Introducing :: Kin
By Kate Cole
Based in Melbourne’s Inner West, Kin is a boutique furniture business run buy husband and wife team Dermot and Janelle Lenaghan.
“I have always had a passion for design” says Dermot, who worked as a graphic designer before embarking on a career as a builder. He was able to combine these skill sets by working on commercial design and construction projects. “After many years of filling sketchbooks with furniture designs, it was through these projects that I first had the opportunity to design and make furniture”. His goal was to create custom pieces which could be serially produced.
His wife Janelle is a qualified civil engineer who worked in the operations team of a retail group while raising their two children. “I’m a people person” says Janelle, “with an interest in all areas of business”.
“We’ve long had a shared ambition to work together and build a life centred on creative work and family”, says Dermot, “which brought us to found Kin”. Kin launched its first line at the 2015 DEN Furniture and Design Fair with a collection of timber stools and tables.
“We place great value on how and where things are made. We partner with specialist Australian craftsmen and manufacturers ensuring skillful and ethical production”. As well as demonstrating their principles, this approach enables Kin to create consistently high-quality products.
Kin’s designs and construction methods are strongly influenced by mid-century Scandinavian designers such as Kjærholm, Mogensen and Aalto. “We have always been ‘less is more’ types”, says Dermot, who says Northern European design and culture is a major source of inspiration. “We focus on function, simplicity of form and beautiful, natural materials”.
Dermot’s favourite part of the creative process is, “the combination of creative and technical problem solving in the initial development of a product. I also enjoy the collaborative partnership that comes from working with skilled craftspeople”.
Their Kin career highlight so far has been seeing ideas take the leap from sketchbook to reality. “It’s so satisfying to see our pieces used in beautiful interiors, complimenting and completing a considered space”.
This year Janelle and Dermot are looking forward to collaborating with more Australian designers and architects, and releasing new products.
“We are working hard to build a brand we can proudly say upholds our ethos. Simple, functional, lasting”.