« Head Back to All Creatives

Daniel DeKoven, DeKoven Furniture Design

Evergreen, CO

Website

I've been designing and building furniture for over thirty years. My collection ranges from traditional to contemporary, and I accept commissions for custom work. Each piece is built to order so as to fit my clients' specific needs. I follow green principles in sourcing North American hardwoods and working from my passive solar studio. My pieces are simple but elegant, inviting touch and maturing gracefully. My work can be viewed online at: dekovenfurniture.com and in person at Carter Inc. in the Denver Design Center.

Transcript:

I’m Daniel DeKoven, Furniture designer and maker in Evergreen, Colorado.

This is our dog Luke, the one-eyed English Lab, who came to us courtesy of Lab Rescue.

When I look for inspiration, the first place that I go is inside my head. I’ve been designing and building things for decades. So I have a veritable fund of past experiences, designs, and influences. I draw upon those, and I look upon my place in the universe, to see what’s happening now, where I am, where my head is and I combine those to create something that speaks to the present. The second place I look is to my wife Margaret. She’s a printmaker with a wonderful aesthetic. I’m constantly dragging her out to the shop to look at things I’m working on, to get her view of my composition and proportion.  

I trust her judgment implicitly. We are a team. 

A Major Design influence in my life has been George Nakashima, a Japanese American architect and furniture maker who was building organic furniture in the late 40s when everything else was Formica and chrome. His book, The Soul of the Tree, has a greater influence on the way I look at furniture, wood, and design.

The person who’s probably had the biggest effect on my business is Thomas Moser, a furniture manufacturer in Maine. Early in my career, I took a seminar from him at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass. The subject was running a woodworking business. It had nothing to do with creative, and everything to do with the nuts and bolts of keeping a business running. I came away with three points. 

This first was the necessity to develop an identity, something that was recognizable as mine. Be it a piece or a collection, something people would look at and say, “That’s a DeKoven. I recognize that.” He said if I was creating reproductions, I was selling my hands. 

The second major point: he said, and this is before the internet, it was essential to come up with a print catalog, something tangible people could take away, and look back on to remember me by.

The third thing he said was that however many hours I was spending working on furniture, I needed to have someone else doing all the correlative activities: taxes, accounting, marketing, etc. I farm those out to people I trust, and their efforts have given me the freedom to create. And that’s what it’s all about.

Share