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Modern coffee table designed and built by Dylan and Wes Harkavy. Available at Perch Furniture Portland's Best Furniture store 923 NW Tenth Ave. in the Pearl District of Portland Oregon

Portland Maker Interview: Harkavy Furniture

We met brothers, Dylan and Wesley Harkavy, a couple years ago, when their family stopped in Perch to design a sofa for their living room. We felt an instant connection to their family and were excited to hear that Dylan and Wesley were designers themselves. At the time, they were just getting started on creating a line of furniture that they were designing and building out of their shop in West Linn. They contacted us a few months later to show us their line of coffee tables, and we thought they paired perfectly with our sofas and aesthetic! Their tables feature modern lines that combine wood and powder coated steel to create an outstanding focal point for any room.

Wes and Dylan Harkevy Portland makers - woodworking coffee tables

It has been fun seeing how their company has grown. They were even featured in Design Milk.

We wanted to know a little more about their process and how they got started:

How did you get started building furniture?

Through our whole childhood we constantly had the desire to create. Being homeschooled gave us the creative freedom to explore just about every medium of art, painting, drawing, photography, architecture and interior design, to building our own skateboards and surfboards. In later years, we both had construction jobs through high school, that is what gave us the skill and knowledge of working with wood and power tools. With the art and construction background, we found that designing and building furniture was something that blended our passions seamlessly.

Where do you find inspiration around Portland?

Portland is a design mecca. We find inspiration in so many different ways. I’d say our biggest inspiration is the architecture of Portland. We are suckers for modern design and architecture.

How does your design process for a new piece work?

Many of our new designs start with a sudden idea while working in the shop together. We bounce ideas/critiques back and forth until we come up with a new piece that we are both excited about. We then take that idea into CAD which gives us the ability to fine tune the design and see the pieces before we start building.

What are your favorite design aspects of the tables we have in our shop?

The visual affect that the Cortado angles give of almost looking like it is being cut down the middle, dividing the wood and the metal creates what we feel is a well-balanced yet interesting piece. The Doppio has a similar feel of the interesting angles, with a bit more simplistic design.

How does living in the PNW influence your aesthetic?

Being surrounded by so many incredible artists, architects, and furniture makers in the PNW has definitely played a big role in our aesthetic. Portland in particular is a rare city where you can be in an urban industrial environment, and be out in nature in walking distance. That mix of industrial/natural beauty has heavily influenced our designs.

What is your favorite material to work with?

That is a hard question for us to answer. We have always loved woodworking. We find the whole process of woodworking almost therapeutic. Although we just started working with metal over the last few years so we don’t have the history that we do with woodworking, it has quickly become one of our favorite parts of furniture making.

What is the best part about collaborating with your brother?

Since we grew up in such a close family, it caused us to think and to work very similarly. That has played a huge role in us working so well together. We definitely have our own opinions that we are not afraid to voice, which we feel makes each piece better. We collaborate in every step of the process, it is just how we do things. Not to mention it’s just a pretty cool thing being able to work and run a company with your brother.

When you are not building furniture, what do you enjoy doing?

We have a problem of having too many hobbies. Snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, rock climbing, dirt biking, and just about anything that will allow us to be outdoors.

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