Stephen Czeck and Jen Going surrounded by their new furniture designs
Living on Long Island's East End, steps from the beach, interior designer Jen Going has realized the advantage living and working in a beautiful resort setting. Her interior design projects, often done in the calming color scheme of coastally-appropriate blue and white, capture the essence of a beachy lifestyle. To further that look, Jen Going and her partner, designer and NYSID grad Stephen Czeck recently debuted a collection, Going Home, of easy-to-live-with furniture, designed in reclaimed light woods with a casual lifestyle mindset. To kick off the launch, she invited me, along with a group of fun editors from Glamour and Domino Magazine to celebrate the launch event, which was held at the breathtakingly beautiful Heurzog and de Meuron-designed Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. I caught up with Going after launch, who shared her inspiration and design sensibility with Stylebeat.
What is the inspiration behind your collection?
We loved the idea of pairing rustic materials with other refined elements, creating an elegant collection that is organic yet classic. In the early stages of development we were introduced to a mill in northern Maine that specializes in timber perfectly preserved from the bottom of a river. We fell in love with their story and the quality of the wood, and from there we paired the wood with more refined finishes such as satin brass and lacquer and the collection started growing.
What led to the assortment of designs, was it based out of a necessity for things you couldn't find for clients?
We are constantly making custom pieces for our clients- challenging ourselves to think outside of the box and make pieces that are not only unique but appropriate for a client's lifestyle. The Going Home collection was born out of taking our experience with custom furniture and streamlining into one cohesive collection that tells a story and depicts our vision and style.
What was the design process like and how did it work?
Initially we sat down and sketched out all of the concepts that have been living inside our heads for years. It was a design stream-of-consciousness set to paper, and we immediately had quite a number of ideas that all worked well together. From there we started sourcing fabric mills for our upholstered pieces and even traveled to a remote corner of northern Maine in the dead of winter to breathe the same air as the wood. The excitement of that trip propelled us to start bringing our ideas to life, and before we knew it the collection started arriving in our showroom piece by piece. Every time something arrived was exhilarating for us.
What are your favorite materials to work in? Talk about the reclaimed wood used to create the pieces
The wood is 130 year old timber blends that have been reclaimed from the bottom of a river in northern Maine (the Penobscot River near Millinocket), therefore the pieces are first-cut, reclaimed wood. It's never been treated with chemicals and you know where it's been: preserved in its pristine state since being felled in the 1880s! The qualities of this wood are amazing. The result of 130 years deep underwater is more and more interesting with each piece we make. There's a rustic quality to it that we've paired with satin brass accents and sleek lacquered surfaces. The finished product is a gorgeous blend of rusticity and refinement.
What period of design or style most appeals to you in your work?
We are truly inspired by all styles- whether historical or contemporary- that are timeless, sophisticated and full of personality that tell a story and appeal to the client.
What is the best part of creating your own furniture designs?
Quite simply it's the satisfaction about seeing your ideas come to life and the joy of hearing how much a client or customer loves and appreciates it.
Tell us a bit about your office/showroom space in Westhampton. What is the best part about working and living near the beach. Does it put you in a constant vacation mindset?
Our showroom is a combination of showroom, office and creative think tank! It is always brimming with excitement. Even in February, when there's not a soul to be seen on Main Street and you're longing for the summer months, we feel inspired. When summer rolls around we occasionally escape to the beach for a team meeting to remind ourselves that we are in fact near the ocean, but for the most part we are in the showroom working away when not with clients. We are constantly rotating new furniture, fabrics and accessories, and because of that the office always feels like a home. It's great to leave your house in the morning and look forward to going to another "home" for the day.
What's next for you in the creative realm?
We are constantly brainstorming, sketching, creating and taking the time to truly appreciate what inspires us. The wonderful thing about design is that you never know when and from where the inspiration comes, but it always does. New ideas are born when you're least expecting them. We have recently partnered with Showcase Kitchens for Going Home kitchen cabinetry, and we're also working on rug designs for a new collaboration.
The mid-century modern lawson-arm sofa features a wide track arm, tight back, three seat cushions and tailored design. Available upholstered with your own fabric, or the indigo woven it is shown in, the piece features ornamental nailhead trim around the bast in a triangular formation.
Combining a deep blue wool and inset panel of an ethnic print, the Hostess Chair has clean lines and tight seat and back for streamlined comfort
To make the dining table, a salvaged piece of 130 year old wood from Maine sits on jute-wrapped stretchers, giving the pale wood table a rustic yet tailored appeal
The Shennen Coffee Table incorporates the same aged wood in a low, square coffee table great for large seating areas. Lined in white lacquer with a brass base, the table has a cubby pass through that can hold books and decorative objects.
A perfect evening ended with an even better parting shot