

 

 

Your website mentions that KUARTO is a case study of your and your brother's lives. What do you mean by that?

KUARTO feels like we took our lives and made it into a brand. Basically, it's simplistic and design-forward. My brother does a lot of creative work digitally, and I do a lot of creative work physically; it's a combination of both. Aesthetically pleasing on and off screens.

What do you hope people take away from your intentions behind your designs? How do you wish your products and designs would "declutter the noise?"

I always like to say a design is not finished until used in life. Whether that is a piece or a space. I intend to not design things that poke out at you. I rather have things blend into life's natural flow. If you don't notice my pieces or the space you're in, I did my job as a designer.

 

 

Where does your inspiration come from when designing for either KUARTO or KUARTO Construction? Or even for a client's space?

All inspiration comes from the whole "less is more" approach. So, how can I take everything a person needs, as far as function goes, and strip it all down to its simplest form using the most minimal materials possible.

I'm fortunate enough to have somewhat of my own unique design style that my clients seek out. So designing for clients comes more naturally to me. However, I still like to go outside my box and be challenged by a totally different aesthetic or material use.

 

 

Do you draw similar inspiration when curating and designing for your own home or business space?

Yea, I try to be as minimal as possible. A lot is going on in my head, so the most minor physical objects around me make me happy.

Describe your personal style. What were you hoping to accomplish with the interior of your home?

I'd say I'm on the minimal side of things. I like to wear uniform-esque clothing, but have a lot of shoes and hats. My home taste has turned from absolutely minimal to a comfortable abode now that my wife and I have a baby boy. Comfort and "homey" is the new wave I'm on, and I think that can still be made minimal.

What is your favorite space in your home?

I spend a lot of time on our couch in the living room! The Sectional is amazing. I lay down with my laptop grinding while the baby sleeps on the corner and my wife lays on the other side. It's quite epic.

 

 

What advice do you have for someone defining or redefining their space with minimalism and intention in mind?

I suggest picking key pieces that blend into their lives and function heavily. Also, don't be afraid to move things around once in a while. Change the room up and stay inspired by your surroundings.

What are some other ventures that you are currently working on? What led to your interest in these projects?

We're building a golf brand called QUIET GOLF, which has been amazing. Golf is another way to clear the mind and declutter life's noise. Taking up golf and wanting to represent it in this fashion led us to start this project. We hope many more people out there can see that golf is a great escape.

 

 

For more about Raul please check out:

@rauldiz.studio

KUARTO 

Quiet Golf Club

 

Photography by Cody James

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Their California loft is a treasure trove of pieces that come with a story.

Jereme and Shelby Mendez's Vintage Collection

05 06 22

Jereme and Shelby Mendez are a multi-faceted creative couple based in Oakland, California. Jereme dabbles in several genres, from painting, and interior design, to creative consulting, to name a few. In addition to their ongoing projects, Shelby also styles and manages a well-known womenswear brand. Jereme and Shelby are avid vintage collectors. Their loft, filled with a collection of pieces they acquired over the years, reflects their love for well-crafted, timeless pieces.


What attracts you to vintage design?

Quality, personality, and beauty. We like to think of vintage design as art. It can be subjective because not everyone will like it, and it's based on feeling. We find it fascinating that the spirit of each piece we've collected lives on and comes with history. You can't find that often with newer pieces designed today. The sustainability behind owning secondhand makes our space feel confident. Every vintage piece we've acquired is viewed as a sculpture, and we like the energy they each create in our home. We also like the charm and characteristics of a well-loved piece.

 

 

How did you start collecting? Was there a pivotal moment when you went from thrifting to seeking out and collecting specific pieces?

There wasn't necessarily a pivotal moment or thrifting per se. However, for us, living with beautiful things such as art, objects, and pieces that feel timeless and universal have always been important. We think as you get older, you start to understand why these things matter. We felt this way while living in our previous space, which was 3 times less square footage than we have now. The difference currently is that we're fortunate enough to have much more room to create our oasis. We've always focused on creating our own world that is special to us and what we like.

Why do you choose to buy vintage/used more often than new?

There's specific craftsmanship and beauty that is hard to find in modern design for furniture. The fact that we have chairs from the 1960s in our house amazes us, and that they can still be sat in, all while managing to look cool, relevant, and timeless after all these years, is what does it for us. Today, most objects seem to be produced fast with not much life to live. In contrast, most pieces from the 20th century are intended to age well; they're made from good materials, are well constructed, and have a timeless appearance.

 

 

What are some of your favorite pieces in your collection?

This is very hard to choose — we love them all for various reasons as they complete our space and define different meanings. When guests come over, we love that they find that each piece has a story. Although our general interior style represents eclecticism, it somehow all works well together as each design, color, and material play off each other.

Do any have an interesting story behind any of them?

Each one comes with a special story, but there is one that particularly comes to mind. About a year ago, we purchased a Le Corbusier lounge set from this very kind woman whose late husband — a well-known architect — had these chairs since the early 1980s. She invited us into her home filled with incredible taste and works of art. She showed us where they once lived, and you could tell she had a hard time parting with the pieces. Still, it made it easier knowing they were going to a good home with a true appreciation and knowledge of the design.

 

 

How do you go about sourcing your furniture and accessories? And what advice do you have for those looking to bring more vintage furniture into their homes?

We find that the best taste in curation comes from those who have been collecting for years and know a thing or two about good design. Fortunately, we've befriended a few individuals who acquire gorgeous vintage pieces and reach out to us when they find something suitable for our space and general taste. When it comes to bringing vintage into your home, it's important to feel connected with the piece, especially if it's not cheap. The worst is when you purchase something and don't absolutely love it when you get it home. It's equivalent, if not equal, to buying art. Go based on feeling and what you like. The nice part about collecting vintage is depending on the designer, most have a good resale value, so think of it as an investment.

Have you always been influenced by design?

Definitely, we often talk about how it has always been a part of our lives. For us, design is a lifestyle. Sometimes we feel like the term "design" is boxed in, but ideally, it can mean much more. Beyond subjects like fashion, interiors, and architecture, design can embody how you speak to others or the color of the coffee cup you choose to drink out of in the morning. We believe that design can be anything depending on how you view it. Sometimes, it may be overlooked in even the simplicity of everyday acts. Everything we have taken the time to appreciate in the smallest of formats contributes to what our home represents. Anything from a chair to a piece of art or something as simple as what toaster we use. Design can be everywhere if you take the time to stop and smell the roses.

 

 

Which design movement do you gravitate towards?

We'd probably have to go with the Bauhaus Design Movement. So many of our pieces come from this era, ranging from Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, and Mies van der Rohe. They are all favorite designers of ours amongst several others of this time period.

Although it is a new piece, why did you buy The Floyd Bed?

We were looking for something lower to the ground, clean and minimal, and, overall, a beautiful, functional piece that would stand the test of time. All these requirements checked out while deciding on our purchase.

 

Describe your space in three words.

Harmonious, eclectic, individualized.

What is your favorite thing about your current space?

We love that we've created our own sanctuary. Personally, I feel blessed that it also functions as my studio workspace. It makes it hard to leave at times because it truly brings us peace, especially providing us with tranquility when coming home. We love the obvious bits about it: the brick, hardwood floor, and bright light, but it's also the sense of community that we have here in the building. The building houses many other creatives, ranging from a barbershop, photographers, designers, chefs, etc. We collectively support each other where possible utilizing each other's resources and talents. It's a beautiful thing.

 

 

For more about Jereme and Shelby please check out:

@j.brian

@shelbycatt 

 

 

Photography by Jake Stangel.

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An artist’s call for us to re-examine our relationship with the environment.

Seeing the World Through Found Art

04 21 22
Jonathan Bender

If you were walking on the east side of Detroit, you might happen upon a trio of shopping carts mounted at the top of a branchless tree or a field lined with unplugged vacuum cleaners that bear silent witness to the traffic headed downtown.

These are installations in a living art museum known as The Heidelberg Project. The ever-evolving series of sculptures and paintings constructed out of forgotten objects by artist Tyree Guyton has transformed his childhood neighborhood into an internationally known art exhibit over the past 36 years.

“This is about how art and creativity can be used to talk about social issues,” says Jenenne Whitfield, president of The Heidelberg Project. “It draws you in. Makes you pause. It’s just the start.”

 

The Heidelberg Project, street view, 2017

 

Found art (or found object art) — wherein artists use discarded or everyday objects to create sculptures or paintings — makes us stop and think about our relationship with the things and environment we see daily.

“Routines make us stop noticing what’s beautiful,” wrote author Stephen Batchelor in an essay for The New York Times. “But if we focus on details, we can see the impact of the world on objects and on us….the artist focuses attention on those details of the world that are likewise forgotten, taken for granted or ignored.”

 

A Brief, But Packed, History of Found Art

The found art movement is rooted in the work of Marcel Duchamp. The French-American artist challenged convention in the early 20th century by arranging and presenting everyday objects as sculptures in works he termed “readymade” in 1915.

 

Marcel Duchamp with work, Bicycle Wheel, in 1913.

 

“Choosing, selecting, and deciding on [an object] was the result of being very careful… of not using my sense of beauty, my belief in some aesthetics of some kind,” said Duchamp in an interview at the Walker Art Center in 1965.

That absence of feeling, what Duchamp termed “indifference,” was a guiding principle in the objects (an upside-down bicycle wheel mounted on a stool, a shovel suspended from the ceiling) he arranged for his pieces. Duchamp’s approach upended the traditional notion that an artist would be guided by passion or strong emotion.

Even though he only produced 13 readymades over four decades, that handful of works impacted conceptual artists over the next several generations. Duchamp showed how mass-manufactured objects could be transformed through composition or juxtaposition, contrasting centuries of art theory which suggested an artist had to be struck by inspiration or motivated by beauty to produce something singular.

You can see examples of found object art throughout history if you take the time to look. The painter Pablo Picasso experimented with trash and discarded objects more than 80 years ago. His work, “Crumpled Paper,” was exactly that, a piece of scrunched paper encased in plaster.

 

Jeff Koons, Three Ball 50/50 Tank, 1985

 

In the 1950s, artist Jasper Johns incorporated pieces of newspaper into his seminal work, “Flag.” Three decades later, Jeff Koons unveiled Three Ball 50/50 Tank, a sculpture containing three basketballs floating in a fish tank, a bold, stripped-down tribute to life. When asked about found art, Koons recently remarked that “readymades are really a form of acceptance of the world.”

A year after Koons' work debuted at the Museum of Modern Art in 1985, artist Tyree Guyton began working on The Heidelberg Project in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood. Guyton found inspiration in the space between where he had been and where he was now, much like fellow Detroit artist Charles McGee, who taught and mentored Guyton at the College for Creative Studies.

Guyton took the stuffed animals and abandoned appliances he found while cleaning up trash-strewn lots and houses in various states of disrepair and transformed them into statements.

“Guyton wanted to point out waste and consumption,” says Whitfield. “Symbolically, not only how waste and consumption permeates into the things we use; but also how it translates into the ways we discard places and communities.”

 

Dotty Wotty House, The Heidelberg Project

 

A house painted with oversized polka dots became a way to draw attention to the decline of Guyton’s childhood neighborhood. Where others might have seen abandoned cars and trash, Guyton saw a landscape ready to be reimagined.

“It’s raw and expressive, and I think that’s what speaks to different generations,” says Whitfield. “As Guyton said, ‘there’s beauty in this so-called ugliness.’”

The Heidelberg Project has been an evolving installation. City workers tore down pieces in 1991 and 1999, and exhibits were consumed by 13 fires set in 2013 and 2014.

“We are the sacrificial lamb presenting what society has become,” says Whitfield. “Everyone has a different reaction. And sometimes that reaction is to destroy a piece of work.”

The story of found art often begins with what an artist sees in everyday objects. But found art is also about the dialogue created with the viewer. The act of viewing a piece extends the conversation, as you bring your own experiences and feelings to bear on what you’re seeing.

This act is what Whitfield refers to as a "layered process." In that initial moment, a piece may speak to you. And you might turn away or keep walking. But it's the people who stop and look deeper who will find something else.

 

Noah's Arc, The Heidelberg Project

The Holy Place, The Heidelberg Project

Clock Series, The Heidelberg Project

 

“You’re curating what the piece means to you,” says Whitfield. “It might seem whimsical and flimsy. But there’s so much more when you look at it.”

The ever-changing installations and organic nature of The Heidelberg Project raise the question of what will happen next.

"You might want to think of this as a museum and ask, 'how do we preserve this?'" says Whitfield. "But Tyree [Guyton] asks another question. How do we preserve you? Because all things break down and go back to where they came."

And it's here that we can hear what Duchamp, Koons, and Guyton have been telling us for the past century.

 The world around you affects you in ways you don't realize every day. Each object we see leaves an impression. By showing you found objects in a new context, artists continually examine our relationship with the world.

“This isn’t about recycling things,” says Whitfield. “It’s about recycling the human spirit.”

 

 

For more about The Heidelberg Project please check out:

The Heidelberg Project

@heidelbergproj



 

 

Hero Image: Salvador Dali's Lobster Telephone, 1938; Images 2, 5-8 - Courtesy of Heidelberg Project Archives.

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How to style a room without walls.

Rethink Your Outdoor Space

04 15 22
 
Jonathan Bender

You want to build an outdoor space that draws you outside. A spot where you linger, sunlight restoring you while you lounge in comfort.

Good news. Your dream isn’t that far out of reach. You only need a few guiding principles to help shape your decisions and transform an undefined space into a lovely, living representation of your personality.


Where Can You Look For Outdoor Inspiration?

Look next door. Start in your neighborhood. Grab your pup, partner, or headphones and get walking. Look at spaces similar in size to your patio, balcony or backyard. What have your neighbors done that you love? Artists steal all the time, so find plants and pieces that speak to you.

Look at your vacations. Where did you feel most relaxed? Go there mentally and try to figure out how the surroundings – maybe by a pool or in nature – helped you find peace. You’ll likely discover that you’ve been drawn to a particular color (cool colors like blue and green are often characterized as calming) more than you realized.

Look to your past. What brought you happiness when you were younger? Was it that moment of weightlessness on a swing or the smell of ripe cherry tomatoes still warm from the sun? Think back to the moments when you felt at home and jot them down.

 

 

Think of Your Outdoor Space as a Room Without Walls

The easiest way to look at your outdoor project is to consider it a room without walls. Now, you can take style elements from inside your home and bring them outdoors. Even better, this lets you break down what could feel like an overwhelming number of choices into individual decisions.

Start with a focal point. Just like you might style your living room shelves, you will need a focal point to anchor your space. The right outdoor furniture is timeless, a set of pieces you rearrange and style around to adjust with the seasons.

Look down for your glow up. Outdoor rugs serve two key purposes: they create a distinct space where you can entertain and they draw in your eye. Use them as an accent color (remember the cerulean color of the ocean?) or to make a big statement if you’re opting for a more neutral color scheme.

Play with the idea of walls. A trellis with climbing ivy or a vertical garden alive with herbs, gives the suggestion of a wall which makes a space feel cozier, but still lets in enough light to keep it from seeming cramped.

While a larger structure like an archway with flowering plants might work in a backyard, opt for less structure and more plants in a smaller space like a balcony. A few containers with taller plants like amaranth or bamboo will anchor corners. It’s important to stay within the scale of your space.

Always hang string lights when possible. Stars make for a lovely ceiling; but the soft luster of small bulbs turn a patio at twilight into a wonderland. Look for an outlet first (if you don’t have one handy, solar-powered lights are an option). Then where you’ll be able to hang hooks to hold a set of string lights. After that, sketch out a design — a square for framing your patio or half moons that hang playfully from the top of your balcony — to know how many strings of lights you’ll need.

 

 

Decide What Goes In Your Outdoor Room

Now that you’ve “framed” out your space, add the small touches and functional pieces that make a patio your own.

Pick color accents for the vibe you want. Whether it is pillows (opt for water-resistant fabric or give a favorite pillow a few coats of a fabric water shield spray) or planters with spring flowers, a complementary or contrasting color will help subtly build out the mood you want.

Here’s where you can use your neighbor’s knowledge of native plants or your walkabout to see which flowers are thriving in your climate will come in handy. These small hints of color will also be the easiest to change — you can recover pillows or swap out containers with annual plants — with the seasons.

Lean in to function. If you work indoors all day and the idea of dinner outside is a respite, consider investing in an outdoor pizza oven or barbecue smoker. Both are built for making food you’ll want to share. And as long as you’re entertaining (might we suggest some apple cider sangria), look at picking up a bar cart or repurposing a planting bench as a drink station. It’s nice to have everything on hand once you head outside.

 

 

What Should You Do With Other Outdoor Spaces?

Once you’ve created a gathering spot, look at any adjoining additional spaces. But just like your home, don’t feel like you have to transform everything at once.

Instead, sit in your new space and see where your eye goes or what you think is missing. Maybe you’d like a projector screen by the garage for movie nights? Or long naps in a hammock suspended between two trees by the back fence? This is where you layer in the things you’ve wanted or missed since you were a kid.

Make some lines in the grass. Love the look of lush plants or flowering trees? Abundance doesn’t have to be messy. Opt for clean lines and clearly delineated spaces. A small amount of edging or stones around a garden bed is like framing a picture. It will also help create a natural path or flow through your backyard.

Create secondary seating spaces. Picture a reading nook or a set of wingback chairs in the corner. That’s the spirit of what you’re making here, a self-contained spot that invites you to sit down. With more room, you can opt for a fire pit and seating arranged in a circle for conversation. Chimineas (clay or metal fireplaces) with a lounge chair on either side fit beautifully in little jut outs or small patches of grass.

 

Your backyard, patio, or balcony are all places of possibility. Your spaces will naturally change with the seasons and where you are in your life. Enjoy that process. Take your time and make the outdoors great.

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