I have a bit of a cognitive dissonance problem when it comes to design. On one hand, I have always had a strong predilection towards the scrappy, cutesy, retro-chic subsection of the design spectrum. I just recently professed my love for all things scout-themed and I have been known to collect such functionless items as vintage toy tractors, glass soda bottles, and rusted-out cigarette tins—not to mention a whole slew of midcentury children’s books that I have no intention of reading. Despite the fact that I was born in the 80s, I can’t seem to prevent myself from waxing nostalgic or even inventing sentimental feelings about the good ol’ days of yore. On the other hand, part of me has fallen head-over-heels for the pared-down utilitarian creations that have taken the design world by storm as of late—something that has made me seriously re-evalute my love for the more frivolous side of things. Over the past year, I’ve found myself navigating a treacherous territory of mixed design emotion: do I indulge my deep-rooted love for all things kawaii or lighten my clutter intake by opting for a more carefully considered, minimal design diet? Luckily, it appears that I can have my cake and eat it, too!
If the booths lining the corridors of ICFF this year were any indication, the world is feeling the exact same way (or all designers have simultaneously read my mind—in which case, get out my head, designers!). Everywhere I look, design companies are negotiating the seemingly paradoxical desire for liberating simplicity and spirit-enriching whimsy. Although design companies are as interested as ever in crafting with industrial materials, they are adding warmth to their creations by combining them with organic materials and, more frequently, bold splashes of color. One such company is the LA-based Scout Regalia.
Originally featured on our site way back in 2011 as a Sneak Peek, Scout Regalia is the brainchild of Luddy and Makoto Mizutani, two SCI-Arc graduates with a shared passion for sustainable, locally-produced design. Established in 2006, the company has made a name for itself by producing home goods and furniture that strike a beautiful balance between utilitarian simplicity, lighthearted charm, and expert craftsmanship. Self-proclaimed multitaskers, Benjamin and Makoto have dipped their hands into numerous design ventures over the past few years including a line of DIY garden kits, book shelves, picnic tables, and even bicycles. Most recently, the design studio has created fully-realized interiors for the Colorado-based restaurant New Belgium Ranger Station, the adjacent Wildwood lodge, and a Steven Alan retail space. The Ranger Station in particular, gave way to the company’s new Ranger Stool, a beautiful construction made from white oak and powder coated steel (pictured above). It certainly looks like these scouts like to keep busy and I can’t wait to see what Regalia has up their sleeves next! Check out more of their designs after the jump! —Max