Danish-inspired designer duo breathes nature into the kitchen and the home
In the early to mid-20th Century, Danish furniture designers such as Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen, and Arne Jacobsen moved away from the flowery, heavily embellished designs of the previous decades and, using beautiful, quality wood, began creating minimalist masterpieces with organic textures and strong, clean lines; a style that would go on to generate huge waves in the international design scene.
So popular was the Danish or “Scandinavian” style that it inspired a new era of furniture fashion that has persisted with great flourish to this day. It’s this design theme that is the inspiration of Franschhoek-based furniture design duo, Baer Design.
It’s all about the quality of the wood
Baer Design is a team of designer Robert Baer and master craftsman Stuart Douglas from Douglas & Co. Together, the duo specialises in bespoke kitchens, cabinetry, cupboards, and freestanding and fixed furniture for both residential and commercial spaces. Their pieces are typically hewn from American or European Oak for its character, longevity, ability to withstand use and the fact that it’s a sustainable resource.
“We look to nature to be inspired; therefore, we strive to do our bit to preserve nature by using only sustainable wood species.”
Without slick layers of heavily tinted varnish, the wood’s gorgeous organic texture and grain, blonde colouration, swirls of knots, and slight imperfections are revealed, rendering each and every piece totally unique and full of personality. The furniture and cabinetry Baer Design produces are testament to the quality of the wood used, the prowess of Robert Baer’s design, and the skills of master craftsman, Stuart Douglas. And, of course, they breathe nature into the kitchen and the home.
“We take naturally beautiful material and do the least amount to it to create elegant designs.”
Bespoke kitchen designs
Forget the cookie cutter approach. At Baer Design, each kitchen is designed from scratch, according to the space they have to work with and the client’s wish list, as well as which layout promotes optimal flow and functionality. A unique plan is drawn up for that space and, inspired by the Danish design approach, the pieces of the puzzle are hand crafted and installed. The result is a unique masterpiece: an artwork of organic textures, clean, modern lines, and quality, characterful wood. In other words, a kitchen that is as beautiful to admire as it is comfortable and convenient to work in.
And if you assumed such a masterpiece would come at a considerable cost, you wouldn’t necessarily be correct. A major misconception Baer Design actively confronts is that bespoke, hand-made kitchen cabinetry and furniture are, for many households, prohibitively expensive. In fact, they frequently design for clients with tighter purse strings, crafting kitchens that, behind the beautiful façade of their cabinetry, are budget conscious.
Achieving balance between aesthetics and functionality
Launched in 2016, Baer Design offers clients over 20 years’ worth of interior design and wood crafting experience. The duo has completed numerous bespoke kitchen projects and a grand collection of furniture pieces, several of which are on show at their studio at the Art In The Yard Gallery in Franschhoek. Here, in the proud tradition of the original Danish designers, Baer Design creates furniture that is an honest ode to the wood from which it is cut and a temple for the human body (and occasional cat) it is intended to accommodate.
Phone: 062 951 1390