Portland, Oregon-based Grovemade are known for their handcrafted wooden tech cases and desk accessories and the tight-knit brand continues to expand their product range with the recently launched Entryway Collection. The team takes us through the process of how one of the standout pieces in that collection, the Catch-All, came to life, in this month’s Deconstruction.
The catch-all was initially conceived as a kind of shelf. We found, though, that a single ledge was limited in functionality. We wanted something that was more practical, able to both showcase and store our everyday essentials while integrating seamlessly into the home.
As many of us use bowls or trays to toss our everyday items in, we wondered how we could combine that with the functionality of a shelf. Inspiration came in the form of one of our laptop stands.
Our design team inverted the stand, put it up against the wall and thought it had a welcoming feeling – like a pair of hands cupped to receive something precious. They then took it into the shop, cut it in half, and realized they had a natural basin.
Still, a wedge of molded plywood was just that and nothing more. The onus now was to explore then settle on the elements needed to make it into a functional catch-all. The goal was to find a way to make the act of hanging a set of keys or setting a wallet aside attractive.
The first prototypes featured several different lengths, as well a version with a sweeping, multi-level platform swathed in leather and were hung to the wall using a French cleat.
As we neared our final design, we tallied our costs and found we were over budget. Our engineering team suggested removing the French cleat and replacing it with keyhole slots in order to reduce production costs. We then leveled out the basin, and replaced the leather with the wool felt found in a number of our products.
Final assembly is done completely in-house by our team at our Portland, Oregon workshop. In the laser shop, our logo is engraved then passed to production to be put together.
The wool felt lining is affixed to the aluminum basin, which is then attached to the molded wood.
Installed, the angle of the wood and its chamfers gives the impression of reaching out and catching while keeping out of the sightline the stuff that you may not want to see lying out on a side table or countertop.
From initial concept to finished product, the catch-all required roughly four months of work. To date, it is one of our favorite products – equal parts form and function – and is welcome in spaces both big and small.
From left to right: Sean Kelly, lead designer, Sylvia Choi, communications director, Kevin Do, industrial designer.