Pastoe are quite unique in my opinion, in fact I’ve written about them before when I highlighted the sm05 chair by Cees Braakman, but I’ve not really gone into much depth regarding their history and how this played a part in the furniture world.
It all began in 1913 when businessman Frits Loeb decided to manufacturer chairs for his own shop on Ganzenmarkt in Utrecht himself in a small, traditional joinery shop. This quickly grew into a large factory where they made and produced furniture for a range of outlets, it went under the name UMS (Utrechtsche Machinale Stoel- en Meubelfabriek). Originally UMS targeted the general public, but manager and designer D.L. Braakman, Cees Braakman’s father, had ideas of using innovative design and taking influences from art deco and Scandinavian furniture in the early 1920’s. He was a bit ahead of his time so this style wasn’t favoured by the general public, but UMS continued to pursue this idea and released various prototypes to see how people would react. A few failures happened including a series of modular furniture by the Amsterdam interior architect A.K. Grimmon, this got no further than a geometrical chest of drawers. Also some seating designed by architect H.F. Mertens was really innovative for the time and used a variety of steel tubes which were easy to take apart, but this was never successful commercially.
After the Second World War UMS decided to make a new start and dedicate itself to contemporary design, creating furniture that was calm and restrained in appearance. This ‘passe partout’ (all purpose) principle was worked into a new brand name, Pastoe. From then on it’s history really, Cees Braakman followed in his fathers footsteps as director and designer and studied a lot of what was happening in the United States with Ray and Charles Eames. He was also influenced heavily by Finnish designer, and one of my favourites, Alvar Aalto who tended to use a lot of wood in his furniture design and building projects.
As I was clicking through the Pastoe website it seemed wrong not to showcase the amazing photography that they’ve got sitting around in their so called ‘collection’ section. It’s a real pleasure to view big images like these that are set-up in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing on the eye, also the detail shots are really nice. I’m pretty blown away by the amount of cupboards they’ve got in this new collection, I’m a massive fan of these grid type shelving systems as I don’t think you can really go wrong with them in any part of the home. Hope you enjoy what you see above and below.