Bring Nature Into Your Home

19/04/2016 | created by : Alex From Renof
Home Decoration, Home Design, Latest From RENOF

Furniture made out of rain trees with additional slight touch of art blended into it, yay?


Jeffery Yang & Joey Woo finds out why we should include nature into your home.


Bring Nature Into Your Home

1. You are the founder of Art of Tree. What does Art of Tree means, exactly?

Art of Tree is about making furniture out of trees, with a touch of art. It all started about 3 years ago through my other business, that I got acquainted with a couple of sawmills. And there, I saw these rain trees. They were so beautiful, and I didn't even hesitate to start collecting them. It was as if I was collecting art pieces. I got them in slabs and occasionally blocks, haven't even deciding what I was to do with them back then. Before long, my collection expanded and I began thinking about making them into functional furniture. It was then I started getting serious in doing my research and experimenting with them. I drew a lot of inspiration from the west where they are bolder with designs and often they think out of the box. And after almost 3 years of hard work and perseverance, this is where we are today. 
2. What do you think Art of Tree Stands out most?
Many clients when stepped into my showroom for the first time, tells me that my wood has so much character in them. I can relate because most of them have irregular shapes and some even have huge cavities in them. This is where I feel we make our distinction. Unlike most in the same industry, where big round trunks are usually sought after to make perfect rectangular slabs, I will go for the less conventional and more artistic shapes, which are often overlooked. I don't even mind the huge cavities, as long as they are pleasing to my eyes. The way I see it, the beauty lies in its imperfection. If one can capture the essence of these imperfections, the wood can be transformed into a truly one-of-a-kind masterpiece. What really sets us apart is that, most of the time these trees are actually recycled. For most part, we try our best to source for trees that were brought down because there was a need to, for another purpose. For example, when the authorities decides to widen the road, or there is a new residential or commercial development project where land needs to be cleared, these trees got in the way and had to go. Rather than having it burnt or left to rot, a more noble approach is to give them a chance to be still useful and be appreciated in the homes of wood lovers. I always joked with our clients, "We don't usually get to choose the trees we want, the tree chooses us instead". That is why most of the wood that we have in stock have irregular shape and even huge cavities. Well, it is Art.
3. Products to be found at Art of Tree?
In Art of Tree, we design Dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, consoles, benches, countertops and even wall art. The list goes on. Most of the trees that we work with are Raintree, Acacia, Angsana, Merbau, Ketapang, Mango wood and occasionally cengal. If our client likes a particular piece of wood in our showroom that has not been made into a piece of furniture, we can customize it according to their requirements. It is personalized.

Every piece is unique in itself. Even if the shape looks the same, the colour and the grain of the wood will not be identical. So this is ideal for clients who want to assert their taste and establish a style of their own in their décor.

Apart from furniture, we do have a series of natural wood sculptures too. These are all handpicked by me from all over Malaysia and we can certainly find some very interesting pieces. In my collection, I have had natural wood sculptures that resemble a Phoenix, dragon head, birds, swords, fox and many more. These natural wood sculptures, I value them above hand crafted ones, simply because there are naturally shaped with no human intervention. Again, each is unique and you cannot replicate them like hand crafted ones. It is through tens of years of decay that makes them what they are today. These are truly the works of nature.

4. Home concept that Art of Tree's products fit into?

While some of my products are coined as "modern rustic", I see my company steering towards the modern contemporary and modern industrial design. This where there is an integration of different elements such as steel, glass and resin into our wood furniture design. My observations are that the younger generations are more inclined towards modern contemporary and industrial design. I am really excited about this paradigm shift, as it opens up to a lot more ideas and designs. But it also poses a new challenge. Not only we must know wood working, we also must now be familiar with glass works and steel works, or at least work with people who are good at it. So now, not only the wood must be cut right and look artistic, the integration of all the various elements needs to be tastefully done to pass it off as a designer piece.

5. Art of Tree is an in-house designer and manufacturer, or otherwise?
Most of the designs are created in-house, with a small percentage of our products, usually made up of regular common items, sourced from other furniture crafters. This happens usually because it is more cost efficient to have them sourced from others as they are produced in bulk. Having said that, I do still personally go through them at our supplier’s factory and hand pick them for their wood grains. There are also times, when we do take one or put together several of these pieces and further customize them to make them our own design. Of late, I am even procuring manufactured sideboards and buffets to integrate them with my wood slabs. This gives the original sideboards and buffets a lot more style and luxury. As far as creativity goes, the possibilities are endless.

6. Besides being a furniture provider, have you ventured into other field?

At the moment, we have set our sights only on designing our own furniture. We will try to come up with better designs, to cater to a wide spectrum of budgets, and to suit even small and tight spaces. As we gain momentum, I hope to ship our products beyond the shores of Malaysia one day. As far as interior designing is concerned, we have not directly ventured yet. Having said that, we are constantly working with various interior designers to incorporate our wood into their designs.

7. Greatest satisfaction so far?

We have received some very warm and encouraging feedbacks our clients. Some of them told me that as if they have walked into a designer wood gallery. There are others who reveal that they have not seen anything like this before and they love it because they feel like they moved a small piece of nature back to their homes. Then there are also those who wished they had a bigger house or a second house so they could indulge in more of our pieces. All these feedback really boost our morale and let us know we are relevant and on the right path. But one of the greatest compliment that I received was when clients tell me that they have been looking around, and what we offer in Art of Tree is truly unique, and not any less stylish, when pit against some of the more established designer boutiques around today.

8. Would you recommend your products to be used in wet area?

It’s not recommended to place wood furniture in bathroom or wet area as there is a risk where water might sip into the surface area over a period of time even though coating is applied. However, it’s ok to place the wood slab in powder room or dry kitchen where there is only minimal contact with water.

For more info:: Art Of Tree
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