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Intentional Design

How Can Design Be Intentional?

How Can Design Be Intentional?

At Mill + Commons, we’re intentional about how we design our furniture — literally. How does it serve customers? How does it promote sustainability? How long will it last? How will it function inside someone’s home? These are questions we ask along the way. 

Everything is designed and prototyped in Vancouver by Mill + Commons. When we think we're nearly there with a product, we take it home and send it to friends for final feedback on the design and usability. We iterate, iterate, and iterate until it’s perfect. And then we iterate again. 

It took us more than a year to fully design our furniture, so we stand behind it. It’s not about having 200 products to turn over every season after a big sale. We can afford to spend the time on our small line of furniture in order to make sure it’s perfect. 

Why do we design intentionally?  

Most large companies buy from a handful of manufacturing facilities overseas. After furniture companies are given a catalog of designs to choose from, they make minor alterations so they are “unique.” Everything is then sent to production. It’s why some furniture can almost look like exact copies even though they’re sold in different stores.

This cycle continues and every company comes out with variations on the same designs. These pieces are manufactured quickly with cheap parts. Their life spans are just long enough to make you feel like you’re getting your money's worth.

We find this unsustainable. And worse: quite boring. The fun of owning a furniture company is designing products you don’t see in the market and bringing them to life.

How do we embrace intentional design?

Beyond the design of our table, we consider our intentional uses of materials, finishes, packaging and replacement parts. We want to make sure we have thought of everything

We intentionally designed our table knowing it will undergo regular wear and tear. It’s built to last, but damage is a part of life. If necessary, we can easily manufacture replacement pieces in order to extend the life of the table (see image below). Our intention is to design a table that can be repaired rather than replaced, and enjoyed for many more years. 


Elba Coffee Table 

flat lay of coffee table in white oak

Ezra 4 Seater Dining Table

Dining Table Flat Lay

Posted Sep 14, 2021 in Intentional Design