Through friends on facebook I have recently been seeing some projects coming out of Dylan Design Company and was really impressed. I love the patchwork and butterfly details that are found in their walnut pieces. The use of brass and other metals really compliment their craft with wood. I caught up with Tony to see if he would answer a few questions for us.
Q: Who is?
We’re a small furniture and lighting company, about to relocate to a new work space in Baltimore, Maryland. We make everything to order. We started 1 year ago. We make modern furniture using simple, honest materials like reclaimed wood and walnut and steel and brass.
Q: What is your background?
I’ve always loved working with my hands ever since I was a little kid. I studied interior design and drawing and painting in college. A month after I graduated from college, I needed a sofa for my apartment but couldn’t afford one, so I built one. After I finished it I had this “Oh, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life” moment.
About a year after I graduated, a friend called me and asked if I wanted to interview for a job on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I interviewed in LA and got the job as a Design Assistant. I moved up the ranks the next few seasons and by my 3rd and 4th season on the show, I lead the Art Department in the construction of all the custom theme room furniture and special art projects. I traveled around the country 10 months out of the year and worked with local woodworkers and crafts people to build all the furniture for the new homes in just 7 days.
Q: What inspires you and influences your design choices?
Design is a huge struggle for me. In a good way, I think. Even though we can create anything, I try to be more selective. I want to make stuff that no one has seen before. I worry a lot about what something will look like in 50 years. I want it to look good and be built well enough to last another 100 years. I get inspiration randomly from a lot of different place. I have sketchbooks full of drawings that I’m sure I’ll never have time to produce. I focus a lot on the scale and proportions and material selection for each piece. I also love watching old movies from the 60’s, and am hugely inspired by new music.
Q: What is your preferred material to work with, are there any materials that you would like to incorporate into future designs?
I have a mild obsession with Black walnut and Claro Walnut. I want to work with brass in more unique ways in both furniture and lighting. I like the idea of working with materials that have been sourced responsibly, but could also be recycled or repurposed when the product is no longer useful.
Q: What trends are you seeing in furniture design, good and bad?
I love the high social importance being placed on US made products and I think that will continue to be really important. There’s a huge disconnect between that side of furniture production and cheap Ikea crap from overseas that ends up in a landfill after 2 years. Buying an American made piece of furniture benefits so many people locally and I hope it leads to people living a less consumptive lifestyle.
Q: My favorite______is________
My new favorite band is Haim. My favorite drink is a “Pig on the Porch” from The Food Market in Baltimore.