What started in 2006 as a collaboration between designer Bec Dowie and her father, furniture maker Douglas Snelling, has grown into an award-winning company with a global following.
The New Zealand based company, Douglas and Bec, recently designed feature lighting at The Ritz Hawaii and the new Marriott Hotel in Portland, Oregon. In Paris, the Panache Hotel features the Line Pendant 04 and popular Folding Stools, while at Singapore’s newest upscale restaurant, Whitegrass (images below), Douglas and Bec’s iconic Y Series chandeliers hang above a gorgeous communal table.
Meantime, here in Australia, Douglas and Bec worked with designers Arent&Pyke to build bespoke furniture for 74 thoughtfully designed spaces at the Alex Hotel in Perth.
The interior of KOOKAÏ’s South Yarra boutique feature Douglas and Bec’s Cross Brass and Folding Stools. The conceptual idea was that the store should represent an intimate apartment interior. The sumptuous textural combination of timber, brass and leather, and the subtle femininity of these stools were a perfect match for this project.
Over the past 10 years, Douglas and Bec has grown from a retail-focused company into an award-winning design studio with global clientele. Amid the excitement, founder Rebecca Dowie is still deeply passionate about local manufacturing and the company’s retail spaces.
“Supporting our industry is important to us and brings clear advantages, such as the immediacy of local suppliers. From a retail perspective having that face to face contact with our clients keeps us in touch with their needs. It gives us a better ability to make special, customised pieces,” says Bec.
Douglas and Bec now has four locations – a studio, workshop and office in Auckland, and a showroom in Melbourne – with a growing staff of talented individuals. Douglas, now 72, remains at the heart of the production process, alongside a network of local makers who are integral in manufacturing Douglas and Bec’s collections. Bec explained:
“We have a great network, which has taken a bit of refinement. We like to work with companies of similar scale and usually we share similar values.”
“Everyone is really excited about the direction we’re heading in, especially with the international growth. We have great staff across the business and we recently took on a former boat builder and a new workshop manager to keep up with demand.”
As they reflect with pride on recent successes, Douglas and Bec has its sights set firmly on the future, presenting a range of new and updated products for 2016. Recently released is a new Camel and Brushed Chrome colourway for the acclaimed Line Collection. New additions to the Line Collection include the Compact 04, a pendant light showcasing the brand’s signature mouth blown glass in a compact arrangement. Also, the Line Wall Light 2.0, an evolutionary design based on simplicity and the combination of beautiful materials.
New pieces have also been added to the furniture range. Bearing the initials of its designer, Rebecca Dowie, The RD Table features minimalist lines and expert craftsmanship, designed and made to be in your family for generations. The stunning Semi-Circular Floor Mirror is a timeless and functional piece designed with nostalgic sentiment. Completing the release is an elegant all black colourway for the definitive All Circle Mirror and classic RD Chair.
Images from Douglas and Bec’s website.